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by Tim Beissmann

The incoming Honda Civic sedan and Hyundai Veloster have been awarded the maximum five-star rating under the Australasian New Car Assessment Program’s (ANCAP) upgraded safety ratings system.

The ninth-generation Honda Civic was rated ‘good’ for pedestrian protection – the highest possible rating under the new criteria, which has been added to the overall ratings for 2012. It earned a pedestrian protection score of 27.54 points out of 36, and an overall occupant protection score of 34.91 out of 37.

The Hyundai Veloster three-door sports coupe achieved an ‘acceptable’ rating for pedestrian protection – the second-highest rating – with a score of 17.74 out of 36. The Veloster performed particularly well in the occupant protection area, scoring 35.47 out of 37.

Electronic stability control (ESC), six airbags (dual front, side and curtains), ABS, EBD and brake assist are standard in both cars. The Veloster gets front seatbelt reminders, while the Civic gets reminders for both front and rear occupants.

ANCAP Chair Lauchlan McIntosh praised Honda on achieving the highest pedestrian protection rating.

“Pedestrian protection is an area that has not been well addressed amongst the current fleet so Honda has thrown out a challenge to other vehicle manufacturers,” he said.

The Hyundai Veloster is now on sale in Australia while the Honda Civic sedan is due in local showrooms next month.