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Friday, August 12, 2022

Australia’s worst and best used car safety ratings

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There are ANCAP safety ratings for new cars, but what about used cars?

Monash University’s Vehicle Safety Research Group has teamed up with Australia’s auto clubs and state road authorities to give 289 different used vehicles a safety rating.

Like ANCAP, the 2021 Used Car Safety Ratings (UCSR) range from one to five stars.

Unlike ANCAP, which subjects new cars to a testing regimen that culminates in cars getting smashed into barriers, the used car safety ratings are instead based on independent analysis of real-world crash statistics.

That means instead of setting criteria and benchmarks for expected performance, the UCSR is about looking at how vehicles on Australian roads perform relative to each other.

The team at Monash looks at a person’s risk of death or serious injury in a crash and how that relates to the type of vehicle they’re driving, collecting data from police crash reports as well as from vehicle registers.

Demographic factors are taken into account in the analysis, with ratings adjusted based on:

  • Gender
  • Age
  • Number of vehicles involved in the crash
  • Crash location
  • Crash year
  • Speed limit

The complex statistical analysis sets aside the risk of being involved in a crash in the first place, which is influenced by factors like the vehicle’s technology, the driver’s behaviour, the road environment or the condition of the vehicle.

“There’s X number of these vehicles involved in a crash, [and we look at] what proportion of the drivers were killed or seriously injured in this vehicle versus that vehicle after you’ve taken all the other factors into account,” said associate professor Stuart Newstead of the Monash University Accident Research Centre.

The team look primarily at the protection for a driver, considering a majority of the time vehicles on the road have only a single occupant, but it also looks at the chance of you being injured by this car as a pedestrian, cyclist or other road user.

The relative popularity of a vehicle has no impact on its rating in the report, other than to ensure its presence. For example, lower-volume vehicles from the likes of Chery and Ferrari don’t feature on the report as there’s less accident data available.

The team also awards Safer Pick ratings, which also take into account the risk of death or serious injury to other road users and the likelihood of an accident based on the crash avoidance technology fitted.

“A driver of the worst vehicle rated is over eight times more likely to be killed or seriously injured in the same crash than the same driver in the safest vehicle,” said Associate Professor Newstead.

The report notes 64 per cent of vehicle fatalities in 2020 occurred in vehicles aged 10 years or older, while the average risk of serious injury or death in a 2019 vehicle is around 47 per cent less than a 2000 vehicle and 61 per cent less than a vehicle manufactured prior to 1990.

“What the used car safety ratings then also do is reflect naturally some of the things that happen in the fleet,” said Associate Professor Newstead.

“If you’re driving a very small car, you’re at a disadvantage in the real world because you’re getting hit by a lot heavier things so the crash energy that you sustain is more, and so that vehicle has to work harder.

“As you see in the Used Car Safety Ratings, more of the bigger cars score well because in the real world that’s what happens. If you’re in a Suzuki Swift getting hit by a LandCruiser 200 Series, you’d probably prefer to be in a LandCruiser 200.

“That’s not to say if you want a light car you shouldn’t buy one, but you should be conscious of what that means when you take it out on the road.

“And I think it’s particularly pertinent for when you’re, for example, shopping for a car for a novice driver who as you know has a very high crash risk, you want to know how they’re going to perform in the real world.”

Associate Professor Newstead says given the lower ratings for most light cars, it would be wise to instead go up a size when buying a used car and look at, for example, a used Ford Focus.

While a car assessed by ANCAP keeps its star rating until it’s tested again, every vehicle in the UCSR is updated annually. As cars get safer and safer, what was once a five-star car could slip down in the ratings.

In addition to analysing the data for the UCSR, the Vehicle Safety Research Group also produces research on safety features.

