Japanese luxury cars score top marks in latest crash test results

Lexus and Infiniti will be appealing to buyers’ heads as well as their hearts after new models managed very positive crash test results.

In Australia the new and just-released Lexus RX was awarded a five-star safety rating by the Australasian New Car Assessment Program, or ANCAP, the best rating available.

Although it’s not the safest car ever tested by ANCAP, it did score well in adult occupant protection (83%) and child occupant protection (82%). Pedestrian protection (79%) and safety assist (74%) weren’t quite as strong.

Nevertheless ANCAP CEO James Goodwin said the new Lexus RX featured “a range of safety assist technologies as standard” such as reverse collision avoidance and autonomous emergency braking (AEB), systems that it advises motorists to consider.

“These new technologies can help avoid a crash in the first place and so we would urge consumers to look for a car with not only good structural performance, but with features to potentially prevent a collision,” said Goodwin.

Meanwhile in Europe the new Infiniti Q30 prestige compact car was named the best-in-class “small family car” for 2015 by Euro NCAP, with which ANCAP shares much of its data.

The Infiniti Q30 shares its underpinnings with the Mercedes-Benz A-Class and is due in Australia in the third quarter of 2016. It is a safer vehicle than the Lexus RX in every respect, despite scoring the same five-star overall safety rating.

Looking more closely at the data, the Infiniti Q30 hatchback scored well for adult (84%) and child occupant (86%) protection and safety assist was also strong (81%). But pedestrian protection was very impressive (91%).

“We are honoured that our all-new Q30 has been awarded a ‘best-in-class’ rating by Euro NCAP,” said François Goupil de Bouillé, Vice President of Infiniti Europe.

“This is a clear testament of the many excellent qualities of our first premium compact car and the result of our continuous development of innovative safety technology for all of our models.”

ANCAP regularly uses Euro NCAP data, and the Q30 is likely to be given a five-star safety rating when it arrives in Australia later in 2016.