Toyota’s hydrogen-powered Mirai sedan and Subaru’s Outback crossover have been awarded the maximum five-star safety rating from vehicle safety authority ANCAP Safety. The ratings are based on tests conducted by Euro NCAP on left-hand drive models, with the Outback achieving the highest scores to date across three of the four key assessment areas.
ANCAP said the Outback scored maximum points in lane keep assist and emergency lane keeping test scenarios, and close to full points in the autonomous emergency braking (AEB) car-to-car scenarios. Maximum points were scored for its protection of pedestrians in upper and lower leg impacts. The Outback also scored full points for its ability to actively avoid forward collisions with pedestrians through autonomous braking.
According to ANCAP, the Outback has a driver monitoring system fitted as standard – one of the first production cars to directly monitor the driver’s state of alertness through eye movement, as well as indirectly monitoring through steering inputs. ANCAP said this technology is expected to become mainstream in the coming years through the safety organisation’s encouragement.
“The Subaru Outback has comprehensively impressed, achieving the highest scores we’ve seen so far when testing to our current protocols,” said Carla Hoorweg, Chief Executive Officer at ANCAP Safety.
“The Outback scored 91 per cent for child occupant protection, 84 per cent for vulnerable road user protection and a very high score of 96 per cent for safety assist – outperforming its closest rival in this assessment area by seven per cent.”
It wasn’t all good news for the Outback, however, with the performance of its reverse AEB system, designed to prevent reversing collisions with pedestrians, rated poor. ANCAP said it is encouraging functionality improvements in future updates.
The Toyota Mirai’s score for vulnerable road user protection closely follows that of the Outback, offering the second highest score to date of 80 per cent. ANCAP said extra attention was paid to crash and post-crash safety, with assessments revealing the hydrogen drivetrain had no effect on the Mirai’s inherent safety, helping build consumer confidence.
“The results achieved by the Toyota Mirai are to be commended, showing safety and environmental benefits can and should go hand-in-hand,” Hoorweg said.
The Mirai is fitted with an active bonnet to provide improved protection for pedestrians. “Multi-collision braking” is also fitted as standard, with the vehicle automatically applying the brakes after a collision to help prevent secondary impacts.
“The safety specification of vehicles entering the market today has clearly evolved to take into account not only the physical protection offered by a vehicle if it crashes, but also the ability to actively avoid a crash or serious outcome for those outside the vehicle,” Hoorweg said.
“This balanced approach to passive and active safety that we’re seeing from manufacturers is very important as we move further towards assisted and eventually automated driving.”