Best and worst new-car safety tests for 2022
There was a surprise winner in top spot, and a fall from grace from a familiar brand.
The closest field in the history of crash testing by the Australasian New Car Assessment Program has achieved one of the highest five-star success rates in the history of the awards.
The Tesla Model Y electric car was ranked best overall for the past year by ANCAP – despite questions over a hidden computer code that identifies crash test locations to possibly game the system.
The Tesla was rated a few percentage points ahead of the Lexus NX, with the LDV Mifa people mover (including the Mifa 9 electric version) ranked third.
The Honda HR-V was rated lowest by ANCAP, with a four-star score in an era when five-star safety is the norm – and the basic expectation.
Last year, the Mitsubishi Express finished in last place after being awarded a zero-star rating by ANCAP after an abysmal performance in a series of crash tests.
ANCAP tested three other four-star cars in 2022 – Citroen C4, Opel Mokka and Fiat 500e – but they were New Zealand models. The Fiat is expected in Australia in 2023.
“The vast majority of vehicle models continue to achieve five-star ANCAP safety ratings despite (more stringent) criteria,” an ANCAP spokesperson told Drive.
Over the past three years, ANCAP has tested 69 vehicles with one-third of the work done in Australia and two-thirds in Europe.
“It is important to note that, of the third that were tested locally, they account for the majority of local sales,” the ANCAP spokesperson said.
The Tesla Model Y achieved the highest scores in the Adult Occupant Protection (97 per cent) and Safety Assist (98 per cent) assessment areas.
Meanwhile, the Ford Ranger, Ford Everest, Nissan Qashqai and Nissan Pathfinder were equal best for Child Occupant Protection with 93 per cent scores.
The Toyota Corolla Cross was best for Vulnerable Road User Protection at 87 per cent.