The new Holden Astra sedan and Subaru XV have been awarded five-star safety ratings this week by independent crash-testing body ANCAP.
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Despite not offering autonomous emergency braking (AEB) anywhere in the range, the Astra sedan still managed 34.94 points out of 37, including a perfect 16 out of 16 for the side impact test.

"It is disappointing autonomous emergency braking is not available across the board on [a new model] and we continue to encourage consumers to ask for, and brands to offer, this potentially life saving technology," said James Goodwin, CEO of ANCAP.

"As our requirements become more stringent next year, it will not be possible for new models to achieve a five-star ANCAP safety rating without an effective AEB system fitted as standard."


Meanwhile, the Subaru XV also scored the full five stars based on crash tests carried out on the closely-related Impreza range (below).

The five-star rating applies to all variants of the small crossover, though the entry-level model misses out on AEB technology.

"Autonomous emergency braking, which can assist the driver by braking automatically in a critical situation, is offered as standard on the three higher XV variants however it is not available on the base variant," added Goodwin.

The XV also achieved a 'Good' pedestrian protection rating and a 'Good' rating for whiplash protection, while the Astra sedan scored an 'Acceptable' rating for pedestrian protection and 'Good' for whiplash protection.


What's interesting with these latest ratings is that ANCAP decided to test the Astra sedan even after awarding the Astra hatch, which rides on a similar architecture, a full five stars based on Euro NCAP tests - though the entry-level Astra hatch remains unrated due to its lack of AEB as even an option.

The crash-testing firm says: "Although the models share the same nameplate, their structure, manufacturing plants and specification differ".

However, ANCAP recently gave the new-generation Hyundai i30 hatchback a range-wide five-star safety rating based on previous tests conducted on the Elantra sedan. While the two share platforms, structure and restraint systems, the i30 and Elantra differ in every dimension, have different designs, and body styles.

The Elantra is not available with AEB at all, while the i30 gets the safety system on all variants bar the entry-level Active - provided the vehicle has an automatic transmission.


From next year, ANCAP will begin to enforce the stricter requirements of sister body Euro NCAP, which requires AEB as standard equipment to achieve a five-star safety rating.