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How the Carsales Network rates cars

The Carsales Network's rating system is a guide by which you can gain a snapshot of our review on the car tested

The review ratings are awarded by the tester of the vehicle in conjunction with our full editorial team and therefore do not necessarily coincide with any other external rating system or agency. For example, a score of four for safety does NOT correspond to a four-star EuroNCAP or ANCAP rating. Wherever possible we provide results from Australia's crash assessment program (ANCAP).

Indeed, as of late 2009 EuroNCAP itself changed the way it rated car safety by increaseing the weighting of both pedestrian and child occupant safety performance in its overall result. To that end, the Carsales Network ratings consider more than crash ratings and are a moving feast, categorising the various aspects of a car's performance against the other vehicles in the market segment in which the car competes. What defined a car as a four score car two years ago, won't necessarily guarantee that rating today.

Referring to the below ratings range, in any category 2.5 is considered average, 3.0 above average, 3.5 well above average and 4.0 and beyond, by definition, best of breed. It corresponds that a 2.0 rating is considered below average.

5.0/5.0 Exceptional
4.0/5.0 Excellent
3.0/5.0 Above average
2.5/5.0 Class average
2.0/5.0 Below class average
1.0/5.0 Sub-standard
0.0/5.0 Unsuitable

It is highly unlikely any car will receive five out of five for any category with the exception of X Factor -- that's a measure of personal appeal a car has for our testers...

The one area where our rating system does have a parallel with external star systems is in our awarding of an overall rating. Rather than apply a numerical average and round up or down according to mathematical conventions (ie: 3.7 is rounded down to 3.5, while 3.8 is rounded up to 4.0), we choose to round down. The logic of this is we believe a 4.0 car must be significantly better than a 3.5 car.

Some of the things we consider when determining a Carsales Network rating

• Engine: Efficiency and outputs; NVH; responsiveness
• Drivetrain: Transmission operation; gearing; NVH
• Chassis: Suspension performance, brakes, steering

Price, packaging and practicality
• Price: value for money in context - ie in segment/vs rivals
• Equipment: level and quality; fit and finish
• Packaging: space efficiency; ergonomics; vision
• Practicality

• Active: chassis/body rigidity; brakes; electronics (ABS/ESP/traction control)
• Passive: crash structure airbags; seatbelts, head restraints, child seats, NCAP or manufacturers' rating including pedestrian and child

Behind the wheel
• Performance, acceleration, driveability and in-gear performance
• Driveline refinement; Ease of use
• Fuel consumption
• Comfort: ride quality, NVH
• Handling

• Emotional appeal
• Design
• Point of difference


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Published : Monday, 1 January 2007

In most cases, attends new vehicle launches at the invitation and expense of vehicle manufacturers and/or distributors.

Editorial prices shown are a "price guide" only, based on information provided to us by the manufacturer. Pricing current at the time of writing editorial. Pricing prior to editorial dated 25 May 2009 may refer to RRP. Due to Clarity on Pricing legislation, RRP for those editorials now means "price guide". When purchasing a car, always confirm the single figure price with the seller of an actual vehicle.

^ If the price does not contain the notation that it is "Drive Away No More to Pay", the price may not include additional costs, such as stamp duty and other government charges. Please confirm price and features with the seller of the vehicle.

Opinions expressed with editorial material are those of the writer and not necessarily Ltd. editorial staff and contributors attend overseas and local events as guests of car manufacturers and importers.

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