At a press conference in Prague today – 24 June, 2004 – Euro NCAP awarded Vauxhall’s Astra the highest possible rating of five stars for its performance in front and side impact crash tests.
In addition, Euro NCAP revealed that Astra is the safest car in its class, awarding it with 34 points overall.
On hearing the news, Kevin Wale, Vauxhall’s Chairman and Managing Director said: “We are very pleased with this recognition of Vauxhall’s commitment to safety management. However, our good performance in the crash tests is only one part of our intensive development work in the area of safety. Preventing accidents, through advanced chassis concepts such as IDSPlus or innovations like Adaptive Forward Lighting (AFL) is just as important to us.”
Such an impressive result for Astra in the Euro NCAP tests bodes well for Astra estate, as the estate will also benefit from the hatch’s extensive safety systems. These systems include a stable and torsionally rigid body with crash-boxes, the company’s interactive driving system IDS chassis, which includes ABS – incorporating brake assist and disc brakes all round – as standard, and TCPlus traction control and ESPPlus available on most models.
Additional safety elements include front and thorax/pelvis side airbags for driver and front seat passenger, curtain airbags, height adjustable head restraints in the front, three-point seat belts on all seats, two sets of ISOFIX child seat fittings on the rear seat, Vauxhall’s PRS (Pedal Release System) and a height/reach-adjustable safety steering column. In addition, a flashing light and a beep remind the driver and front seat passenger to fasten their seat belts.
Euro NCAP conducts three different crash tests. A frontal impact at 40 mph with
40 per cent overlap against a deformable barrier, which simulates another vehicle; a side impact against a deformable barrier at 30 mph; and a side impact at 18 mph against a pole. Using crash test dummies, the potential forces acting on the driver (and the front seat passenger) are evaluated.
The stylish new coupe roadster from Vauxhall, the Tigra, did well in the Euro NCAP tests too and was awarded four stars for its safety systems.