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Crash test watchdog hits Kia Stinger with a three-star score

By Barry Park, 14 Dec 2017 News

Kia Stinger 2_wide

Buy an entry-level version of Kia’s new rear-drive liftback sedan and it is rated less safe in a crash than the more expensive models

THE Kia Stinger  will wear two different crash test ratings after the independent crash safety watchdog penalised the entry-level sedans for missing vital active driver assist technology – not because it performed poorly in a crash.

The Australasian New Car Assessment Program overnight slugged the Kia Stinger 200S and 330S – one wearing a turbocharged 182kW 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine under its bonnet, and the other a 272kW twin-turbo 3.3-litre V6 – with a three-star safety rating “are supplied without the active safety aids provided in other variants”.

The other four models in the Stinger line-up include autonomous emergency braking and a lane-keeping assist system and gain a top five-star rating.

“Autonomous emergency braking and lane keep assist have been omitted from these grades, reducing their [ANCAP] safety assist score to 25 per cent,”  ANCAP chief executive James Goodwin said.

“Australasian variants also lack rear seat belt pretensioners and load limiters which help manage the forces of a crash, and a penalty has been applied to the full width test score,” he said.

Australasian customers should feel let down that important safety features are being left out of the vehicles we’re being supplied.

“We would urge Kia to offer the same safety specification across all variants and all markets to ensure the best safety outcomes,” Goodwin said.

Kia Australia said it had no comment on the crash test result.

The poor score for the entry-level Stingers, adapted from a European crash test of the vehicle, comes despite the crash safety watchdog scoring the Stinger highly – 84 percent – in occupant protection and 81 percent in child protection in a simulated crash. In contrast, a two-star crash test rating applied to the Ford Mustang coupe was based on a score of just 71 percent for adult protection and 32 percent for child protection.

It also comes in the wake of other cars from Ford and Holden receiving no rating rather than having a lower crash test score applied.

The Korean car maker has responded to ANCAP criticism of the safety of its vehicles in the past. In 2015, after receiving a four-star rating for its strong-selling Carnival, Kia made a number of structural changes to the people-mover to bring it up to a five-star crash rating when it was retested in 2016.