The safest used vehicles in New Zealand and Australia have been named after researchers analysed 15 years of crash records involving more than five millon vehicles.

The results, released yesterday by the Automobile Association and New Zealand Transport Agency, award 29 models of cars, commercial vehicles and four-wheel-drives with Safe Pick status.

To qualify they had to achieve the maximum five-star protection rating and be deemed to cause less serious injuries to road users with whom they collide, including pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists, than other vehicles.

Transport Agency chief executive Geoff Dangerfield said 19 of the Safe Picks were cars.


"Better designs such as more airbags, advanced seatbelt systems and high strength steel construction help reduce the risk of death or serious injury in the event of a crash."

Four Safe Pick vehicles were Fords, followed by a quartet of manufacturers with three models - BMW, Honda, Mitsubishi and Volkswagen.

About a quarter of the 197 cars on the list had a minimum one-star rating. Daihatsu had the most one-star ratings across all classes of vehicle, seven, followed by Daiwoo and Hyundai, with six each.

The accident research centre at Australia's Monash University calculated the ratings by analysing crash data between 1996 and 2010.

They used an internationally reviewed method influenced by the vehicles' mass, design and safety features, such as airbags and type of seatbelts. The ratings were adjusted for factors such as driver gender and age, the crash location and speed limit there.

The AA said the ratings cover most of the popular vehicles in the New Zealand and Australia fleets made during that period.

Spokeswoman Stella Stocks said some of the most affordable used cars were the safest.

Small cars


Honda Civic 2006-10

Peugeot 307 2001-09

Volkswagen Golf/Bora 1999-2004

Volkswagen Golf/Jetta 2004-10

Volvo S40/V40 1997-2004

Medium cars


Audi A4 2001-08

BMW 3 series E90/E91/E92/E93 2005-10

BMW 5 series E39 1996-2003

Honda Accord 2003-07

Mazda 6 2002-07

Mercedes Benz C-Class W203 2000-07


Saab 9000 1986-97

Saab 900/9-3 1994-2002

Subaru Liberty/Legacy/Outback 2003-09

Volkswagen Passat 1998-2006

Large cars

Ford Falcon FG 2008-10


Mercedes Benz E-Class W210 1996-2002

Mitsubishi 380 2005-08

Toyota Aurion 2006-10

Light cars

Mazda 2 2007-10

Commercial vehicles (utes)


Mitsubishi Triton ML/MN 2006-10

Commercial vehicles (vans)

Ford Transit 2001-07

Compact four-wheel-drives Honda CR-V 2002-06

Subaru Forester 2002-08

Medium four-wheel-drives


Ford Territory SX/SY 2004-10

Holden Captiva CG 2006-10

Mitsubishi Pajero NM/NP/NS 2000-06

Large four-wheel-drives

BMW X5 2001-08

Ford Explorer 2001-05