2017 Holden Astra earns 5-star ANCAP rating – but not the base model

By David Bonnici, 08 Nov 2016 Car News

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ANCAP crash test

The entry-level Holden Astra R misses out on an ANCAP crash safety rating, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s unsafe.

It’s an unusual situation, but the all-new Holden Astra has been given a 5-star ANCAP safety rating for only two of its three Australian variants.

The upper-spec RS and RS-V models get five stars, however the entry-level R remains unrated.

This is because the ANCAP ratings for Holden’s new small hatch are based on testing conducted by the Euro-NCAP programme, using Europe-market cars with active-safety features, such as autonomous emergency braking , that isn’t available in the base model R.

Holden Astra crash test

Both the Astra RS and RS-V received the ANCAP rating by virtue of passing the Euro-NCAP tests, but those scores can’t apply to the R due to fundamental differences in its active safety suite.

However, the R is structurally identical to the RS and RS-V and features the same level of passive safety equipment rated in the crash test, meaning it should still get a five-star ANCAP rating if tested separately – something Holden doesn’t want to do as crashing cars isn’t a cheap exercise.

According to ANCAP the Astra performed well across a range of structural tests, with pedestrian protection receiving a top-rating ‘Good’.

Holden Astra

The bumper test area scored maximum points for its protection of pedestrians’ legs with good results seen at all test points, while occupant safety was ranged from ‘Acceptable’ to ‘Good’ depending on the type of impact.

These results would most likely apply to the Astra R, but ANCAP chief executive James Goodwin urged buyers to opt for the more expensive RS and RS-V anyway because of the active safety features which help prevent crashes.

“Real world safety benefits are being achieved by these important safety technologies and we encourage consumers to choose a model with these technologies fitted,” Goodwin said.