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by Tim Beissmann

The all-new Ford Focus, Hyundai Elantra and Nissan Leaf have been awarded maximum five-star safety ratings by the Australasian New Car Assessment Program (ANCAP) in the latest round of crash testing.

The new Ford Focus, which goes on sale in Australia in August, scored 34.17 points out of 37. It achieved a score of 15.04 out of 16 in the offset crash test and 15.13 out of 16 in the side impact crash test.

The report said there was a slight risk of serious lower leg and chest injury for the driver.

The Focus scored an additional two points for completing the pole test and for having front seatbelt reminders fitted as standard. The model tested was equipped six airbags and front seatbelt pretensioners. The Focus misses out on a driver’s knee airbag, and rear seatbelt reminders and pretensioners.

It scored an ‘acceptable’ rating in the pedestrian protection test.

Next up was the Nissan Leaf, which scored 33.62 points out of 37. In the offset crash test it managed 13.62 out of 16 while it achieved a perfect 16 in the side impact crash test. The report said protection from serious leg injury was marginal for the driver and front passenger.

Like the Focus, the Leaf was awarded four bonus points for completing the pole test and featuring front seatbelt reminders. It also scored an ‘acceptable’ rating in the pedestrian protection test.

The Leaf tested is equipped identically to the Focus, with front seatbelt pretensioners, but no driver’s knee airbag, or rear seatbelt pretensioners or reminders.

The Nissan Leaf goes on sale in Australia in 2012.

Finally, the Hyundai Elantra scored 33.21 points out of 37, recording 14.24 out of 16 for the offset crash test and 13.97 out of 16 in the side impact crash test. The report said there was a slight risk of serious chest injury for the driver and a slight risk of lower leg injury for the driver and passenger.

Two points were award for the pole test, and the Elantra earned the full three points for having seatbelt reminders for all passengers.

The Elantra is yet to be put through a pedestrian crash test.

The Elantra is not available with a driver’s knee airbag or rear seatbelt pretensioners.

The Hyundai Elantra is being launched today, and will be on public display at the 2011 Australian International Motor Show in Melbourne.




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