Here’s a rundown of the Used Car Safety Ratings:

Light cars

Model Year Star rating
Daihatsu Charade 1993-2000
Daihatsu Sirion 1998-2004
Ford Fiesta 2004-2008
Ford Festiva 1994-2001
Holden Barina 1995-2000
Holden Barina (XC)/Combo 2001-2012
Holden Barina 2005-2011
Hyundai Getz 2002-2011
Kia Rio 2000-2005
Kia Rio 2005-2011
Mazda 121 Metro 1997-2002
Mazda 2 2002-2007
Mitsubishi Colt 2004-2011
Nissan Micra 2011-2016
Peugeot 206 1999-2007
Suzuki Swift 2005-2010
Suzuki Swift 2011-2017
Toyota Echo 1999-2005
Ford Fiesta 2009-2018 ★★
Holden Barina 2011-2018 ★★
Honda Jazz/Fit 2002-2008 ★★
Honda Jazz/Fit 2008-2014 ★★
Hyundai i20 2010-2015 ★★
Mazda 2 2007-2014 ★★
Toyota Yaris/Vitz 2005-2011 ★★
Toyota Yaris/Vitz 2011-2019 ★★
Kia Rio 2011-2016 ★★★
Honda City 2009-2013 ★★★★
Volkswagen Polo 2010-2017 ★★★★

Small cars

Model Year Star rating
Daewoo Lanos 1997-2003
Daewoo Nubira 1997-2003
Ford Laser 1999-2003
Holden Astra 1998-2006
Honda Civic 1996-2000
Honda Integra 1993-2001
Hyundai Accent 1995-2000
Hyundai Accent 2000-2006
Hyundai Lantra 1996-2000
Hyundai Elantra 2000-2006
Hyundai Excel 1995-2000
Kia Cerato 2004-2008
Mazda 323 1999-2003
Mitsubishi Lancer/Mirage 1996-2003
Mitsubishi Lancer 2002-2003
Mitsubishi Lancer 2003-2007
Nissan 200SX/Silvia 1994-2002
Nissan Pulsar 2000-2005
Nissan Tiida 2006-2013
Subaru Impreza 1993-2000
Suzuki Baleno 1995-2002
Toyota Corolla/Allex 1998-2001
Ford Focus 2002-2005 ★★
Holden Astra 2004-2009 ★★
Holden Viva 2005-2009 ★★
Honda Civic 2001-2005 ★★
Honda Civic 2012-2016 ★★
Hyundai Elantra 2006-2011 ★★
Hyundai Elantra 2011-2015 ★★
Kia Cerato 2009-2013 ★★
Peugeot 306 1994-2001 ★★
Suzuki Liana 2001-2007 ★★
Toyota Corolla 2001-2007 ★★
Toyota Corolla 2007-2013 ★★
Toyota MR2 1991-2000 ★★
Ford Focus 2005-2012 ★★★
Holden Cruze 2009-2016 ★★★
Honda Civic 2006-2011 ★★★
Hyundai Accent 2011-2019 ★★★
Hyundai i30 2007-2012 ★★★
Hyundai i30 2012-2017 ★★★
Mazda 3 2003-2009 ★★★
Mazda 3 2009-2013 ★★★
Mitsubishi Lancer 2007-2017 ★★★
Nissan Pulsar (B17 sedan) 2012-2017 ★★★
Peugeot 308 2008-2013 ★★★
Subaru BRZ 2012-2019 ★★★
Subaru Impreza 2001-2007 ★★★
Toyota 86 2012-2019 ★★★
Toyota Corolla 2012-2019 ★★★
Toyota Prius 2 2003-2009 ★★★
Volkswagen Golf/Bora 1999-2004 ★★★
Volvo S40/V40 1997-2004 ★★★
BMW 1 Series 2004-2013 ★★★★
Ford Focus 2012-2018 ★★★★
Kia Cerato 2013-2018 ★★★★
Mazda 3 2013-2019 ★★★★
Peugeot 307 2001-2009 ★★★★
Subaru Impreza 2007-2011 ★★★★
Volkswagen Golf/Jetta 2004-2009 ★★★★
Volkswagen Golf/Jetta 2010-2013 ★★★★
Volkswagen Golf (Mk7/7.5) 2013-2019 ★★★★
Mercedes-Benz B-Class (W246) 2012-2018 ★★★★★
Audi A3 2004-2013 ★★★★★ – Safer Pick
Audi A3/S3/RS3 2013-2019 ★★★★★ – Safer Pick
BMW 1 Series 2011-2019 ★★★★★ – Safer Pick
Mercedes-Benz A-Class (W176) 2012-2018 ★★★★★ – Safer Pick
Subaru Impreza/XV 2012-2016 ★★★★★ – Safer Pick
Toyota Prius 3 2009-2016 ★★★★★ – Safer Pick

