Honda ZR-V hit with four-star safety rating in Europe, Australia likely to follow

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A year since the Honda HR-V received a four-star safety rating in Australia, the larger ZR-V sibling has received the same marks in Europe – a result which could carry across to local examples.

The Honda ZR-V has become the second SUV to receive a four-star safety rating from European new-car safety assessors under the organisation’s latest criteria – in a result likely to carry across to Australia.

Euro NCAP – the sister organisation of the Australasian New Car Assessment Program (ANCAP) – announced the ZR-V missed out on a five-star rating earlier this week after failing to reach the required benchmark in two of the four test criteria.

Honda’s new medium SUV fell short of the mark for Adult Occupant Protection and its Safety Assist systems by one and two percentage points, respectively.

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A 79 per cent result for its Adult Occupant Protection capabilities was attributed to poor results in a side-impact collision, namely due to head clashes between the driver and front-seat passenger – even though the ZR-V is fitted with a centre airbag to prevent such an occurrence.

According to Euro NCAP’s report, the Honda’s 68 per cent score in the Safety Assist system category was awarded after the SUV’s intelligent speed limiter (which reads roadside speed signs) did not default to ‘on’, while its passive driver attention monitor only functioned from 45km/h and above.

As the Honda ZR-V scored below the required 80 and 70 per cent in these two respective categories for top marks – and the overall safety performance of a vehicle is based on its lowest-scoring category – it was awarded a four-star safety rating overall.

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In a media statement, Euro NCAP said the Honda ZR-V’s “performance in both crash and active safety tests was just below the five-star performance thresholds”.

By comparison, the same media statement said the Hyundai’s result was a “real disappointment”, declaring it was “lucky to avoid three stars” – though it must be noted the Kona was closer to a three-star overall rating, than a five-star score.

For context, the Kona came within one percentage point a three-star result for its safety assist systems, which would have led to the entire vehicle being graded with this three-star score.

ANCAP is yet to formally confirm a safety rating for the Honda ZR-V in Australia, and it is not known when the organisation will make its announcement.

However ANCAP and Euro NCAP have aligned the vast majority of their test protocols since 2018.

The Honda ZR-V went on sale in Australia in July 2023, arriving just months after the smaller Honda HR-V was hit with a four-star safety rating locally – largely due to the lack of a centre airbag to prevent front occupants’ heads clashing in side-impact collisions.

Jordan Mulach is Canberra/Ngunnawal born, currently residing in Brisbane/Turrbal. Joining the Drive team in 2022, Jordan has previously worked for Auto Action, MotorsportM8, The Supercars Collective and TouringCarTimes, WhichCar, Wheels, Motor and Street Machine. Jordan is a self-described iRacing addict and can be found on weekends either behind the wheel of his Octavia RS or swearing at his ZH Fairlane.

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