Hyundai Australia has indicated it is "not expecting a five-star ANCAP rating" for its all-new 2020 Venue crossover, when the independent crash-testing firm conducts an anticipated full local test in the coming months.
Speaking at the new model's local launch on the Sunshine Coast, the company's local division said the Venue should "comfortably be rated at four stars", namely due to differences in Isofix child seat specification between Europe and Australia, along with the lack of a 'Fusion' autonomous emergency braking system with camera and radar sensors that can detect cyclists.
"We lose out in a couple of areas that prevent us from getting five stars," said Scott Yoon, product planner for Hyundai Australia.
"European-spec Isofix seats are actually bolted onto the seat and the frame, so in the event of a crash the seat would be held in its place a bit more firmer, whereas the Australian-spec Isofix, the Isofix is there but it's a thread or cloth [top tether] that holds the vehicle and it's not as firm, and diminishes our chances of getting over the five-star threshold," he continued.
"Once we found that out, there was really no reason to add the radar [for AEB]. The decision to miss out on Safety Assist was by choice because we know that by adding the 'Fusion' system and the ability to detect cyclists we could get it above the threshold needed to make five stars, but as long as we have an area that fails to exceed that threshold [rear occupant protection], the value of the sensor fusion system is a bit diminished."
"We found out if we can't meet it on rear occupant protection we won't bring the more expensive sensor system."
When quizzed about the importance of safety in its products, local boss, J.W. Lee, said safety is definitely a priority for Hyundai, and in the case of the Venue a potential four-star rating doesn't make it 'less safe' than the Accent – which wears a five-star rating from 2011.
"If we are making a comparison between the Accent and the Venue, the Venue's standard of safety is much better than Accent, but the Venue is four stars and the Accent is five," he said.
"In a customer's point of view, [they] will think it's four star, so not safe. But the reality is, a current four-star car is in reality much safer than an older five-star car. It's confusing."
Speaking with CarAdvice, James Goodwin, Safety Chief Executive for ANCAP, said: "The vehicle has not yet been tested so it would be premature to comment on its expected safety performance, but I can confirm ANCAP has purchased four of the vehicles in order to conduct a full test program".
"Child Occupant Protection is an important element of our assessment and particularly so for a vehicle like the Venue that can be expected to be used by families. Vehicle brands put in an enormous amount of research and development into designing a new model, so I would expect they have planned for the Australian child restraint standards which currently don’t allow for ISOfix anchorage points on booster seats."
"ANCAP testing of a range of vehicles over the past two years has shown the same or similar dynamic test results to those in Europe with all vehicles to date earning sufficient points to qualify for a 5 star rating," Goodwin added.
Stay tuned for our coverage of the Hyundai Venue's crash test results when they are released.