Medium cars

Model Year Star rating
Holden Vectra 1997-2003
Hyundai Sonata 1998-2001
Mazda 626 1998-2002
Toyota Camry 1997-2002
Audi A4 1995-2001 ★★
BMW 3 Series (E46) 1999-2006 ★★
Ford Mondeo 1995-2001 ★★
Mazda 6 2002-2007 ★★
Mercedes-Benz C-Class (W202) 1994-2000 ★★
Mercedes-Benz C-Class (W203) 2000-2010 ★★
Saab 900/9-3 1994-2002 ★★
Subaru Liberty/Outback 1999-2003 ★★
Toyota Avalon 2000-2005 ★★
Toyota Camry 2002-2006 ★★
Holden Vectra 2003-2005 ★★★
Honda Accord 1999-2002 ★★★
Honda Accord 2003-2007 ★★★
Honda Accord Euro 2003-2008 ★★★
Honda Accord Euro 2008-2015 ★★★
Lexus IS200/IS300 1999-2004 ★★★
Mazda 6 2008-2011 ★★★
Subaru Liberty/Outback 2003-2009 ★★★
Toyota Aurion 2012-2017 ★★★
Audi A4 2001-2008 ★★★★
BMW 3 Series 2005-2013 ★★★★
Ford Mondeo 2007-2015 ★★★★
Honda Accord 2008-2013 ★★★★
Lexus IS250/IS350/IS F 2005-2013 ★★★★
Mercedes-Benz C-Class (W204/C204) 2007-2015 ★★★★
Toyota Aurion 2006-2012 ★★★★
Toyota Camry 2006-2011 ★★★★
Volkswagen Passat 2006-2015 ★★★★
Toyota Camry 2011-2017 ★★★★★
Audi A4/S4/RS4/Allroad 2008-2015 ★★★★★ – Safer Pick
Mercedes-Benz C-Class (W205/S205/C205/A205) 2014-2019 ★★★★★ – Safer Pick
Mercedes-Benz CLK (C209) 2003-2009 ★★★★★ – Safer Pick
Subaru Liberty/Outback/Exiga 2009-2014 ★★★★★ – Safer Pick

Large cars

Model Year Star rating
Ford Fairlane/LTD (AU) 1999-2002
Ford Falcon (AU) 1998-2002
Holden Commodore (VT/VX) 1997-2002
Holden Statesman/Caprice (WH) 1999-2003
Mitsubishi Magna/Verada 1996-2003
Mitsubishi Magna/Verada 2003-2005
Ford Fairlane/LTD (BA/BF) 2003-2007 ★★
Holden Commodore (VY/VZ) 2002-2007 ★★
Holden Monaro 2001-2005 ★★
Jaguar XJ 2010-2019 ★★
Nissan Maxima 2000-2002 ★★
Nissan Maxima 2006-2009 ★★
Ford Falcon (BA/BF) 2002-2008 ★★★
Holden Statesman/Caprice (WK/WL) 2003-2006 ★★★
Mercedes-Benz E-Class (W210) 1996-2002 ★★★
Mitsubishi 380 2005-2008 ★★★
BMW 5 Series (E39) 1996-2003 ★★★★
BMW 5 Series (E60) 2003-2010 ★★★★
Holden Commodore (VE) 2006-2013 ★★★★
Holden Statesman/Caprice (WM/WN) 2006-2017 ★★★★
Ford Falcon (FG/FG X) 2008-2016 ★★★★★
Holden Commodore (VF) 2013-2017 ★★★★★
Mercedes-Benz E-Class (W211) 2002-2009 ★★★★★
Mercedes-Benz E-Class (W212/C207/A207) 2009-2016 ★★★★★ – Safer Pick

