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CHINA TURNING SAFETY CORNER?

 By Tristan Wiggill

 

Each year, Euro NCAP identifies the models it has tested that have achieved the highest safety scores in their respective classes. In 2013, a total of 33 cars were tested in 7 different categories. The top achievers gained the highest overall  scores, calculated from the results achieved in adult, child, pedestrian protection and safety assist tests.

The 2013 best in class cars are:

• Renault ZOE – Supermini
• Qoros 3 Sedan – Small Family
• Lexus IS 300h – Large Family
• Kia Carens and Ford Tourneo Connect – Small MPV
• Jeep Cherokee – Small off-road 4X4
• Maserati Ghibli – Executive

The interesting thing here is that the Qoros 3 Sedan is the best performer of any car subjected to Euro NCAP's crash tests in 2013, becoming the first vehicle developed in China to achieve the highest five star rating under the overall rating scheme. This is of considerable importance when one considers the lack of internationally recognised vehicle testing of Chinese vehicles in the past, and the inability of that country to produce cars that are as safe as their European, American, Japanese and Korean rivals.

Perhaps not surprisingly, the Qoros 3’s safety development was led by Andy Piper, formerly from Saab Automobile in Sweden. The other issue to consider is that, as Chinese vehicles get safer and more sophisticated, so their prices will rise and their price advantage reduce.

In Euro NCAP’s tests, frontal impact takes place at 64 Km/h, with 40% of the width of the car striking a deformable barrier. In the side impact, a mobile deformable barrier impacts the driver's door at 50 km/h. In the pole test, the car tested is propelled sideways at 29km/h into a rigid pole.

Check out the Qoros crash video: