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The Monash University Accident Research Centre (MUARC) has recently made available the 2021 Used Care Safety Ratings Guide (UCSR).

The new UCSR analysed 289 used vehicle models manufactured from the year 2000 onwards. MUARC tested these cars for their relative Driver Protection safety performance considering factors such as:

  • Crashworthiness or how well a vehicle protects the driver during a crash
  • Aggressivity or how well a vehicle protects road users such as pedestrians, cyclists, motorcyclists, and other vehicle users during crashes
  • Total secondary safety measures
  • Primary safety measures

The used vehicle models involved in the study are then categorised into five equal star rating bands. The top 20% of the assessed vehicle models that offered the highest relative safety performance received 5 stars. Meanwhile, the lowest 20% of the tested vehicle models received 1 star.

Furthermore, UCSR guide provided ‘Safer Pick’ markers for vehicles models that not only provided additional protection to other road users but also had crash avoidance features fitted.

Best Performers

Out of the analysed vehicle models, only 52 received 5-stars. Among the best performers include:

  • Audi A3, Mercedes-Benz B-Class (W246), Subaru Impreza, and the Toyota Prius 3 for the small car category
  • Audi A4, Mercedes-Benz CLK-Class, and the Toyota Camry for the medium car category
  • Ford Falcon (FG//FG-X), Holden Commodore (VF), and the Mercedes-Benz E-Class (W212 / C207 / A207) for large cars
  • Jeep Compass for small SUVs
  • Audi Q5/SQ5, Ford Kuga, Hyundai Santa Fe, Mitsubishi Outlander, Nissan Murano, and Volvo XC60 for medium SUVs
  • Isuzu MU-X, Toyota Landcruiser Prado, Jeep Grand Cherokee, and Land Rover Discover/Discover 4 for large SUVs
  • Kia Carnival for the people mover category
  • Volkswagen Caravelle/Transporter/Multivan, Hyundai iLoad, Mercedes-Benz Vito/Viano/Sprinter for commercial vans
  • Ford Ranger, Holden Colorado, Mazda BT-50, and the Volkswagen Amarok for utes.

None of the light cars that were assessed received 5 stars with the Volkswagen Polo getting 4 stars only.

This annually updated guide uses data based on a statistical analysis of 8.8 million vehicles involved in police-reported crashes across Australia and New Zealand.

It intends to provide the latest safety information on second-hand vehicles to help Australians make safer purchasing choices especially now that demand for used cars are soaring.

To find out more about the best rated second-hand vehicles, download the 2021 edition of the Used Car Safety Ratings here.