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The Australasian New Car Assessment Program (ANCAP) has praised the Holden Malibu for achieving a five-star safety rating but has expressed disappointment at a four-star result for the family-oriented Fiat Freemont.

Launching in Australia next month, the Holden Malibu scored 35.47 points out of 37, according to ANCAP “performing well across all crash tests and providing good levels of protection to the majority of body regions for both the driver and passenger”.

The mid-sized Malibu sedan tested was fitted with six airbags (dual front, side and curtains) and electronic stability control as standard, although lost marks for failing to include rear seatbelt reminders and pretensioners.


The recently launched Fiat Freemont – essentially a rebadged version of the Dodge Journey – scored 32.15 points of out 37, including 12.15 out of 16 in the frontal offset crash test, translating to an overall four-star safety rating.

ANCAP CEO Nicholas Clarke said new-car buyers should not settle for anything less than a five-star car.

“Models like the Freemont are purpose-built to carry up to seven occupants – in particular families,” Clarke said.

“It is therefore concerning that this model did not score sufficient points to achieve a five-star ANCAP safety rating.”


Clarke also expressed his disappointment that the Freemont sold in Australia lacks a pedestrian-protecting active bonnet – a feature that is standard on the car in Europe.

“We need to see the same maximum level of vehicle safety technologies offered in all countries. We’re all equal, we should save lives equally – here, in Europe, in America, in Asia – right across the world.”

The Freemont scored a “marginal” pedestrian protection rating.

  • Joe

    ….if people would learn how to cross the road we would not need these ridiculous pedestrian safety rules…….unless a car jumps up onto the footpath, why is it always the cars fault?

    • LeStori

      I have several times narrowly missed being run over by cars running red lights. The fact that I aways look ,not something that all people do, before crossing the road is the only thing that save me from being hit by one of your ‘perfect’ Car drivers.

      Nothing is ever as simple as we like to make out.

  • Peanut

    Shouldn’t it be called an Epica Mk2

    • DZ

      Aptly named 😉

  • Sam

    Saw a Malibu driving through Ascot in Brisbane last week. Didn’t make it in time to snap a photo of it. Wasn’t overly impressed by the look in the metal.

  • Tone

    Makes sense that the Malipoo is closely related to the Craptiva.

  • k_g_w

    These scroes are mainly rubbish. So a FIAT 500 scores a 5 star, and a FIAT Freemont scores a 4 star. As if anyone at ancap would rather have an accident in a 500 over a Freemont….unless they were a pedestrian! It’s bollocks!

    • JamesB

      You must note that the Freemont is a rebadged Dodge, so it’s not a real Fiat unlike the 500.

    • LeStori

      Only a fool would wish to have an accident in any car. Bettter not to have one in the first place. I suspect the nimble FIAT 500 would be less likelyto have an accident than the lumox Freemont.
      However in the event you do have an accident, then it all down to the actual situation. Mass tends to win out. However what happens if your Freemont is the lesser mass or hits a stationary object such as a tree. Better 5 stars than 4….

  • JamesB

    5-star safety
    0-star appeal

    • save it for the track

      It seems that the Freemont lost most points in the frontal impact test. Strange how the ANCAP ceo’s comments go against their own advertising campaign. You know the one, with the bloke in glasses advocating ‘four stars or more’. Given how the bar is raised higher to achieve five stars and requires fitting and features which aren’t actuallt related to teh structural perfromance of the vehicle, I’ll stick with looking closely at the results, and not blindly listening to what is quickly becoming five star propoganda. I will continue to believe that a cars safety rating should only relate to how it protects its occupants, I don’t see bells, whistles and how it may or may not impact a pedestrian as relevant to its protection of myself and my passengers. I see now a quick look at teh ANCAP site, now has them advocating 5 stars and nothing less. Spent their money wisely on those tv, billboard and print adverts then over the last few years…. Strange, given how a current 4 star is probably safer than a four star of a few years ago when they started their ‘four star or more’ campaign…. And how many past ‘5 star cars’ would now be 4, because they are missing a bell or whistle?

      • Nelev Nedesen

        Why would any car manufacturer invest in active bonnet if bull bar will be installed anyway?