The latest crash tests for cars in Australia have been completed, with the Australasian New Car Safety Assessment Program giving rankings to the new offerings from Honda and Kia.

ANCAP uses a basic star system to rank the safety levels of new cars, factoring all elements of safety into their considerations. With personal protection one of the prime determining factors of all car purchases, companies are increasingly keen to achieve the top rating of five stars.

The latest tests were conducted on the Honda Accord and Kia Cerato. It would have been a most disappointing result for the usually super-safe Honda, with the latest Accord being given just four stars. Despite a broad range of safety features the new Honda fell down in a crucial area; the frontal offset crash. Assessors deemed the car provided only ‘marginal’ protection for the driver’s legs.

ANCAP chairman Lauchlan McIntosh said the lack of complete leg protection was "disappointing", though he praised the car's Safety Assist Technologies, saying “Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB), lane support systems and adaptive lighting are examples of the technologies consumers should be urging manufacturers to offer as standard in all new makes and models.”

The new Kia Cerato got the full five stars, with ANCAP authorities deeming it provided 'acceptable' protection for the driver and passenger’s chest and the legs, overall driver protection was ‘good’ n the side impact crash test, and head protection in the side pole test was also rated as ‘good’.

A complete list of cars that have been crash-tested for the Australian market, their results and rankings are available from the ANCAP website.