'Crash study' reveals safest used cars

The Chrysler Neon, Audi A4 and Volkswagen Golf are among the safest commonly used cars in Australia, new research has found.

Based on analysis of over three million crashes which occurred in Australia and New Zealand between 1996 and 2008, the Monash University Accident Research Centre has released the 2010 Used Car Safety Rating list, CarAdvice.com.au reported.

The list, which provides ratings for 199 commonly used cars, uses a five-star system that measures how good a car is at protecting both its own occupants and external subjects during a crash including pedestrians, motorcyclists and other road users.

It found that while a Chrysler Neon is among the safest in the "small cars" category, a Subaru Impreza is among the most unsafe with only one star.

Meanwhile, the Daewoo Espero and Daewoo Tacuma both ranked bottom for safety in the "medium cars" grouping.

Such findings may interest Aussie motorists looking to compare car insurance in search of the best deals. CarAdvice.com.au pointed to the lack of correlation between the safety ratings given to cars when they were first launched and the new 'real world' rating.

"The Subaru Liberty for instance was awarded five stars by ANCAP back in 1998 but was only awarded three stars once the car was subjected to a 'second-hand' environment," it said.

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