07 Dec 2022

Mix of alternative-powered models feature in latest assessment round

Independent voice on vehicle safety for Australia and New Zealand, ANCAP, has today released safety ratings for a mix of traditional and alternative-powered models.

The BMW X1 and electric LDV MIFA 9, on sale in Australia, both achieved the maximum five stars. The electric Fiat 500e available in New Zealand missed out on the top rating, scoring four stars.

LDV’s new entrant to the People Mover segment performed well in its electric guise. The five-star MIFA 9 scored maximum points for protection of the driver and small female rear passenger in the full-width frontal test. The MIFA 9 is the only model aside from the Mercedes-Benz C-Class to have achieved a maximum score in this test to current criteria. 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 Child Occupant Protection score for the MIFA 9 was also high (88%), however consumers are advised that child restraints for younger children should not be fitted to the third row centre or right-hand-side seating positions as there are no top-tether anchorages fitted to these seating positions. A high score of 90% was achieved for its collision avoidance capability in the Safety Assist assessment area.

Petrol variants of the BMW X1 have achieved five stars, but its electric variant – the iX1 – remains unrated. The X1 performed respectably across all four key areas of assessment, yet Weak performance was noted for protection of the chest of the driver in the frontal offset test, and Marginal for the chest of the rear passenger in the full-width test. The X1’s ability to avoid or mitigate a crash with pedestrians and cyclists through its autonomous emergency braking (AEB) system when travelling forwards was rated as Good. This AEB system however does not react to pedestrians in reverse.

A four star ANCAP safety rating applies to all Fiat 500e vehicles sold in New Zealand. This rating is limited to four stars in three of the four key assessment areas. The 500e scored 78% for Adult Occupant Protection, 79% for Child Occupant Protection and 67% for Safety Assist. Respective minimum scores of 80%, 80% and 70% are required to meet five stars. Marginal performance was noted for protection of the driver’s chest in the frontal offset test and the driver and rear passenger’s chest in the full-width frontal test. With no centre airbag fitted, excursion (movement across the vehicle cabin) was high in the far-side oblique pole test, with a significant risk of the head contacting the intruding door.

“As we near the end of the year and our current protocol period, we’re seeing an interesting mix of models, powertrains and performance,” said ANCAP Chief Executive Officer, Carla Hoorweg.

“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 has also been undertaken to review safety-related updates made to the Isuzu D-MAX and its partner models, the Isuzu MU-X and Mazda BT-50. D-MAX, MU-X and BT-50 vehicles built from July 2022 feature changes to the design of the driver knee airbag and instrument panel that offer improved safety performance. These changes see the Adult Occupant Protection scores adjusted, and a revised 2022 datestamp now applies.

“ANCAP encourages safety improvements as part of mid-life vehicle upgrades to ensure consumers are provided improved levels of safety. 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,” added Ms Hoorweg.

LDV MIFA 9 (Nov 2022 - onwards) frontal offset test at 50km/h

LDV MIFA 9 (Nov 2022 - onwards) oblique pole test at 32km/h

BMW X1 (Jul 2022 – onwards) oblique pole test at 32km/h

BMW X1 (Jul 2022 – onwards) full width frontal test at 50km/h

Fiat 500e (Dec 2022 - onwards) frontal offset test at 50km/h

Fiat 500e (Dec 2022 - onwards) oblique pole test at 32km/h