Used Car Safety Ratings - the full story

The 2016 Used Car Safety Ratings are a resource to help motorists buy a safe second-hand car based on analysis of real crashes.

The team at Monash University crunch the crash statistic data and turn this into an easy-to-understand one-star to five-star rating for the most popular used cars on the market. The best-performing cars are also given a ‘Safe Pick’ rating.

A Used Car Safety Ratings Safe Pick car not only provides you with good protection but also protects the occupants of other vehicles, pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists.

A large number of the Safe Pick vehicles are available second-hand for under $15,000 and many for under $10,000, which is particularly important for young drivers buying a first vehicle.

TAC’s How Safe Is Your Car website will help you find the Used Car Safety Ratings or the new-car ANCAP rating for just about any vehicle.

Jump to Used Car Safety Ratings results

 

Light cars

The results are very disappointing for the light car category. Only one car, the VW Polo, received better than a ‘Marginal’ rating, with a massive 80 per cent of the cars rated getting a ‘Poor’ or ‘Very Poor’ tag. This category is very popular among new drivers, but we think you’d be better off upsizing and looking in the small car range instead.

Light Cars

Light Cars

Model

Year

Driver Protection Rating

Safe Pick

Volkswagen

Polo

02-10

Ford

Fiesta WP/WQ

04-08

Honda

City

09-13

Safe Pick

Daihatsu

Charade

93-00

Holden

Barina XC/Combo

01-12

Honda

Jazz GE/Fit

08-14

Honda

Jazz/Fit

02-08

Peugeot

206

99-07

Toyota

Yaris/Vitz

05-11

Daihatsu

Sirion/Storia

98-04

Ford

Festiva WD/WH/WF

94-01

Holden

Barina TK

05-11

Holden

Barina SB

95-00

Holden/Suzuki

Barina/Swift/Cultus

89-99

Hyundai

Getz/TB

02-11

Kia

Rio

00-05

Kia

Rio JB

05-11

Mazda

121 / Autozam Review

94-96

Mazda

121 Metro/Demio

97-02

Mazda

2/Demio

02-07

Mitsubishi

Colt

04-11

Suzuki

Swift

11-15

Suzuki

Swift

05-10

Toyota

Echo

99-05

Toyota

Starlet

96-99

 

Commercial utes

Commercial vehicles continue to improve. Three utes reached the ‘Excellent’ rating category; however only one of these was awarded Safe Pick. That said, there’s still a long tail in this batting line-up of vehicles rating Marginal or below. A lot of utes tend to be quite unfriendly to vulnerable road users in crashes due to structural issues and high front ends.

Commercial Utes

Commercial Utes

Model

Year

Driver Protection Rating

Safe Pick

Ford

Falcon Ute BA/BF

03-08

Ford

Falcon Ute FG/FG-X

08-15

Ford/Mazda

Ranger/BT-50

06-11

Ford

Falcon Ute AU

00-02

Ford

Falcon Ute

96-99

Ford/Mazda

Courier/Bravo/Bounty

03-06

Ford/Mazda

Courier/B-Series/Bounty

98-02

Toyota

Hilux

05-15

Holden

Commodore Ute VE

07-13

Holden

Rodeo

03-08

Nissan

Navara

97-05

Nissan

Navara

05-14

Holden

Commodore Ute VU

00-02

Holden

Commodore Ute VY/VZ

02-07

Mitsubishi

Triton MK

96-06

Toyota

Hilux

03-04

Mitsubishi

Triton ML/MN

06-15

Holden

Rodeo

96-98

Holden

Rodeo

99-02

Toyota

Hilux

98-02

Holden

Commodore Ute VR/VS

94-00

Nissan

Navara

92-96

Toyota

4Runner/Hilux

89-97

Holden

Colorado RC

08-11

Safe Pick

Kia

Ceres

92-00

 

Commercial vans

The high proportion of commercial vans scoring excellent ratings (four scored Safe Picks) is a massive improvement. This is due to a number of newer European models entering the ratings. This is a major leap in safety for this market group which, up until these new models, had performed badly.

