The latest round of ANCAP safety ratings heralds maximum five-star ratings for a quartet of newly launched cars — the Holden Spark, Jaguar XF, Kia Sportage, Skoda Superb.
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The new Holden Spark - our class leader in the micro car segment - is the first in class to get five stars against ANCAP’s most strenuous 2016 rating criteria.

It managed 33.6 out of 36 overall. ANCAP cited “concerns about unprotected stiff structures in the steering column and instrument panel”, but went on to say that “there were no knee contact marks, resulting in no deductions for knee hazards being applied”.

The Holden Spark comes with six airbags as standard, but ANCAP CEO James Goodwin kicked it for “lacking in more advanced safety features such as a lane support system which was standard on its European counterpart (the Opel/Vauxhall Karl)”.

PHOTO- Jaguar XF (2016 - onwards) 5 stars

Scoring 92 per cent in adult occupant protection rating, 84 per cent in child occupant protection rating, 83 per cent in the safety assist area and 80 per cent against pedestrian protection tests, all Jaguar XF variants within the range are now attached to a five-star rating.

Unlike the Spark and Sportage, the Jaguar's ANCAP scores were taken from data sourced during Euro NCAP tests, against the 2015 rating year.

Despite sourcing its scores from Euro NCAP data, Goodwin said, “The XF has a high standard of safety features buyers would expect in this sort of vehicle including AEB City and Interurban. It scored the highest pedestrian rating of ‘Good’ and is fitted with an active bonnet.”

The Kia Sportage was introduced to the fast-growing mid-sized SUV market in January 2016, with the five-star rating covering all variants of the class-leader. It scored a strong 34.62 out of 36 overall.

Photo - KIA Sportage (2016 - onwards)

As you might recall, the related Hyundai Tucson only got four ANCAP stars when first tested, but after structural changes went on to get 35.53 out of 36 in the 2015 rating year.

“The Sportage performed well in testing and includes emergency brake assist, hill launch assist and reversing collision avoidance as standard but unfortunately Autonomous Emergency Braking is only offered on the most expensive variant,” Goodwin said.

The final member of the ANCAP five-star quartet is the new Skoda Superb, also attaining five stars this week. The latest Superb was introduced in March and the five-star rating covers all front-wheel-drive variants including the Combi (wagon).

Photo - Skoda Superb (2016- onwards) 5 stars

It got a 86 per cent adult occupant protection rating, 86 per cent child occupant protection rating, 76 per cent in the safety assist area and 71 per cent against pedestrian protection tests. The adult occupant score was 32.72 out of 36.

As with the Jaguar XF, the Superb’s score was sourced from Euro NCAP data.

“The updated Superb introduced a driver knee airbag as standard and also has AEB… along with numerous other safety assist technologies,” Goodwin said.