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The Renault Captur and Chevrolet Trax have both earned a maximum five-star safety rating from the European New Car Assessment Program (Euro NCAP), ahead of the new sub-compact SUVs’ local arrival in 2014.

Due to reach Australian showrooms in the first half of 2014, the Renault Captur scored 88 per cent for adult occupant protection, 79 per cent for child occupant protection, 61 per cent for pedestrian protection and 81 per cent for its safety assist features.

The Chevrolet Trax, due to arrive locally in July wearing a Holden badge, pipped its French rival in all categories bar one, scoring 94 per cent for adult occupant protection, 85 per cent for child occupant protection, 64 per cent for pedestrian protection and an equal 81 per cent for safety assist features.

Chevrolet Trax

Both cars achieved the top Euro NCAP rating thanks to safety equipment including driver and front passenger airbags, side body airbags, side head airbags, speed limitation assistance, electronic stability control and driver, passenger and rear passenger seatbelt reminders.

While the results for the Trax bode well for future Australasian New Car Assessment Program (ANCAP) crash tests for the upcoming Holden version, the Renault’s come despite an executive from the French car maker admitting the sub-compact SUV targeted at families could have been safer for rear passengers had it been fitted with curtain airbags.

Renault Captur - 2

The Captur received a score of 7.9 and 5.3 respectively for Euro NCAP’s two side impact tests (a car-to-car side impact test and one simulating a side impact with a pole or tree), with the Chevrolet’s inclusion of curtain airbags netting the Trax scores of 8.0 and 7.7 respectively.

Renault’s decision to leave out the airbags could further impact the Captur with ANCAP set to put new criteria into effect from January 1, 2014, requiring all new cars released in Australia to have front and rear head-protecting curtain airbags fitted as standard in order to be eligible for its maximum five-star rating.