ANCAP Extends Kuga Five-star Rating To Ford Escape
ANCAP Extends Kuga Five-star Rating To Ford Escape

ANCAP Extends Kuga Five-star Rating To Ford Escape

Ford has avoided Australian crash tests for its new Escape mid-size SUV and received the top-notch five-star rating by the Australasian New Car Assessment Program (ANCAP).

The Escape – successor to the Kuga with which it shares substantial design, engineering and safety features, now also shares its predecessor's crash test score based on earlier Euro NCAP tests.

Ford changed the German-built car's name from Kuga – which was used with the introduction of the new mid-size SUV model from its introduction in Australia in March 2012 – to Escape as part of its mid-life facelift ahead of its launch this month. The Escape name was previously used on a rebadged Mazda product between 2001-12.

ANCAP has rated the new Escape with an overall score of 36.33 out of a possible 37, representing 98 per cent, and received perfect 100 per cent scores in the side impact test (16 out of 16) and pole test (two out of a possible two).

It scored 15.33 out of a possible 16 in the frontal offset test, deducting points in the chest area for driver and passenger, and the left leg of the passenger.

The Escape received a 'good' rating – the highest possible score – for whiplash protection and a 25.09 score out of a possible 36 points for the pedestrian test. It lost points for 'poor' and 'marginal' adult pedestrian head protection but it was enough to give the SUV an overall 'acceptable' rating.

It picked up more points for seatbelt reminders for three seats and further praise for the standard electronic stability control.

The highly competitive mid-size SUV segment that comprises 15 per cent of the total vehicle market.

The Escape comes to Australia with dual frontal, side chest and side head airbags as standard. The safety equipment also includes an automatic emergency call function, reversing collision avoidance and a SmartKey.

Autonomous emergency braking is not offered on the base variant, but is available on all other versions for low-speed applications.

Five-star safety is regarded as critical for the family-centric medium SUV segment. Only three medium SUVs on the market fail to receive a five-star rating – the aging Suzuki Grand Vitara, the Mahindra XUV500 and the outgoing Jeep Compass.

The Escape arrives in the highly competitive mid-size SUV segment that comprises 15 per cent of the total vehicle market. It is the second biggest segment after small cars (19 per cent).

The Kuga leaves Australia with 4209 sales year-to-date at the end of November. This compares with rivals including segment leader Mazda's CX-5 with 22,658 sales to November, Hyundai Tucson (18,748), Toyota RAV4 (18,031) and Nissan X-Trail (17,046).

Should the Ford Escape require a new ANCAP test? Tell us what you think in the comments below.

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