Safety requirements have come a long way since seatbelts became mandatory just 50 years ago. Today, cars are safer than ever, with technology designed to protect both passengers and pedestrians in the event of an accident and more importantly, prevent one. Now that safety is the standard, it's easier to drive away in your new car reassured. But the question remains, are some cars safer than others in 2021?
The short answer? Yes. That’s why we're highlighting the top picks for 2021 with a 5-star ANCAP* rating.
"ANCAP tests about 95 per cent of all new cars sold on the Australian market, awarding each a safety rating out of five stars, based on rigorous assessments across four key areas – adult-occupant protection, child-occupant protection, vulnerable road-user protection and safety assist. Only those cars that perform to the highest standard across all crash tests and assessments achieve five-star status." - RACV
Buckle up and let’s get into it!
With standard dual frontal, side chest and side head-protecting airbags, autonomous emergency braking, blind spot monitoring, lane support systems and seatbelt reminders, it's easy to understand why this model received a 5-star ANCAP rating. This technology helps keep the Civic on course in adverse driving conditions by detecting, then mitigating, potential understeer or oversteer. When necessary, the vehicle automatically reduces engine power and manages brake pressure to individual wheels to help regain control.
This 5-star rated sedan is loaded with world-class protective and preventative safety features. Including the dual frontal, side chest and side head airbags and a driver knee airbag and advanced seat belt reminders fitted to all seats. There’s no need to worry about blind spots with Subaru's driver and vision assist cameras, designed to keep an eye your surroundings and prevent any unexpected collisions. Unfortunately the autonomous emergency braking and lane support systems are not available on the base variant but are optional or standard on higher variants.
Whether you're taking on slippery streets or steering backwards you can drive with absolute confidence in the WRX and WRX STI. With the superior grip of the legendary Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive system and with a sophisticated rear view reverse camera, its like having eyes in the back of your head. Meaning you can view the camera’s vision on the display monitor in front of you. It’s smart yet simple technology that greatly reduces the risk of any bumps and scrapes when you reverse. Sudden stopping, surprise roadworks, hairpin turns- the electronic driver assist system and stability control helps you gain control if you unexpectedly understeer or oversteer, by applying brakes, reducing engine power and distributing torque to help maintain your safety in extreme situations.
Honda Sensing helps keep you on track and mitigates collisions. Where impact is imminent, a strong emergency brake will be applied automatically as well as a tightening of the seatbelts to help protect the cars occupants. To help combat drivers’ fatigue, adaptive cruise control with Low Speed Follow, allows you to keep a safe distance away from the vehicle in front of you.
The Subaru Outback, a household name by now, is known for its fantastic attention to safety and reliability. The new model is even more dedicated to minimising blind spots and providing excellent visibility in all directions. Designed to give you peace of mind around busy school zones, the front and back seatbelt reminders, reverse automatic braking and rear cross traffic alert are exactly what you need. Subaru’s renowned technologies include the unrivalled ‘Driver Assist system’ called EyeSight®. EyeSight® is your second pair of eyes that monitors the road ahead and recognises potentially dangerous driving situations and gives visual warnings up to 130 metres!
The CRV is quickly becoming a favourite amongst SUV buyers, the vehicle has a great balance of practical and technical capabilities that keep you safe on the road. Young families will be interested to hear all variants come fitted with ISOFIX, the internationally recognised standard for attaching child safety seats making it quick and easy to secure your precious cargo. It also comes with a drivers attention monitor that lets you know If you're looking drowsy and need to pull over for a quick power nap. Lane and hill start assist, and emergency braking keeps you on course in bad driving conditions by detecting, then minimising potential under or oversteer. When necessary, it even reduces engine power and manages brake pressure to individual wheels to help you regain control.
This small SUV is packed with technology facing safety features, from lane change assist to curtain protection airbags there are so many attributes at play. The all-around sensor distribution makes parking, navigating busy intersections or merging onto the highway as safe and easy as possible. These front and rear parking sensors help to minimise the risk of damage to your car and the neighbours letterbox!
The safest and quietest Sportage to date has a system of sensors to identify vehicles approaching from behind, and then alerts the driver through visual alerts on the side mirror to help reduce the blind spots on the side and rear areas. Semi-automatic parking assist makes life easier, no more stressing when you have to do a reverse parallel! Speaking of staying in the lines, a specialised camera placed on top of the dash makes sure you’re staying safely on the road and alerts you when you’re not.
If you haven't noticed by now, Subaru sweeps the field when it comes to safety and the Subaru Forester is no different. This reliable SUV is equipped with a whole suite of safety features, like the reverse automatic braking that detects trouble you don’t see coming and EyeSight® driver assist that acts as a second set of eyes on the road. Have you heard about the revolutionary facial recognition technology that monitors driver's attention? There is so much more to this familiar vehicle than you remember.
This luxury SUV lives up to its name with a certified 5 Star ANCAP rating and more safety technology working behind the scenes than you can imagine. The features work with you, like the wide-angle surround view monitor that displays live footage of your blind spots when you activate the indicator. There is also a parking collision avoidance assist system that warns you with visual/audible alarms and haptic steering whilst also engaging the brakes. The KIA Sorento anticipates collisions before you do.
SsangYong has stepped up to the plate with their new range and achieved their first 5-Star ANCAP rating with the Kurando. The 3 Series is equipped with a full range of driver assistance technologies and performed well in tests of its ability to detect vulnerable road users, either avoiding or mitigating collisions with pedestrians and cyclists across a range of scenarios. It also has autonomous emergency braking and lane keep assistance.
*Choices are based on the Australian New Car Assessment Program (ANCAP).