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Crash safety scorer ANCAP has awarded the updated 2017 MG GS crossover SUV a five-star rating – the first time a vehicle from China has hit the mark.

It’s a fairly significant milestone, given we’re seeing a steady rise in the number of China-made brands and vehicles on offer.

Previous Chinese cars tested by ANCAP, which failed to cut the mustard, include the four-star Haval H9 (2015), three-star LDV G10 (2015) and two-star Great Wall Steed (2016).

The MG GS‘ top score comes with the 2017 date stamp, meaning it passed the latest and toughest list of requirements with flying colours.

Indeed, its score of 34.47 out of 37 is actually superior to the Toyota C-HR and Mini Countryman – both of which we’d add also have five-star ratings.

However, there’s a small catch: the rating only applies to all MG GS models built from August 2017 and on sale from October 2017 – meaning the 76 units already sold this year (and other existing stock) ain’t covered by the new score.

This is because the GS improved on its initial ANCAP rating of four stars following the fitment of intelligent seat belt reminders for second row seats, and the subsequent strong performance in the tough ‘pole test’.

“We initially assessed this model earlier this year and saw that while structurally it offered sound levels of occupant protection, its safety specification did not meet what is now expected as a minimum for a 5 star car,” said ANCAP CEO James Goodwin.

“MG must be commended for upgrading this model and this achievement raises the bar for other similar brands entering the very competitive Australian new vehicle fleet.”

Dual frontal, side chest and side head-protecting airbags (curtains) are standard. However, autonomous emergency braking (AEB) and lane support systems (LSS) are not available.

The timing for MG is therefore fortuitous, since ANCAP requirements accelerate for all vehicles tested from January 1 next year, to make it very difficult to achieve a top rating without an effective AEB and/or lane support system.

MG – owned by SAIC, which also owns LDV vans and utes – has huge plans for Australia under its official distributor, which you can digest here. First cab off the rank will be the new MG ZS small crossover, to slot below the GS.

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