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Four Wheel Drive Crash Testing.

1999: ANCAP crash-testing results of four wheel drives have been improving throught the 1990s. Of large 4x4s, Toyota Landcruiser 1998+ (twin airbags) was `good', GM Holden Jackaroo 1998+ (twin airbags) was `acceptable' and Nissan Patrol 1998+ (driver's airbag) & Toyota Prado 1997+ (no airbag) were `marginal'. Of smaller car-based 4x4s, Subaru Forester 1998+ (dual airbags) and Honda CR-V 1999+ (dual airbags) were `good', Toyota RAV4 1997+ (no airbag) was `marginal' and Kia Sportage 1997-1999 (no airbag) was `poor'. NB. The (oz) Sportage gets an airbag in mid 1999.

See real crash statistics.

[picture of Landrover Discovery after crash test, jpg]

1994:This Land Rover Discovery was crash tested by the `New Car Assessment Program' (NCAP) in 1994. NCAP is a research body funded by Australian insurance companies and motoring bodies.

The frontal crash test was carried out at 56kph (35mph) into a solid concrete wall. An offset crash test (of a second Discovery!) was carried out at 60kph (37mph) into a crushable pad, constructed to simulate crashing into another vehicle, and only 40% of the width of the front of the car contacts the barrier. (These are severe tests, well above the 48kph (30mph) used for ADR-69.)

The assessment was that the driver stood a 63% chance of a life threatening injury - principally to the head and brain damage was `likely'. The passenger had a 16% chance of a life threatening injury - again principally to the head and brain damage was `possible'. These results are about par for the four wheel drives that were tested. The newest and heaviest model tested, a Toyota LandCruiser GXL 80-series, performed best.

[picture of Landrover Discovery interior after crash test, jpg] The tested Discoveries were not fitted with air-bags. Air-bags could be expected to reduce the occupants' risk of injury.

The (dummy) passenger's head struck the grab handle which is mounted on the dash-board.

The interior of the car seems only slightly damaged. There is nearly full leg-room, and chest or leg injuries are `unlikely'.

The bodywork from the front axle rearwards, looks relatively intact - perhaps too intact as energy is disipated into the deforming structure. The chassis has kinked approximately level with the leading edge of the front doors.


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