BMW X1, LDV Mifa 9 and Nissan Pathfinder ace ANCAP test but Fiat 500e gets four stars
ANCAP has awarded the newly released BMW X1, LDV Mifa 9 and Nissan Pathfinder with a maximum five-star safety score in its most recent round of testing, while the Fiat 500e – available in New Zealand – got four stars and tweaks to the Isuzu D-Max and BT-50 have resulted in slightly higher adult occupant protection ratings.
The electric Fiat was marked down by the safety watchdog due to ‘marginal’ performance for protection of the driver’s chest in the frontal offset crash test and the driver and rear passenger’s chest in the full-width frontal test.
It also scored below the five-star cut-off in each of the four key test criteria, achieving 78 per cent for adult occupant protection (a minimum of 80 per cent is required to meet five stars), 79 per for child occupant protection (80 per cent required) and 67 per cent for safety assist (70 per cent required).
The 500e also scored just 67 per cent in the vulnerable road user protection category, while the lack of centre airbag contributed to excursion (movement across the cabin) being rated as high in the far-side oblique pole test, with a significant risk of the head contacting the intruding door.
Faring better in ANCAP’s most recent testing round were petrol-powered versions of the new BMW X1.
ANCAP said the X1 performed respectably across all four key areas of assessment, yet weak performance was noted for protection of the driver’s chest in the front offset test, and chest protection for rear passengers in the full-width test was deemed marginal.
The X1’s ability to avoid or mitigate a crash with pedestrians and cyclists through its auto emergency braking (AEB) system when travelling forward was rated as good. However, the AEB system does not react to pedestrians when reversing.
A score of 86 per cent was applied to the X1 in the adult occupant protection category, 88 per cent in the child occupant protection category, 76 per cent in the vulnerable road user protection category, and 94 per cent in the safety assist category.
The newly launched LDV Mifa 9 electric people mover got maximum points for protection of the driver and small female rear passenger in the full-width frontal test.
A positive result was also recorded for the Mifa 9’s vehicle-to-vehicle compatibility, with only a minimal penalty applied given its favourable front-end design, which reduces potential injury to occupants of other vehicles.
The Mifa 9 scored 93 per cent in the adult occupant protection category, 88 per cent in the child occupant protection category, 73 per cent in the vulnerable road user protection category, and 90 per cent in the safety assist category.
According to LDV Australia general manager Dinesh Chinnappa, the latest ANCAP safety rating was no surprise.
“We were confident that the all-new LDV Mifa 9 would deliver a strong result from its EuroNCAP testing which would, in turn, bode well locally with ANCAP and the supplementary testing required in Australia,” he said.
“LDV is leading the way in the electrification of vehicles in Australia, so to have an independent safety endorsement on the capability of our latest vehicle is testament to how the brand is progressing.”
Nissan’s new-generation Pathfinder three-row SUV was awarded full points for protection of the driver in both the side impact and oblique pole tests, and the front-seat passenger in the frontal offset test.
High scores were also awarded for protection of the driver in the full-width frontal test, however chest protection for the rear passenger in this test was rated as weak.
For the protection of child occupants, maximum points were scored in the frontal offset and side impact tests. The Pathfinder is fitted with ISOFIX and top-tether anchorages for all three seats in the second row, and in the left-hand seat of the third row.
The new Pathfinder is fitted with a centre airbag to minimise occupant-to-occupant and occupant-to-vehicle contact in the front row, and good results were achieved in tests of its effectiveness.
Head-protecting side curtain airbags are also fitted as standard and extend to cover the outboard seating positions of all three seating rows.
An AEB system capable of detecting and responding to pedestrians and cyclists is fitted to all Pathfinder variants. This system was shown to provide an adequate level of overall performance in pedestrian test scenarios, and good performance in tests with cyclists travelling along and across the road.
The Nissan Pathfinder scored 86 per cent in the adult occupant protection category, 93 per cent in the child occupant protection category, 78 per cent in the vulnerable road user protection category, and 85 per cent in the safety assist category.
“We’ve seen some impressive safety results from Nissan this year with the Qashqai, X-Trail, and now the Pathfinder all achieving five-star safety ratings,” said ANCAP CEO Carla Hoorweg.
“We look forward to seeing Nissan continue their commitment to offering the highest levels of safety for Australian and New Zealand customers with future models.”
Ms Hoorweg reminded consumers to be aware of the differing safety credentials of new models on the Australian and New Zealand market, saying it is important to consider vehicle safety whether shopping for a traditional petrol-powered model or new energy vehicle.
“As we near the end of the year and our current protocol period, we’re seeing an interesting mix of models, powertrains and performance,” she said.
“This is a reminder to consumers to examine the safety credentials of the car you’re looking to buy, to ensure it offers the highest level of safety. The ANCAP website provides all of this information and more, including the ability to search and filter results based on powertrain – for those who’re seeking a safe and green choice.”
Recent additional testing by ANCAP has also been undertaken to review safety-related updates to the Isuzu D-Max and MU-X, as well as the related Mazda BT-50 range.
D-Max, MU-X and BT-50 vehicles manufactured after July 2022 feature design changes to the driver’s knee airbag and instrument panel that offer improved safety performance.
All now score 86 per cent for adult occupant protection (the D-Max and BT-50 previously scored 83 per cent while the MU-X was 87 per cent prior to the re-test).
“ANCAP encourages safety improvements as part of mid-life vehicle upgrades to ensure consumers are provided improved levels of safety,” added Ms Hoorweg.
“It is important that vehicle manufacturers consider safety-related updates along with updates to other performance, aesthetic and convenience aspects during the life of a model.”