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by Tim Beissmann

The Chery J11 has achieved one of the worst crash test results in recent years, with the Australasian New Car Assessment Program (ANCAP) handing the Chinese-built SUV a lowly two-star rating.

The two-star result is the poorest rating for any vehicle other than a light commercial vehicle, and puts the J11 on par with the cut-price Mahindra Pik-Up and the Great Wall V240 utilities. According to ANCAP’s criteria, the Chery J11 is the least safe new SUV in Australia. ANCAP does not recommend purchasing vehicles with a crash test rating below four stars.

ANCAP Chair, Lauchlan McIntosh, explained the J11 was not subjected to a side impact crash test as Chery issued a recall in relation to the side impact protection of the vehicle.

Even if it had completed the side impact test, the J11’s rating could not have improved above two stars, as it performed so poorly in the frontal offset crash test.

To achieve higher than two stars, a vehicle must score at least 4.5 points out of 16 in the offset crash test. The Chery J11 scored just two points out of 16, as the passenger compartment lost structural integrity, there was excessive pedal displacement, and driver protection from serious chest, leg and foot injury was poor.

“Under ANCAP’s rating system, the poor result in the frontal offset test restricts the Chery J11 to a maximum two-star rating – irrespective of the outcome of the side impact test,” Mr McIntosh said.

“Due to the potential for delays resulting from the recall campaign, it was in the interests of consumers that ANCAP publishes this two-star result.”

Mr McIntosh said ANCAP plans to conduct a side impact test on the Chery J11 following completion of the recall campaign.  It cannot improve upon its two-star rating, although ANCAP says it is unlikely the side impact test would reduce the rating to one star.

The J11 also failed to score a single point in the pedestrian protection tests, with ANCAP giving it zero points out of 36 and a ‘poor’ overall rating.

The Chery J11 was launched in Australia in February. The basic list of safety features includes two front airbags, ABS and EBD. Electronic stability control (ESC), traction control, and additional airbags are not available, even as options.

Without ESC, the J11 cannot be sold in Victoria, but can be sold in all other states and territories until November 1, 2013.

On a brighter note, ANCAP awarded the maximum five-star rating to the locally manufactured Holden Cruze (including the Series II and hatch variants) and the recently launched Hyundai i40 Tourer wagon.

The Cruze, which comes standard with six airbags, ESC and a host of other safety features, scored 35.04 points out of 37, placing it among the top-ranking small cars in the country.

The i40 Tourer, which is equipped with nine airbags as standard, scored 34.18 out of 37, also placing it among the best-performing medium cars.




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