Commercial Vans

Commercial Vans

Model

Year

Driver Protection Rating

Safe Pick

Ford

Transit

01-07

Ford

Transit

95-00

Kia

Pregio

02-06

Mercedes Benz

Vito/Viano/Valente

04-14

Safe Pick

Mercedes Benz

Sprinter

98-06

Mercedes Benz

Vito

99-04

Mitsubishi

Express

94-13

Toyota

Hiace/Liteace

96-04

Volkswagen

Caravelle/Transporter/Multivan

04-15

Safe Pick

Volkswagen

Caravelle/Transporter

95-04

 

Compact SUVs

While a couple of compact SUVs hit the ‘Excellent’ grade, both with a Safe Pick as well, the ratings unfortunately head south pretty quickly. Half of the vehicles in this category rate Poor or Very Poor. Like the light car category, you’d be better setting you sights higher to improve your choice..

Compact SUV's

Compact SUV's

Model

Year

Driver Protection Rating

Safe Pick

Daihatsu

Terios

97-05

Holden

Cruze

02-06

Holden/Suzuki

Drover/Sierra/Samurai/SJ410/SJ413

82-99

Hyundai

ix35

10-14

Safe Pick

Hyundai

Tucson

04-10

Kia

Sportage

98-03

Nissan

Dualis

07-13

Suzuki

Jimny

98-15

Suzuki

Vitara/Escudo

88-98

Volkswagen

Tiguan

08-15

Safe Pick

 

Large cars

The difference between an old large car and a newer one is quite stark when it comes to safety. Pre-2000 large cars are mostly bad news, with no fewer than eight getting a Very Poor one-star rating. On the other hand there are six five-star rated cars with two Safe Picks, which interestingly are both from local manufacturers.

Large Cars

Large Cars

Model

Year

Driver Protection Rating

Safe Pick

BMW

5 Series E60/E61

03-10

BMW

5 Series E39

96-03

Ford

Falcon FG/FG-X

08-15

Safe Pick

Ford

Fairlane & LTD AU

99-02

Ford

Fairlane & LTD BA/BF

03-07

Ford

Falcon BA/BF

02-08

Ford

Fairlane N & LTD D

95-98

Ford

Falcon AU

98-02

Ford

Falcom EF/EL

94-98

Mercedez Benz

E-Class W212/W213/C207/A207

09-15

Safe Pick

Holden

Statesman/Caprice WK/WL

03-06

Holden

Commodore VE

06-13

Holden

Statesman/Caprice WH

99-03

Holden

Commodore VY/VZ

02-07

Holden

Monaro

01-05

Lexus

ES300/Windom

92-01

Holden

Commodore VT/VX

97-02

Holden

Stateman/Caprice VR/VS

94-98

Holden/Toyota

Commodore VR/VS/Lexcen

93-97

Mercedes Benz

E-Class W211

02-09

Safe Pick

Mercedes Benz

E-Class W210

96-02

Mitsubishi

380

05-08

Mitsubishi

Magna TE/TF/TH/TJ/ Verada KE/KF/KH/KJ Diamante

96-03

Mitsubishi

Magna TR/TS/Verada KR/KS/V3000/Diamante

91-96

Mitsubishi

Magna TL/TW/Verada KL/KW

03-05

Nissan

Maxima

00-09

Nissan

Maxima/Cefiro

95-99

Volvo

850/S70/V70/C70

92-99

Volvo

V70/XC70

00-07

Safe Pick

 

Large SUVs

The large SUVs category performed very well in general. Not only are these vehicles rating well for occupant protection but six of them also scored Safe Picks. These tend to be those that use more modern construction that is inherently less aggressive to vulnerable road users.

Large SUV's

Large SUV's

Model

Year

Driver Protection Rating

Safe Pick

Audi

Q7

06-14

Safe Pick

BMW

X5 E53

01-06

Safe Pick

BMW

X5 E70

07-13

Safe Pick

Ford

Explorer

01-05

Mazda

CX-9

07-15

Mercedes Benz

ML-Class W163

98-05

Safe Pick

Volvo

XC90

03-14

Safe Pick

Jeep

Grand Cherokee WG

99-05

Mitsubishi

Pajero NM/NP

00-06

Kia

Sorento

03-09

Mercedes Benz

ML/GL -Class W164/X164

05-11

Safe Pick

Toyota

Landcruiser Prado

03-09

Nissan

Patrol Y62

12-15

Toyota

Landcruiser Prado

96-03

Land Rover

Discovery

91-02

Land Rover

Range Rover

82-96

Nissan/Ford

Patrol/Maverick/Safari

88-97

Toyota

Landcruiser/LX

98-07

Toyota

Landcruiser

90-97

Nissan

Pathfinder R51

05-13

 

