MG Australia remains committed to delivering five-star safety in its range, despite the new GS SUV managing only four stars in ANCAP crash tests.
Speaking with CarAdvice at the local launch drive for the company's first-ever SUV, Danny Lenartic, MG Australia's senior manager for marketing and communications, said there's a strong focus on safety for the Chinese-owned brand.
"It's a KPI for the business to get five stars. We've promised five-star cars even from the [beginning] - what we haven't promised is a date," he said.
"The engineers are working furiously that future products are five stars."
"What I am satisfied with, is the feedback from ANCAP based on the structural integrity of the car," he added.
In January, local independent crash-testing authority ANCAP released the GS's four-star safety rating, though the organisation noted despite the lack of active safety features, the SUV is structurally a promising option.
"The GS is a good car structurally, offering sound levels of occupant protection however its safety specification is lacking,” said ANCAP CEO, James Goodwin.
"Consumers have come to expect a higher standard of safety features and unfortunately it falls short of the top safety rating."
"We are working with MG to see if a specification upgrade can be put in place in the hope the model can offer another five-star option for medium SUV buyers," he added.
The GS scored full marks for the side impact test and 13.47 out of 16 for the frontal offset test, though oddly the GS did not undertake the pole test.
Another factor playing against MG's first SUV is the lack of driver assist technologies like autonomous emergency braking, blind spot monitoring or lane support systems.
Considering safety is a key factor for so many Australian car buyers - particularly families buying SUVs like the GS - MG will want to get a five-star safety rating as soon as possible.