Australia's Safest New City Cars

July 22, 2016


Road Safety


Richard Greenwood

When buying a new car, safety should be one of your highest priorities. Although safety standards and features have improved significantly in the last few years, not all new vehicles are as safe as they can be. To make things easier, the ANCAP safety rating gives you a better insight into which cars are the safest in the event of a car accident.

Here, we take a look at the five safest new city cars to help you make the right choice on your next purchase. The top five are based on crash test safety scores by ANCAP.

All cars below received the top five star safety rating. However, the tests go into more detail and provide a score out of 37 based on various tests. The cars below came closest to top marks.

1. Renault Clio (3 cylinder engine variants only) - 35.87 out of 37 ANCAP Score.

Red Renault Clio

Receiving an impressive overall score of 35.87/37 in safety tests, the newest model of Renault the popular Clio is rated as the safest new city car in Australia.

On the side impact and pole crash tests, the car received full marks - and only missed out on a couple of points in the offset crash test. With electronic stability control (ESC), antilock braking system (ABS), traction control and adjustable steering column as standard, the Renault Clio has a good range of the most effective safety features currently available.

Missing safety features include fog lamps, active cruise control and side curtain airbags for both driver and passenger.

2. Suzuki Swift 2014 - 35.55 out of 37 ANCAP Score.

Light grey Suzuki Swift

Ranked as the second safest new city car in Australia, the Suzuki Swift (2014 models) has many great safety features. Although the Renault Clio performed better on the crash tests (albeit, only slightly), the Suzuki Swift has the added benefit of side curtain airbags for both passenger and driver.

It was noted that during the offset crash test, the passenger area held its shape very well, and although the driver area was comparatively very good - it did pose a slight risk of chest and leg injuries to the driver.

This is a big improvement for the Swift as the 2005-2012 versions of the car have a very poor 1-2 star used car safety rating based off real world crash data.

3. Holden Barina (with 1.6 litre petrol hatch and sedan variants) - 35.43 out of 37 ANCAP Score.

Light grey Holden Barina

Another popular city car, the Holden Barina (with 1.6 litre petrol hatch and sedan variants) ranks third for safety in its category.

Receiving 35.43 out of a maximum 37 points in crash testing, the car only lost points in the offset crash test - where, as with the Suzuki Swift, a small risk of chest and leg injuries to the driver was noted.

The Barina has all of the recommended safety features except for fog lamps and active cruise control.

4. Suzuki S-Cross - 35.3 out of 37 ANCAP Score.

Green Suzuki S Cross

With only a fraction of a difference in points to the Holden Barina, the Suzuki S-Cross is another very safety city car option. Similarly having all recommended safety features except for active cruise control and fog lamps, it does have the maximum number of airbags, ABS and ESC among other features.

In testing, the car demonstrated good protection to the head and chest in the side impact crash test, and driver and passenger leg and chest protection was acceptable in the offset crash test. It also had a good whiplash injury protection rating (good is the highest rating available).

5. Honda Jazz - 35.1 out of 37 ANCAP Score.

Orange Honda Jazz

The five star ANCAP safety rating refers only to models that have six airbags and electronic stability control. The six airbags - dual front, side and head-protecting - were introduced as standard in February 2011 models onwards. Additionally, advanced seat belt reminders on all seats and antilock brakes with electronic brakeforce distribution were added as standard.

Some of the other city cars that received a five star ANCAP safety rating include the Volkswagen Polo, Fiat 500 and the Toyota Yaris.

Richard Greenwood

Marketing Manager at Smith's Lawyers. Advocate for road safety and fan of technology that makes the roads or workplaces safer.