The first hydrogen-powered sedan sold in Australia has earned top marks in the latest round of crash tests, as the future tech gets the green light from safety experts.
The Toyota Mirai – the first hydrogen-powered sedan to be sold in Australia – has earned top safety marks in the latest round of crash tests and collision avoidance assessments.
While a number of new cars have required a centre airbag to achieve their recent five-star results – such as the Toyota Yaris hatch and Isuzu D-Max ute – the Toyota Mirai is among a growing number of vehicles to earn top marks without a centre airbag (which are designed to protect front seat occupants from head clash in a severe side impact crash).
It is believed these vehicles pass this severe side impact test due to the greater distance between the front seat occupants, as well as larger and/or more rigid body structures.
Although the Toyota Mirai was tested in Europe, local affiliate the Australasian New Car Assessment Program (ANCAP) – a non-profit organisation primarily funded by state and federal governments and which predates Euro NCAP – ratified the results, which are now measured against the same criteria.
In addition to having excellent occupant protection in a crash, a statement from ANCAP said the Toyota Mirai delivered the second-highest score in history in terms of pedestrian and cyclist protection.
“The Mirai is fitted with an ‘active’ bonnet to provide improved protection for pedestrians. Multi-collision braking is also fitted as standard – with the vehicle automatically applying the brakes after a collision to help prevent secondary impacts,” said ANCAP.
The safety authority also investigated any unforeseen aftershocks from the hydrogen system following a range of crash tests.
“Extra attention was also paid to the crash and post-crash safety of the hydrogen-powered Mirai,” said ANCAP, “with assessments revealing this fuel type had no effect on the Mirai’s inherent safety, helping to build consumer confidence.”
ANCAP chief executive Carla Hoorweg said in a media statement: “The results achieved by the Toyota Mirai are to be commended, showing safety and environmental benefits can and should go hand-in-hand.”
Joshua Dowling has been a motoring journalist for more than 20 years, spending most of that time working for The Sydney Morning Herald (as motoring editor and one of the early members of the Drive team) and News Corp Australia. He joined CarAdvice / Drive in late 2018, and has been a World Car of the Year judge for 10 years.