Medium cars

This segment gives one of the broadest choices of five-star rated vehicles in the study, seven of which are Safe Picks. It’s also one of those segments where depreciation hits hard, meaning that a lot of these cars are very reasonably priced as second-hand vehicles. An added bonus is that if you’re after something a bit more sporty there’s the Mazda RX8! While there are some bad performers at the bottom, these are pretty old bangers now.

Medium Cars

Medium Cars

Model

Year

Driver Protection Rating

Safe Pick

Audi

A4

01-08

Audi

A4/S4 B8/AllRoad/RS4

08-15

Safe Pick

Ford

Mondeo

07-15

Safe Pick

Lexus

IS350/IS250/IS F

05-13

Safe Pick

Mazda

RX-8

03-11

Safe Pick

Mercedes Benz

C-Class W204/C204

07-15

Safe Pick

Mercedes Benz

CLK C209

03-09

Safe Pick

BMW

3 Series E90/E91/E92/E93

05-13

Holden

Vectra ZC

03-05

Honda

Accord

03-07

Honda

Accord

08-13

Lexus

IS200/IS300

99-04

Mazda

6/Atenza

08/11

Safe Pick

Peugeot

407

04-11

Safe Pick

Volkswagen

Passat

98-06

Jaguar

X-Type

02-10

Safe Pick

Honda

Accord

99-02

Honda

Accord Euro

03-08

Toyota

Aurion

06-12

Honda

Prelude

97-02

Mazda

6/Atenza

02-07

Mercedes Benz

C-Class W202

95-00

Saab

9000

86-97

Saab

900/9-3

94-02

Subaru

Liberty/Legacy/Outback

03-09

Toyota

Camry

06-11

Toyota

Celica

00-05

Audi

A4

95-01

BMW

3 Series E46

99-06

Ford

Mondeo

95-01

Mercedes Benz

C-Class W203

00-07

Subaru

Liberty/Legacy/Outback

99-03

BMW

3 Series E36

92-98

Holden

Vectra

97-03

Honda

Accord

94-98

Mazda

626

98-02

Nissan

200SX/Silvia

94-02

Nissan

Bluebird

93-97

Subaru

Liberty/Legacy/Outback

94-98

Toyota

Camry

98-02

Toyota

Camry

02-06

Ford/Mazda

Telstar/626/MX6/Capella/Cronos

92-97

Holden/Toyota

Apollo JM/JP/Camry/Sceptor

93-97

Honda

Prelude

92-96

Hyundai

Sonata

89-97

Hyundai

Sonata

98-01

Mitsubishi

Galant

95-96

Toyota

Celica

94-99

Subaru

Liberty/Legacy/Outback/Exiga

09-14

Safe Pick

Toyota

Avalon

00-05

Daewoo

Leganza

97-02

 

Medium SUVs

It’s good to see a lot of green in this ever-burgeoning segment, which again proves how far manufacturers have come in making larger vehicles safer for everyone. Perennial family favourites like the Ford Territory and Toyota Kluger put in a good showing here.

Medium SUV's

Medium SUV's

Model

Year

Driver Protection Rating

Safe Pick

Ford

Territory SX/SY

04-10

Mazda

CX-7

06-12

Safe Pick

Subaru

Tribeca

06-14

Toyota

Kluger/Highlander

07-13

Safe Pick

Ford

Territory SX/SY

04-10

Subaru

Forester

08-12

Hyundai

Santa Fe CM

06-12

Safe Pick

Jeep

Cherokee KJ

01-07

Jeep

Wrangler JK

07-14

Ford/Mazda

Escape/Tribute

06-12

Nissan

Pathfinder R51

05-13

Holden

Captiva CG

06-14

Honda

CR-V

02-06

Honda

CR-V

07-12

Hyundai

Santa Fe

00-06

Nissan

Pathfinder/Terrano/Regulus

95-05