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” »

New Viper to have stability control and 2012 production

April 18th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

Dodge has just released a teaser image of its next generation, 2013 Viper, pictured above.

Looks just like the old Viper? Well, sadly it is, the car in the photo is actually a test mule for the 2013 Dodge Viper, built on a 2010 chassis. This teaser image was taken during a cold weather testing session for the Viper’s new stability control system. Along with the image came the announcement that Dodge will equip the next-gen Viper with stability control, which should be one of many advancements for the long-serving model.

Few other details have been released so far on the much anticipated Viper but word is that it will come out with between 600 and 700 horsepower but engine size and induction remains unknown.

The car manufacturer announced that the future Dodge Viper will come on the market towards the end of 2012, when it will compete in the “Super Car Olympics”. Continue reading “New Viper to have stability control and 2012 production” »

Stability control now standard on all new NZ Suzuki cars

January 28th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

Suzuki NZ has just taken a step up the safety ladder with the announcement that electronic stability control will be fitted on all its new passenger car models sold in New Zealand.

The technology, is now standard specification across the Suzuki range, from the least costly Alto hatchback to the most expensive Kizashi executive sedan.

“We are delighted this potentially life-saving feature is included in all our new cars,” said Tom Peck, General Manager of Marketing for Suzuki New Zealand. “ESP is the most important step forward in motor vehicle occupant safety since the seat belt and we have made it our mantra for it to be available to more New Zealand motorists,” he said.

Arrival of the all-new sixth generation Suzuki Swift with standard ESP on each variant has completed the availability of the safety technology on all passenger models marketed by the brand.

According to several international safety agencies, one-third of fatal road accidents could have been prevented by ESP. From September this year, ESP will be mandatory on all new cars sold in the United States. It will also be a requirement in Australia by November 2013, and in Europe by 2014.

The technology features a series of sensors mounted at each wheel, on the steering wheels and in the centre of the car. These sensors constantly measure information at the rate of 50 times a second.

When understeer or oversteer is detected, ESP reduces engine torque and applies hydraulic pressure at the target wheel to ensure smooth, safe driving. Continue reading “Stability control now standard on all new NZ Suzuki cars” »

New 2012 Mazda BT-50 to have Dynamic Stability Control

December 17th, 2010 by Darren Cottingham

Mazda has just announced that the all-new 2012 BT-50 ute will be fitted with its own brand of stability and traction control technology – Dynamic Stability Control (DSC).

Mazda’s DSC system is already included as standard fare across the company’s passenger car range, but hasn’t been offered with the 2010 BT-50. The current model BT-50 does have Electronic Brakeforce Distribution, which increases stopping power while maintaining control of the vehicle.

Expected for sale in New Zealand at the end of next year, the next-gen BT-50 is currently undergoing testing in Australia, including calibration of the new DSC system.

“If you consider how the new BT-50 is likely to be used, it becomes clear just how many situations have to be taken into account to ensure that the Dynamic Stability Control system meets the needs of each and every driver,” Mazda Australia Engineering and Compliance Manager, Wayne Watson said.

“Mazda engineers have spent months calibrating and fine tuning the Dynamic Stability Control system to ensure maximum safety and durability.”

Check back for more news on the new Mazda BT-50 as it becomes available. Continue reading “New 2012 Mazda BT-50 to have Dynamic Stability Control” »

ANCAP test results see VW Polo on top with Toyota Camry falling short

April 28th, 2010 by Darren Cottingham

The latest round of ANCAP crash-safety tests have concluded and the 2010 Volkswagen Polo has come out trumps with a 5-Star safety rating. Both the 2010 Toyota Hybrid Camry and the updated Great Wall X240 each scored a 4-Star rating.

The Polo’s 5-Star rating is no real surprise with the 2010 World Car of the Year already achieving the same rating under Europe’s similar Euro NCAP program.

The Hybrid Camry’s 4-Star rating – expected for some time and now official – has been the subject of some controversy today, with Toyota issuing a statement that seriously questions the ANCAP testing process.

A reactionary statement from ANCAP Chair Lauchlan McIntosh was released that took a shot back at Toyota, pointing to the fact that the Hybrid Camry’s crash testing showed results almost identical to the 2007 Camry, while the Great Wall X240 has moved up from two stars to four in less than a year.

The Hybrid Camry is fairly well equipped and offers six airbags and electronic stability control. The reasons for missing out on top marks was the lack of a passenger seatbelt warning, and a steering column that is considered by ANCAP to be a potential danger to a driver’s knees in an accident.

Interestingly, Great Wall X240 which also scored 4-stars is not fitted with curtain airbags and does not even offer electronic stability control – a feature deemed so important that the Australian Federal Government has made it mandatory on new vehicles from November next year.

To read a Car and SUV road test of the Great Wall X240, click here.

To read a Car and SUV road test of the Volkswagen Polo, click here.