Size No Obstacle To Protecting Occupants.

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Euro NCAP today releases test results for two new small off-roaders, the Land Rover Freelander 2 and the Suzuki Grand Vitara. Euro NCAP is pleased to announce that the Land Rover Freelander 2 achieved the maximum award of five stars for adult occupant protection. The Freelander 2 is the first small off-roader to achieve such a result, proving size is no obstacle to safety.

Euro NCAP tested its first small off-roader in 2002 (a Honda CR-V) and since then has tested nine cars in this category. Until today, the maximum score achieved in adult occupant protection by manufacturers in this category was four stars. Euro NCAP first tested the Land Rover Freelander in 2003, when it achieved a result of three stars in the adult rating.

Euro NCAP Secretary General, Adrian Hobbs said "I am delighted that Land Rover has made such an improvement to the level of protection offered to its occupants. It is perhaps surprising that, until now, no small off-roader has managed to achieve a five star rating. I am disappointed though that the company has not invested the same effort into improving the level of protection it offers to pedestrians. In this recent test, the Freelander 2 only achieved one star in pedestrian protection, just as it did in 2003. It concerns me that manufacturers are still not considering the dangers posed by their vehicles in relation to the outside environment'.

The Suzuki Grand Vitara, whose test results are also released today, provided better pedestrian protection than the Freelander 2, becoming only the third small off-roader to be awarded three stars, the highest pedestrian rating so far awarded in this category. In adult occupant protection, the Grand Vitara achieved a reasonable four star score.

Results released today are in the Small Off-Roader category.

The ratings for these cars can be seen in more detail at www.euroncap.com. The complete test results will be available from 23rd March 2007.

Euro NCAP's commitment to consumers ensures that test results are released as soon as possible. Keep checking our website for details of forthcoming results.

For further information please contact: Cordelia Wilson, Communications Manager +32 2 4007746 or cordelia_wilson@euroncap.com.

Summary of Results

Small Off-Roader

Land Rover Freelander 2 Occupant Protection: 5 stars Child Protection: 4 stars Pedestrian Protection: 1 star

Suzuki Grand Vitara Occupant Protection: 4 stars Child Protection: 3 stars Pedestrian Protection: 3 stars

Editors' notes

1. With the introduction some time ago of the Child Occupant Protection rating it is important to refer to the Adult Occupant Protection rating correctly. In the past, this has been referred to as the "Overall" or "Occupant" rating. Neither of these is now satisfactory.

2. The front impact test is conducted at 64km/h (40mph) into an offset deformable barrier, the side impact test 50km/h (30mph), the pole test at 29km/h (18mph) and the pedestrian tests at 40km/h (25mph).

3. Comparison between Size Categories: It is essential that no attempt is made to compare the ratings between cars in different segments or mass groups. The frontal crash test aims to measure the performance of the car impacting another car of similar mass. There is no capability to determine what would happen if cars of widely different masses impact each other. It is not primarily the mass difference that has the effect, but the effect that mass has on the structural stiffness combined with the relative height of the structures from the ground.

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