Small SUVs

Vehicle Year Star rating
Kia Sportage 1998-2003
Suzuki SX4 2007-2014
Hyundai Tucson 2004-2010 ★★
Mitsubishi ASX 2010-2016 ★★★
Hyundai ix35 2010-2015 ★★★★
Hyundai Tucson 2015-2019 ★★★★
Kia Sportage 2010-2015 ★★★★
Nissan Dualis 2007-2013 ★★★★
Volkswagen Tiguan 2008-2016 ★★★★

Medium SUVs

Model Year Star rating
Suzuki Grand Vitara 1998-2005
Toyota RAV4 1994-2000
Ford Escape 2001-2006 ★★
Ford Escape 2006-2012 ★★
Holden Jackaroo/Isuzu Bighorn 1998-2002 ★★
Honda CR-V 1997-2001 ★★
Jepp Cherokee 1996-2000 ★★
Mazda Tribute 2001-2006 ★★
Mazda Tribute 2006-2008 ★★
Mitsubishi Challenger 1998-2006 ★★
Mitsubishi Outlander 2003-2006 ★★
Nissan X-Trail 2001-2007 ★★
Subaru Forester 1997-2002 ★★
Suzuki Grand Vitara 2005-2008 ★★
Toyota RAV4 2001-2005 ★★
Holden Captiva 2006-2018 ★★★
Nissan Pathfinder/Terrano/Regulus 1995-2005 ★★★
Nissan X-Trail 2007-2014 ★★★
Subaru Forester 2002-2008 ★★★
Toyota RAV4 2006-2012 ★★★
Toyota RAV4 2013-2019 ★★★
Ford Territory 2004-2010 ★★★★
Honda CR-V 2002-2006 ★★★★
Honda CR-V 2007-2012 ★★★★
Honda CR-V 2012-2017 ★★★★
Hyundai Santa Fe 2000-2006 ★★★★
Jeep Cherokee 2001-2007 ★★★★
Jeep Wrangler 2007-2018 ★★★★
Mazda CX-5 2012-2017 ★★★★
Mazda CX-7 2006-2012 ★★★★
Mitsubishi Outlander 2012-2019 ★★★★
Subaru Forester 2008-2012 ★★★★
Suzuki Grand Vitara 2008-2018 ★★★★
Toyota Kluger 2003-2007 ★★★★
Ford Territory 2011-2016 ★★★★★
Hyundai Santa Fe 2006-2012 ★★★★★
Lexus RX 2009-2015 ★★★★★
Subaru Tribeca 2006-2014 ★★★★★
Toyota Kluger 2007-2013 ★★★★★
Audi Q5/SQ5 2009-2016 ★★★★★ – Safer Pick
BMW X3 2010-2017 ★★★★★ – Safer Pick
Ford Kuga 2013-2016 ★★★★★ – Safer Pick
Hyundai Santa Fe 2012-2018 ★★★★★ – Safer Pick
Mitsubishi Outlander 2006-2012 ★★★★★ – Safer Pick
Nissan Murano 2009-2015 ★★★★★ – Safer Pick
Peugeot 4007 2006-2012 ★★★★★ – Safer Pick
Subaru Forester 2012-2018 ★★★★★ – Safer Pick
Toyota Kluger 2013-2019 ★★★★★ – Safer Pick
Volvo XC60 2009-2017 ★★★★★ – Safer Pick

