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Holden’s latest import from GM Korea, the new Spark, has received a five-star ANCAP safety rating.

While Holden has dropped the ‘Barina’ moniker on its successor, the brightly coloured micro hatch which starts at just $13,990, is one of 2016’s newest while also being atop the safety charts.

Despite this, the base model lacks parking sensors and cruise control, and the CVT automatic gearbox costs almost $2000 extra. Windable windows have also made a comeback.

“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.

Holden have also shown the vertical strength of their new micro car by testing its roof-load force, capable of supporting the weight of Queensland and NSW’s entire State of Origin teams on the roof.

Director of Vehicle Performance at Holden, Ian Butler, says “Spark’s design is based on an all-new, stiffer, stronger architecture with a high-strength steel safety cage capable of supporting a weight-load 3.92 times its own bodyweight. In terms of active safety, Spark comes with ESC, TC and ABS as standard across the range, all of which were tuned by Holden engineers at our Proving Ground in Lang Lang.”

Locally engineered and designed by Holden

Locally engineered and designed by Holden. Yep.

Other 2016 cars that have made the 5 Star ANCAP list are the Kia Sportage, Jaguar XF and Skoda Superb.

“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,” Goodwin said.

Kia's SUV leaves ground and a safe rep

Kia’s SUV leaves ground and a safe rep

“The XF has a high standard of safety features buyers would expect in this sort of vehicle including AEB City and Interurban,” he said. “It scored the highest pedestrian rating of ‘Good’ and is fitted with an active bonnet. The updated Superb introduces a driver knee airbag as standard and also has AEB City and Interurban along with numerous other safety assist technologies,” he said.


Jaguar XF cops the front 3/4 treatment


Czech-build Skoda Superb lives up to its name