The 2021 Land Rover Defender has earned something its predecessor would have no hope of getting today, or even a few years ago: a five-star rating from ANCAP.

    The Defender range received scores of 85 per cent for adult occupant protection, 88 per cent for child occupant protection, 71 per cent for vulnerable road user protection, and 76 per cent for safety assist.

    There were some areas where some improvement would be welcome. For example, it received a score of 4.36 out of 8 for the frontal offset crash test, while protection for a struck pedestrian’s pelvis was rated poor.

    Pedestrian head protection was rated marginal to poor if they struck the base of the windscreen or the A-pillars.

    ANCAP also called out the lack of top-tether anchorages in the Defender 110’s available third row, advising owners not fit child seats back there.

    For 2021, all Defender models come standard with autonomous emergency braking, lane-keeping assist, blind-spot monitoring, safe exit assist, rear cross-traffic alert, and driver attention monitoring.

    That’s in stark contrast to the old Defender, which lacked any active safety technology and didn’t even offer airbags here when it ended production in 2016.

    When the Defender was launched here earlier this year, many active safety features weren’t standard fitment across the range. Land Rover, however, has quickly changed that.

    Joining the Defender in receiving a five-star rating this month was another large SUV, the Kia Sorento.

    The cheaper SUV has plenty of standard safety kit, including blind-spot assist and rear cross-traffic assist systems which apply the brakes if they detect a vehicle on a collision course with you.

    William Stopford

    William Stopford is an automotive journalist based in Brisbane, Australia. William is a Business/Journalism graduate from the Queensland University of Technology who loves to travel, briefly lived in the US, and has a particular interest in the American car industry.

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