Large SUVs

Model Year Star rating
Kia Sorento 2003-2009 ★★★
Land Rover Discovery 1991-2002 ★★★
Lexus LX 1998-2007 ★★★
Lexus LX 2007-2019 ★★★
Toyota LandCruiser 100 Series 1998-2007 ★★★
Toyota LandCruiser 200 Series 2007-2019 ★★★
Toyota LandCruiser Prado 1996-2003 ★★★
Mazda CX-9 2007-2015 ★★★★
Mitsubishi Pajero 2000-2006 ★★★★
Nissan Patrol 1998-2016 ★★★★
Toyota LandCruiser Prado 2002-2009 ★★★★
Land Rover Discovery 2009-2016 ★★★★★
Mitsubishi Pajero 2007-2019 ★★★★★
Nissan Pathfinder 2005-2013 ★★★★★
Nissan Pathfinder 2013-2019 ★★★★★
Toyota LandCruiser Prado 2009-2019 ★★★★★
Audi Q7 2006-2014 ★★★★★ – Safer Pick
BMW X5 2001-2006 ★★★★★ – Safer Pick
BMW X5 2007-2013 ★★★★★ – Safer Pick
Isuzu MU-X 2013-2019 ★★★★★ – Safer Pick
Jeep Grand Cherokee 2010-2019 ★★★★★ – Safer Pick
Mercedes-Benz ML 1998-2005 ★★★★★ – Safer Pick
Mercedes-Benz ML/GL 2005-2011 ★★★★★ – Safer Pick
Mercedes-Benz ML/GLE and GL/GLS 2012-2019 ★★★★★ – Safer Pick
Volvo XC90 2003-2015 ★★★★★ – Safer Pick

People movers

Model Year Star rating
Honda Odyssey 1995-2000 ★★
Kia Carnival 1999-2006 ★★★
Toyota Avensis Verso 2001-2010 ★★★
Toyota Tarago/Previa/Estima 2000-2006 ★★★
Toyota Tarago/Previa/Estima 2006-2019 ★★★
Honda Odyssey 2004-2009 ★★★★
Kia Carnival 2006-2011 ★★★★
Kia Carnival 2014-2019 ★★★★★

Vans

Model Year Star rating
Mitsubishi Express 1994-2013
Toyota HiAce/Liteace 1996-2004
Toyota HiAce 2005-2019 ★★★
Volkswagen Caddy 2005-2019 ★★★
Ford Transit 2001-2007 ★★★★
Mercedes-Benz Sprinter 1998-2006 ★★★★
Mercedes-Benz Sprinter 2006-2018 ★★★★
Hyundai iLoad 2008-2019 ★★★★★
Mercedes-Benz Vito/Viano/Valente 2004-2015 ★★★★★
Volkswagen Caravelle/Transporter/Multivan 2004-2015 ★★★★★

Utes

Model Year Star rating
Holden Commodore Ute (VR/VS) 1994-2000
Holden Commodore Ute (VU) 2000-2002
Holden Rodeo 1999-2002
Mitsubishi Triton 1996-2006
Ford Courier 1998-2002 ★★
Ford Courier 2003-2006 ★★
Ford Falcon Ute (AU) 2000-2002 ★★
Holden Rodeo 2003-2008 ★★
Mazda B-Series 1998-2002 ★★
Mazda Bravo 2003-2006 ★★
Toyota HiLux 1998-2002 ★★
Toyota HiLux 2003-2004 ★★
Ford Falcon Ute (BA/BF) 2003-2008 ★★★
Ford Ranger 2006-2011 ★★★
Holden Colorado 2008-2011 ★★★
Holden Commodore Ute (VY/VZ) 2002-2007 ★★★
Isuzu D-Max 2008-2011 ★★★
Mazda BT-50 2006-2011 ★★★
Mitsubishi Triton 2006-2015 ★★★
Nissan Navara 1997-2005 ★★★
Toyota HiLux 2005-2015 ★★★
Ford Falcon Ute (FG/FG X) 2008-2016 ★★★★
Holden Commodore Ute (VE) 2007-2013 ★★★★
Nissan Navara 2005-2015 ★★★★
Ford Ranger 2011-2015 ★★★★★
Holden Colorado 2012-2019 ★★★★★
Mazda BT-50 2011-2015 ★★★★★
Volkswagen Amarok 2011-2019 ★★★★★

MORE: ANCAP ratings: everything you need to know
MORE: Australia’s best-selling cars without ANCAP ratings
MORE: What’s next for ANCAP?

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