Playing it safe with Toyota

When it comes to motor vehicles, accidents happen, but it’s no accident that every current Toyota model to be tested by ANCAP has achieved a 5-star rating.

That’s a total of 20 models that have registered the highest marker possible from the independent vehicle safety ratings body.

The driver for these consistently good results is Toyota’s ‘Safety Sense’ – a suite of features that has earned the marque its reputation as having amongst the safest vehicles in Australia.

It also makes Toyota Fleet vehicles an enticing proposition – knowing that your staff have industry-leading protection behind the wheel and the safety the vehicles provide also helps keep them on the road and maintain their resale value. 

What is ANCAP?

Formed in 1992, The Australasian New Car Assessment Program (ANCAP) published its first safety ratings of vehicles the following year.

Vehicles in Australia and New Zealand are awarded ANCAP ratings based on the level of safety they would provide in a crash and their ability to avoid, or minimise the effects of a crash.

They are given a ‘star rating’ between 0 and 5, indicating the relative safety of the vehicle involved in the testing. Occupants, pedestrians and cyclists are all taken into consideration.

To register a 5 star ANCAP safety rating – the marker for the highest levels of protection and best safety features/technologies – a vehicle must perform to the highest level across all crash tests and assessments.

The four key areas assessed are: Adult Occupant Protection, Child Occupant Protection, Vulnerable Road User Protection and Safety Assist.

ANCAP conducts seven physical crash tests on each vehicle: the frontal offset test, the full width frontal test, the side impact test, the far-side impact test, the pedestrian protection test, the oblique pole test and the whiplash test.

Also assessed is the effectiveness of safety assist and collision avoidance technology. Safety tech assessed includes autonomous emergency braking, automatic emergency steering, lane support systems, speed assistance systems and driver monitoring systems.

In 2020 ANCAP’s testing became even more stringent, with seven new protocols introduced or upgraded, including far side vehicle impact tests and more detailed scrutiny of active safety features.

The Toyota Advantage

Before independent testing by ANCAP comes into play, Toyota vehicles already have the ‘Safety Sense’ advantage to protect drivers, passengers, pedestrians and cyclists alike.

Broadly speaking, it is broken down into five key areas:

Pre-collision safety system*

Using your Toyota’s built-in camera or radar, the Pre-Collision Safety system can warn you about an impending front-end collision. Some new models also feature Pedestrian Detection and have a daytime cyclist detection feature to help you avoid or reduce the severity of a collision.

Lane Departure Alert and Lane Trace Assist*

Programmed to scan the road ahead and identify lane markings, you’ll get the crucial warning you need if you start to drift with the Lane Departure Alert. Meanwhile Lane Trace Assist works with Active Cruise Control to observe road markings and make adjustments to help you maintain your position.

Active Cruise Control*

Using your Toyota’s built-in camera and front-grille-mounted radar, Active Cruise Control keeps your vehicle at a preselected speed, automatically accelerating and decelerating with the traffic in front.

Automatic High Beam*

Having to manually use high beam on highways can be a hassle. Toyota’s Automatic High Beam can alleviate that need by using a built in camera to detect the headlights of oncoming traffic and tail lamps of vehicles in front, switching the high beam on and off accordingly.

Road Sign Assist*

Road Sign Assist can identify certain Australian speed limit signs and let you know with a visual alert when the speed limit has changed, ensuring you can modify your driving accordingly.

For more information on Toyota’s Safety Sense and the safety inclusions for each model and variant see:

*Disclaimer: Driver assist feature. Only operates under certain conditions. Check your Owner’s Manual for explanation of limitations. Please drive safely.

How has Toyota fared with ANCAP?

The Yaris became the latest Toyota model to join the ‘5-star’ club in September 2020 when ANCAP tested the vehicle.

Its scores across the four key ANCAP safety measures are the highest of any car in the light vehicle category on the market. 

It rated 86% on Adult Occupant Protection, 87% on child occupant protection, 78% on vulnerable road user protection and 87% on safety assist.

The success came in a difficult year with COVID-19 protocols and enhanced testing procedures.

Now breaking records with its hybrid model topping sales charts, the RAV4 paved the way for its popularity with an outstanding ANCAP rating.

Tested in 2019, the SUV impressed across all major categories to earn its five stars with a number of high-level active and passive safety features. With a range of airbags and autonomous braking and lane keep assist/lane departure warning and blind spot monitor all standard across the range, the mid-sized RAV4 offers great bang for your safety buck in the fleet market range.

The popular Corolla, Hliux, Hiace and Camry have been amongst the other Toyotas tested by ANCAP since 2017, all receiving 5-star reviews

Comment below to have your say on this story.

If you have a news story or tip-off, get in touch at  

Sign up to the Government News newsletter