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Five-star bull bar for Holden Colorado

Bar none: Holden’s Colorado gets ANCAP’s tick of approval for its bull bar in a crash, but pedestrian performance remains in the dark.

Holden Colorado bull bar retains top safety rating, but only for occupants

1 Oct 2012

HOLDEN’S Colorado crew-cab ute has joined Ford’s similar Ranger in retaining its five-star Australian New Car Assessment Program (ANCAP) safety rating when fitted with a genuine accessory bull bar.

However, the rating applies only to occupant protection, with a question mark remaining over the pedestrian performance of these and other utes fitted with bull bars.

Without a bull bar, the new Colorado – released on the Australian market in June – scored an “acceptable” pedestrian safety rating of 21.7 points out of a possible 36 – slightly lower than the Ford Ranger’s 22.9 points.

ANCAP spokesperson Rhianne Robson told GoAuto that this pedestrian test information did not apply to the Colorado or Ranger models fitted with bull bars, and was thus left blank on the results sheet of the vehicles fitted with that accessory.

In the original pedestrian test results issued by ANCAP in July, the leading edge of the Colorado’s bonnet was singled out for criticism, while the upper leg impacts scored zero.

However, the bumper and most of the bonnet head impact strike zones for both children and adults scored well.

The five-star occupant safety rating is a critical factor in fleet sales, with a growing number of companies and government departments demanding the maximum score as a condition of purchase.

To be able to add a bull bar without compromising this top safety rating is a big plus for companies operating in rural areas, particularly in the mining industry.

The bull bars for both the Holden Colorado and Ford Ranger were both engineered and tested in-house to ensure they did not upset the frontal crash performance of the vehicle.

Holden vehicle structure and safety integration manager Steve Curtis said the five-star rating was welcome news for private and fleet customers alike where the bull bar was often an essential tool of trade.

“Colorado’s accessories were engineered and developed locally by Holden, and were fully tested to ensure the highest possible levels of functionality, integration and safety performance,” he said.

“The bull bar was subject to rigorous crash and impact tests to ensure that it meets or exceeds Holden’s and Australia’s highest safety standards.

“One of the many advantages of a genuine Holden accessory like this is that they are included in a virtual and physical crash assessment program which includes intensive development, testing and validation.”

The ANCAP ratings for the bull bar-equipped Colorado and Ranger were both based on technical evidence supplied by the companies to ANCAP engineers, and no physical crash testing was done for ANCAP in these instances.

The testing applies only to the genuine accessory supplied by the manufacturer, and not aftermarket units.

In its original non-bull bar crash testing done at Sydney’s Crashlab for ANCAP, the Colorado scored a laudable 35 points out of a possible 37, while the Ranger did even better, with 35.7 points.

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