Range of light vans receive crash test ratings

ANCAP has provided 4 and 5 star ratings to a range of light commercial vehicles from Ford and Mercedes-Benz.

Ford Transit Custom frontal offset crash testPopular with commercial customers in van variants and with private buyers as large people-mover vehicles, the latest models of Mercedes-Benz V-Class, Vito and Valente and Ford’s Transit and Tourneo models have now been subject to crash testing to assess their passive and active safety systems against standards set by testing bodies Euro NCAP and the Australasian New Car Assessment Programme (ANCAP). The Tourneo is a Transit variant sold as a people mover in New Zealand.

According to the results of testing, the V-Class and Valente as well as all Ford models gained 5 star ratings with Vito models gaining either 4 or 5 star ratings depending on whether head-protecting side airbags were fitted or not. In response to this result, Mercedes is changing the production process for the Vito so that from July 2016, all variants of the model will have head-protecting side airbags fitted as standard equipment. All Vito models built from July 2016 will have the full 5-star rating.

Commenting on the changes being made by Mercedes-Benz on the Vito, the ANCAP CEO, James Goodwin said that the action taken by the company is encouraging and Mercedes should be commended for taking swift action to implement such important safety improvements. “Consumers should be mindful that Vito variants without head-protecting side airbags are 4 star rated,” he said.

On pedestrian protection, the Mercedes models all achieved an acceptable rating whilst the Ford models were rated as marginal.

Overall, Ford achieved a first by matching Mercedes-Benz in achieving 5 star ratings for its van range. According to James Goodwin, the Transit is popular for commercial operators in Australia and they can now have greater peace of mind in the knowledge that the vehicle has a high standard of safety equipment.

ANCAP made the observation that these van rating give buyers a greater choice of safe vehicles for commercial drivers. Some large employers in the region are now specifying only 5 star ANCAP rated vehicles to their buyers. “For commercial buyers, these ratings open the door to a number of new vehicle choices,” concluded James Goodwin.

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