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Fulfilling its Civic duty
Honda Civic achieves a breakthrough result in pedestrian protection crash tests
8 Jun 2001
By JUSTIN LACY
HONDA'S Civic has set a new benchmark for pedestrian protection in the latest round of crash tests conducted by the European New Car Assessment Program (NCAP).
The Civic almost achieved a four-star pedestrian rating, finishing just shy of the 75 per cent threshold for four stars with a score of 72 per cent.
Like Renault's Laguna, the only car to receive a five-star rating for occupant protection, the seventh generation Civic is now in a class of its own, offering double the level of pedestrian protection exhibited by many of the cars tested by Euro NCAP.
"The Honda Civic has achieved a unique breakthrough in levels of pedestrian protection," Euro NCAP chairman and FIA president Max Mosley said.
"For the first time in the history of Euro NCAP it's clear that a manufacturer has designed a car which genuinely balances the safety needs of both occupants and pedestrians. This clearly demonstrates what car designers can do to improve the safety of vulnerable road users." The Civic was awarded four stars for its performance in the offset frontal and side impact crash tests, with a combined score of 79 per cent.
The latest round of crash tests also produced results for the Mercedes-Benz C-class, Rover 75 and Volkswagen Passat in the large family car class, as well as for the Fiat Multipla and Opel (Holden) Zafira in the mini MPV category.
The three large family cars were all awarded four stars for occupant protection and two stars for pedestrian protection, while the mini MPVs picked up three-star and two-star ratings each.
When Euro NCAP first tested family cars in 1997, the results showed an average of 2.6 in the star rating system. This year the level has increased to an average of 4.0, which is a "clear sign of the growing importance of Euro NCAP from the manufacturers' point of view," according to the technical director of the German automobile club ADAC, Dr Wilfried Klanner.
The C-class has been one of the top selling luxury cars in Australia since it was launched in November, 2000, while Rover has sold 259 examples of the 75 since it went on sale in March this year.
The results for the Multipla and Zafira were considered disappointing compared to other mini MPVs such as the Renault Scenic and Citroen Picasso, which both scored four stars in tests conducted earlier this year.
While the Multipla is not currently sold in Australia, the Scenic and Zafira were both released earlier this month and the Picasso is expected to arrive in late 2002.
CRASH TEST RESULTS Small Family Cars: Occupant Protection/Pedestrian Protection Honda Civic **** (79%) / *** (72%) Large Family Cars: Occupant Protection/Pedestrian Protection Mercedes-Benz C-class **** (91%) / ** (33%) Rover 75 **** (88%) / ** (36%) Volkswagen Passat **** (82%) / ** (36%) Renault Laguna ***** (97%) / ** (33%) Mini MPVs: Occupant Protection/Pedestrian Protection Opel (Holden) Zafira *** (65%) / ** (36%) Fiat Multipla *** (56%) / ** (36%) Renault Scenic **** (85%) / ** (28%) Citroen Picasso **** (79%) / ** (33%)
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