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After a friday afternoon of perusing the ANCAP website, listening to Paul Simon, I thought of a good story: What are the worst Australian 4X4 crash tests? What are the least-safe 4WDs getting around? So I got to work, and dragged up the top five. It’s worth noting here that this list isn’t exhaustive (see the author’s not at the bottom), but it does give you a good idea.

 

1: Great Wall Motors V240

The Great Wall V240 ute came in 2X4 and 4X4 options, and was on sale in Australia between 2009 and 2015. There was confusion and controversy about their recent demise of sales, but they will soon be back. The Great Wall Steed is coming, and should prove to be much safer than the ol’ V240.

Airbags: Dual Frontal
Frontal Offset: 2.36 out of 16
Side Impact: 16.00 out of 16
Pole: Not Assessed
Whiplash Protection: Not Assessed
Pedestrian Protection: Poor
ESC: Not Available
Seat Belt Reminders: 0.0 out of 3
Overall Score: 16.49 out of 37
ANCAP Safety Rating:  Two Stars
Rating Year: 2009

2: Ssangyong Actyon Sports

You don’t see these units on the road too often, from the cut-price Korean manufacturer. It’s a strange-looking ute, with old Mercedes-Benz running gear, that does have a fairly legendary reputation for toughness and longevity. The Actyon isn’t available any more according to their website, but the Rexton 4X4 is still available.

 

Airbags: Dual Frontal
Frontal Offset: 7.01 out of 16
Side Impact: 16.00 out of 16
Pole: Not Assessed
Whiplash Protection: Pending
Pedestrian Protection: Poor
ESC: Not Available
Seat Belt Reminders: 1.0 out of 3
Overall Score: 24.01 out of 37
ANCAP Safety Rating:  Three Stars
Rating Year: 2010

3. Nissan Patrol Cab Chassis

We love the mighty GU Patrol, we really do. It’s a terrible shame to know that it’s days now are severly numbered on showroom floors, and will soon be dead. It doesn’t stop it from being a solid touring base, despite an antiquated gearbox and asthmatic engine. Whichever way you go, just try not to crash.

 

Airbags: Dual Frontal
Frontal Offset: 5.60 out of 16
Side Impact: 16.00 out of 16
Pole: Not Assessed
Whiplash Protection: Not Assessed
Pedestrian Protection: Poor
ESC: Not Available
Seat Belt Reminders: 0.0 out of 3
Overall Score: 21.60 out of 37
ANCAP Safety Rating:  Three Stars
Rating Year: 2010

4: Mahindra Pik-Up

Another strange-looking contraption, the Mahindra is another bargain-bin ute option for Australians. The Mahindra Pik-Up is still available, costing as little as $24,990 for a diesel ute, with an Eaton rear locker!

Airbags: Dual Frontal
Frontal Offset: 6.60 out of 16
Side Impact: 16.00 out of 16
Pole: Not Assessed
Whiplash Protection: Not Assessed
Pedestrian Protection: Poor
ESC: Not Available
Seat Belt Reminders: 0.0 out of 3
Overall Score: 22.60 out of 37
ANCAP Safety Rating:
Rating Year: 2012

5. Foton Tunland

This is a package of suprises, really. A 2.8-litre Cummin diesel powerplant, with 120kW and 360Nm is under the bonnet, Dana transfer case and limited-slip rear differential all make up a fairly alluring 4X4 or workhorse package.

Airbags: Dual Frontal
Frontal Offset: 8.00 out of 16
Side Impact: 16.00 out of 16
Pole: Not Assessed
Whiplash Protection: Not Assessed
Pedestrian Protection: Not Assessed
ESC: Not Available
Seat Belt Reminders: 0.0 out of 3
Overall Score: 24.00 out of 37
ANCAP Safety Rating:  Three Stars
Rating Year: 2012

Notable Mention: Proton Jumbuck

No, it’s not a 4WD. If it was, our journo Ev probably would have bought one… But it’s worth watching: this poor thing gets absolutely murdered. And the scary thing is that occupants probably will, too. You should watch the video.

Airbags: None
Frontal Offset: 1.00 out of 16
Side Impact: 7.39 out of 16
Pole: Not Assessed
Whiplash Protection: Not Assessed
Pedestrian Protection: Marginal
ESC: Not Available
Seat Belt Reminders: 0.0 out of 3
Overall Score: 8.39 out of 37
ANCAP Safety Rating:  One Star
Rating Year: 2008

Full disclosure: the author of this story owns and daily-drives a 2001 Land Rover Defender, and knows full well that it would probably feature on this list, if it was tested.

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