Holden Cruze hatch arriving in NZ with five-star safety

October 6th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

Holden’s Cruze hatchback will be arriving here in NZ shortly and will arrive with the highest possible five-star ANCAP safety rating.

Launching in November, the GM Holden designed and built Cruze hatch maintains the same safety standards set by the Series II Cruze sedan, which went on sale here earlier this year.

Like the sedan, the hatch receives the maximum safety rating thanks to a range of active and passive safety features included as standard.

Six airbags including driver and front passenger, front side impact and side curtain airbags, electronic stability control, anti-lock braking system, electronic brakeforce distribution, traction control and a collapsible pedal assembly system all come as standard kit.

The entire Cruze range benefits from a robust body structure and a advanced chassis system, which delivers accident avoidance capabilities. There’s also energy-absorbing load paths that protect the passenger safety cell and offer optimum protection in the event of a collision. Continue reading “Holden Cruze hatch arriving in NZ with five-star safety” »

New 2012 Holden Barina scores 5-Star safety rating

September 19th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

The upcoming 2012 Holden Barina hatch has been awarded a maximum five-star safety rating from the Australasian New Car Assessment Program (ANCAP).

The new hatch is set to go on sale later this year, with a long list of standard safety features which will make it one of the safer options in the segment. Safety features on the all-new car include driver, front passenger, front side and curtain airbags, dual front seatbelt pretensioners, seatbelt reminders, Electronic Stability Control, a collapsible pedal release system and head restraints for all seats.

Holden New Zealand Managing Director, Jeff Murray, said the result proved that when it comes to buying a small car you don’t need to compromise on safety. “We are very happy with this result, it absolutely reflects the commitment Holden has made to ensuring the Barina is one of the safest small cars on the road,” Murray said. “Now a large number of safety features are accessible to all Holden customers, and it doesn’t necessarily have to be dependent upon budget or car size.” Continue reading “New 2012 Holden Barina scores 5-Star safety rating” »

VW Amarok Highline first ute to score ANCAP 5-star safety

March 14th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

ANCAP (Australasian New Car Assessment Program) has awarded its first 5-star safety rating to the Volkswagen Amarok 4WD Highline ute.

The Amarok is now the first double cab ute in the New Zealand market to achieve this rating and is a huge sign of confidence in this new contender to the ute market which was officially launched in New Zealand on 14 February 2011.

Utes often double as both workhorse and family transport and so this 5-star rating of the Amarok Double Cab Highline comes as a boost to VW’s expected sales in the NZ market. For the record, the vehicle scored 16 out of 16 in the side impact crash test and is the first dual-cab utility to ever receive a 5-star rating from ANCAP.

The Amarok is based on an internally developed rugged ladder frame. High-strength steel gives this chassis an exceptionally high level of crash safety,de-coupling the cab from the frame results in optimal torsional resilience which is especially advantageous for the Amarok‟s driving behaviour on rugged roads, providing strength especially in the area behind the passenger compartment.

The Amarok has ESP (Electronic Stability Programme) including off-road ESP as standard across the range. ESP prevents the vehicle from breaking away and also takes into account information on load status. Off-road ESP is activated by the touch of a button and gives more control as well as reducing stopping distances on loose surfaces. Continue reading “VW Amarok Highline first ute to score ANCAP 5-star safety” »

Holden Ute – first NZ ute to get 5-Star safety

October 20th, 2009 by Darren Cottingham

Holden VE Ute fq

Holden’s VE Ute range has become the first utility in New Zealand to receive a maximum five star safety rating from the Australasian New Car Assessment Program (ANCAP) or the Euro New Car Assessment Program (EuroNCAP).

This follows the announcement last month that Holden achieved another New Zealand safety first by launching the first utility vehicle to offer six airbags as standard across the range.

The latest result means Holden’s entire Australian manufactured vehicle range now carries a five star safety rating from ANCAP.

The ANCAP result reflects the long list of safety features found standard across the VE Ute range including side impact airbags, curtain airbags and Electronic Stability Control (ESC) which incorporates Anti-lock Braking System (ABS), Electronic Brakeforce Distribution (EBD), Electronic Brake Assist (EBA) and Traction Control System (TCS).

Holden Vehicle Structure & Safety Integration Manager, Steve Curtis said Holden had a long and proud history of delivering safety firsts.

New Suzuki Alto – cheapest new car in NZ

September 28th, 2009 by Darren Cottingham

Suzuki Alt fqr

Suzuki’s all-new five-door Alto hatchback has arrived on the twentieth anniversary of the launching of the original version.

The latest seventh generation Alto is a far cry from the 1979 Alto SS80 which was assembled at the Suzuki plant in Wanganui.

The newest rendition is larger, stronger and higher specified, yet uses less fuel and boasts lower emission levels. It is the only car in its class with six air bags as standard. There is clear lineage, however, between the first generation Alto and the European inspired 2009 model.

Both are front wheel driven and are powered by three-cylinder engines, although the new Alto has a larger capacity motor producing more power.

In 5-speed manual gearbox form, the stylish Alto has a recommended retail price of $16,990, including on road costs, while the four-stage automatic transmission version is $18,500.

“Alto will redefine the term ‘value motoring’ with the lowest new car price currently available,” said Gary Collins, Automobile Sales Manager for Suzuki New Zealand Ltd. “Not only is the Suzuki $1,000 less than its nearest rival, it has two more air bags, superior fuel economy and far lower emissions,”

Aerodynamic styling translates into low wind noise and efficient operation while engine noise is well suppressed for enhanced occupant comfort.

The distinctive body shape majors on a smooth front end, large windscreen and bold headlamp design, elements that contribute to a low drag coefficient of 0.30.

