Three new cars have been awarded top ratings and added to a list which assesses the safety of vehicles sold in New Zealand and Australia.

Results from the latest round of crash testing from the Australasian New Car Assessment Programme (Ancap), released today, has given three new models five stars - the best safety rating possible.

The newest Holden Colorado model, Hyundai i30 and Subaru BRZ sports coupe were put through the organisation's crash testing programme.

Ancap started testing cars in 1993 and has rated more than 300 vehicles.


Cars are tested in a special laboratory, with dummies placed inside to mimic people.

They are rated on the level of safety provided for those travelling inside the car in an accident. Cars' airbags are taken into account.

AA Motoring Services general manager Stella Stocks told the Herald the Holden Colorado and Hyundai i30 were already on sale in New Zealand, but people would have to wait a little longer for the Subaru BRZ, which is expected to be available in the country at the end of the year.

Other cars which have also scored five stars include the Ford Ranger and Mazda BT-50 utility vehicles.

A range of small cars also qualify for five stars including the Honda Civic hatch, Toyota Corolla sedan and Subaru Impreza sedan.

The Chery J11 was found to have the worst safety of all cars tested by Ancap since the start of last year.

The compact SUV was awarded a lowly two stars after testing in October.

A light car version of the Chery, a 5- door hatch, received only three stars in Ancap tests performed in May last year.

NZ Transport chief executive Geoff Dangerfield said car buyers should pay close attention to vehicle safety information and pointed to online resources.

"Look for vehicles with a top safety rating and compare them on our RightCar website.

"This information doesn't cost a thing, but it could save your life or prevent serious injuries in a crash."