The latest round of ANCAP safety testing has delivered a full house of five-star results, with the Honda Accord and City, Nissan X-Trail, Peugeot 308 and Toyota Prius C all netting top scores.

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ANCAP chairman Lauchlan McIntosh said the highlight of the latest round of testing was the Honda Accord, which bettered its four-star rating from 2013.

When tested in July last year, ANCAP said there was an elevated risk of injury to the lower legs of the driver in the frontal offset crash test. Design changes made by Honda have improved its performance, with the latest crash test revealing a lower injury risk, boosting its frontal offset test score from 11.21 to 14.79, and consequently, its overall rating to five stars.

“This is a great example of a non-regulatory program at work,” McIntosh said. “While not required to improve its performance, Honda has reviewed the ANCAP test results and actively implemented changes to offer consumers a safer car.

“Now, not only does the Accord offer a long list of impressive safety assist technologies, including AEB on select models, it also offers improved occupant protection through a sound structure. The coupling of sound structure and active safety features is key to saving lives on our roads.”

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ANCAP was less complimentary about the X-Trail, however, once again criticising Nissan Australia for offering a “de-specified” model that lacks autonomous emergency braking in our market – as the independent safety body did in July with the Qashqai.

“While available on European-sold models, autonomous emergency braking is again a notable omission from all Australasian X-Trail variants – as was the case with the Qashqai rated by ANCAP earlier this year,” ANCAP said in a release.

But as it did with Qashqai, Nissan Australia today responded that it was not a matter of de-specifying the X-Trail, but rather that the technology was not available to our market at this stage.

“Autonomous emergency braking is currently not available on the new X-Trail for the Australian market but we are working to make this technology available in the future,” the company said in a statement.

“This remains a work in progress for Nissan and we will announce any changes ahead of their implementation.”

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ANCAP added two new light cars to the five-star club, with the Honda City and Toyota Prius C both earning top ratings.

Diesel variants of the all-new Peugeot 308 also achieved the maximum star rating. Petrol variants remain unrated at this stage.