Just ahead of their anticipated New Zealand launch next year, two vehicles have just been awarded five stars in the Euro Ncap safety ratings.
The seventh generation Golf, which arrives here early 2013, not only received a top five-star rating but also won the award for innovation in the area of integral safety.
Along with Lane Assist and Front Assist, the key system's proactive occupant protection and the standard multicollision brake were recognised as pioneering safety innovations. The overall safety package of the new Golf - consisting of occupant protection, child protection, pedestrian protection and driver assistance systems - was recognised by Euro Ncap for its top results.
The Golf was tested for frontal and side impact, a pole side impact test and a whiplash test, in which loads to the cervical spine are measured in a rear end collision.
Not only were adult-sized crash test dummies used, but small ones to represent 18-month-old and 3-year-old children. The new Golf also impressed testers with its pedestrian protection capabilities.
In addition to its occupant protection, the safety package can be further customised and extended with the optional adaptive cruise control, Front Assist with City Emergency Braking, Fatigue Detection and the Lane Assist lane-keeping assistant.
This makes a total of seven driver assistance systems which significantly improve vehicle safety.
Also a five-star winner is Ford's 2013 Kuga, which is expected in New Zealand in April next year.
The new Kuga achieved 88 per cent for overall protection - the highest-ever rating for a mid-sized SUV, as well as 94 per cent for adult protection and 86 per cent for child protection. It also offers SYNC with Emergency Assistance, Active City Stop and Blind Spot Information System that indicates with a warning light in the door mirror that a potential hazard is in the driver's blind spot.