The Australasian New Car Assessment Program (ANCAP) has just released 5 star safety ratings for four vehicles; the Holden Spark, the Kia QL Sportage, the Jaguar XF and the Skoda Superb.

It also recently released a 5 star rating for the updated Kia Carnival following several safety-related improvements to the popular people mover.

The new Holden Spark was introduced to the Australasian market in March 2016 and the rating applies to all variants.

“The updated Spark is a big improvement on the model it replaces but it is lacking in more advanced safety features such as a lane support system which was standard on its European counterpart,” ANCAP Chief Executive Officer James Goodwin said.

The Kia Sportage was introduced to the competitive Australian and New Zealand mid-sized SUV market in January 2016, with the 5 star rating covering all variants.

“The Sportage performed well in testing and includes emergency brake assist, hill launch assist and reversing collision avoidance as standard but unfortunately Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB) is only offered on the most expensive variant,” Mr Goodwin said.

The Jaguar XF became available in Australasia early this year, offering a suite of safety features as standard. The 5 star rating covers all variants.

“The XF has a high standard of safety features buyers would expect in this sort of vehicle including AEB City and Interurban. It scored the highest pedestrian rating of ‘Good’ and is fitted with an active bonnet,” said Mr Goodwin.

The Skoda Superb was introduced in March 2016 and the 5 star rating covers all 2-wheel-drive variants including the Combi (wagon).

“The updated Superb introduced a driver knee airbag as standard and also has AEB City and Interurban along with numerous other safety assist technologies,” he said.

The Kia Carnival’s recently awarded 5 star safety rating applies to all variants manufactured from 23 December 2015. Kia Carnival V6 petrol variants built prior to this date retain a 4 star ANCAP safety rating.

“After a disappointing 4 star result for the Carnival in March last year, Kia has worked to implement a number of safety improvements which have seen the vehicle reach the 5 star mark,” Mr Goodwin said.

“A number of design changes to the Carnival have seen the score in the frontal offset test increase substantially and consumers should feel confident the updated vehicle offers significant improvements to safety.”