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Safest cars of 2021: Did your car rank #1?

3 min read
17 Jan 2022

The global pandemic forced carmakers to reduce speed on the number of new models released due to microchip shortages and shipping delays. However, new models were still being released out of the factory and onto Australian roads.

Demand remains high for new cars. This year, Australians can look forward to even more models, including more electric and hybrid vehicles, plus a new market entrant, the European marque.

To kick the year off, let’s reflect on the safest cars of 2021.

Subaru Outback the safest car tested by ANCAP last year

Of all the vehicle models tested in 2021 by the Australasian New Car Assessment Program (ANCAP), the Subaru Outback reigned supreme. Although, it didn’t have the best adult occupation protection of all vehicles tested, it still scored well across all categories. The Outback did come first for child occupant protection, plus it had the highest pedestrian (vulnerable road user protection) and the highest safety assist score.

It was followed by the Toyota Mirai, Toyota Kluger and Toyota Highlander, which had the best pedestrian protection scores after the Subaru Outback and also scored well across multiple categories.

Included in the top 10 was the Cupra Leon and Formentor. Cupra (a Volkswagen subsidiary) is a new Spanish car brand that is arriving in Australia this year with two SUV’s, the Formentor and Ateca, plus the Leon Hatchback.1

The year 2021 also saw the first-ever zero safety star score ANCAP has ever awarded. The dubious honour went to the new Mitsubishi Express van.2

The following list contains the safety scores and metrics used by ANCAP for 16 vehicles that were tested in 2021 (apart from the Mitsubishi Express van).

ANCAP 2021 safety test scores

Are safer cars cheaper to insure?

Compare the Market’s General Manager of General Insurance, Stephen Zeller, notes that the safer a car is, the cheaper a car could be to insure – but it isn’t always that simple.

“The capabilities and safety features of a car are just one factor that determines how much car insurance can cost. The cost of the car, the difficulty in servicing and sourcing spare parts, as well as other factors regarding the primary driver such as their age and home address also have a big impact,” Zeller says.

Look for a good deal on car insurance with Compare the Market, Australia’s #1 car insurance marketplace.

Notes about ANCAP safety ratings

ANCAP safety ratings are based on four individual metrics: adult occupation protection, child occupant protection, vulnerable road user protection and safety assist. These individual scores are assessed through a variety of tests. Depending on the results of the tests, the car will be listed as having a 0 to 5 star rating. There are minimum scores for each star, and the scoring system is updated every two years.3

1 CUPRA Australia details local line-up for 2022. CUPRA. 2021.
2 Mitsubishi Express fails to meet safety expectations. Australasian New Car Assessment Program. 2021.
3 Safety Testing Explained. Australasian New Car Assessment Program. 2021.

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avatar of author: James McCay

Written by James McCay

James is a devoted husband, father, and history buff. He studied Creative and Professional Writing at QUT, and is often buried in a book. He writes on a variety of topics, hoping to make a positive difference for readers through his writing.

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