New Alto is the fifth and smallest member of the Suzuki world strategic models and, with an overall length of 3,500mm, is only marginally smaller than the top-selling Suzuki Swift.

The concept was to build an eco friendly car with low CO2 emissions, low fuel consumption and lightness through downsizing.

At the same time, the car had to be smartly designed and embody a roomy, comfortable cabin with a good level of appointment.

One specification level is available in New Zealand in a package that includes power steering, electric operation for the front windows, air conditioning with pollen filter, digital clock, six air bags, front seat belt pretensioners, anti lock braking with electronic brake force distribution (EBD) function and brake assist function and full size spare wheel and tyre.

The Alto comes with halogen multi-reflector headlights, two-speed wipers with intermittent action, two trip meters and a rear window wiper and washer. A stereo audio tuner with compact disc/MP3 and auxiliary input socket for MP3 player is also standard.

In manual gearbox form, the car has a curb weight of 855 kg, rising to 880 kg for the automatic. The Alto scored four stars in recent ANCAP safety ratings.

There are twin front air bags, plus side and curtain air bags, energy absorbing trim and a head impact protection pad.  The brake pedal is designed to protect the foot in the event of an accident, and the car also includes ISO FIX child seat restraints, child-proof rear door locks, side impact beams front and rear and an engine immobiliser.

Alto’s new K10B double overhead camshaft engine is the result of three years’ development. This multi-point fuel injected three-cylinder unit has four valves per cylinder with an offset crankshaft offering better volumetric efficiency.

With a piston displacement of 996 cm3, the K10B develops 50 kW of power at 6,000 rpm and 90 Nm of torque at 4,800 rpm.

In the official combined fuel cycle test, the Alto manual averages 4.8 litres/100 km (58.85 miles per gallon), while the automatic versions achieves 5.5 litres/100 km (51.36 miles per gallon).

With automatic transmission, the Alto has a top speed of 150 km/h, rising to 154 km/h for the manual gearbox variant. Ventilated disc brakes are fitted up front with rear drums, and the 14-inch diameter steel wheels are fitted with 155/65R tyres. Front suspension is by MacPherson struts and coil springs, with a highly rigid suspension frame complemented by further strengthening in the strut mounting areas for better handling.

The rear suspension comprises Suzuki’s proprietary three-link rigid axle design which has been tuned for optimum handling and stability in extensive testing on European roads.

Alto sits on a 2,360 mm wheelbase, is 1,470 mm high, a trim 1,600 mm wide, and has 150 mm ground clearance.

Ford won’t match Holden for ute safety

September 23rd, 2009 by Darren Cottingham

Ford FG Falcon Ute airbags

Ford Australia has just confirmed that it won’t be increasing the number of airbags in its range of FG Falcon utes. There was speculation on whether Ford would offer side and curtain airbags as standard. This came after another recent announcement from Holden that the entire 2010 Commodore ute line-up will feature six airbags from the factory.

In base-model guise, the Ford Falcon ute currently scores 4-Stars in ANCAP tests. To achieve a 5-Star rating a vehicle must pass a side-impact pole test.

Ford is offering an optional safety package that includes side, head and thorax airbags for its FG ute range, and stability control is available on base model utes as a factory option. Now its been revealed that there’s no plans to make these safety features standard for all model variants.

In justifying the decision, Ford Australia President and CEO Marin Burela said ute customers preferred to have the extra safety kit available, but did not want it fitted as standard if it meant a price increase.

Mr Burela also said that Ford Australia would be keeping a keen eye on how buyers react to Holden’s new safety-enhanced Commodore ute over the coming months, and making the safety pack standard-fit across the Falcon ute range wasn’t entirely out of the question.

The FG Falcon sedan range currently has a full 5-Star ANCAP rating.

Updated Commodore range awarded top safety rating

August 31st, 2009 by Darren Cottingham

Holden Commodore 2010 fq

The new 2010 Holden Commodore, along with the 2010 Statesman and Caprice, has achieved a 5-Star crash safety rating after tests with the Australasian New Car Assessment Program (ANCAP).

The Commodore achieved its first 5-Star ANCAP rating with the 2009 update to the VE range, after a front passenger seat belt reminder was added and a crumple zone around the steering column to divert harmful impact away from the driver’s knees.

Standard safety features across the Commodore and Statesman range currently includes six airbags and Electronic Stability Control, incorporating Anti-Lock Brakes, Electronic Brakeforce Distribution, Electronic Brake Assist and a Traction Control System.

After the tests the VE Commodore ute has kept its previous 4-Star rating.

The 2010 Commodore and Statesman ranges will be launched in September.

Holden Sportwagon makes Aussie car-safety history

March 12th, 2009 by Darren Cottingham

Holden Sportwagon

Holden’s VE Sportwagon has become the first Australian made wagon to receive a maximum five star safety rating from the Australasian New Car Assessment Program (ANCAP).

The result reflects the long list of safety features found standard across the VE Sportwagon range including six airbags, rear park assist and Electronic Stability Control (ESC) which incorporates Anti-lock Braking System (ABS), Electronic Brakeforce Distribution (EBD), Electronic Brake Assist (EBA) and Traction Control System (TCS).

The Sportwagon range also has a steering column shroud energy absorber that helps to reduce driver knee injuries.  The Omega model features a passenger seat belt reminder.

Holden New Zealand Managing Director Simon Carr said Holden had always been very confident in this vehicle’s real world safety capabilities.

“As a family car there should be no compromise in safety and the ANCAP endorsement is a very clear indication that with Sportwagon there is no such thing.”

GM Holden is committed to making the passenger seat belt reminder feature standard across the VE range from mid 2009 production.

Click here to read a road test of the Holden Calais Sportwagon

Click here to read a road test of the HSV R8 Tourer

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