The Australasian New Car Assessment Program awards 5-star safety ratings to the GM Holden Colorado pickup truck, Hyundai i30 hatchback and Subaru BRZ sports car after the most recent round of crash testing.

ANCAP says the rating for the all-new Colorado is a significant improvement over the previous 3-star model as it joins the Ford Ranger, Mazda BT-50, Volkswagen Amarok, Holden Commodore and Ford Falcon pickups in earning the maximum 5-star rating in the commercial-vehicle segment.

ANCAP Chairman Lauchlan McIntosh says it’s satisfying to see auto makers improving the safety of light-commercial vehicles.

“Manufacturers have been incorporating greater levels of safety into passenger vehicles for some time now, yet the safety of LCVs has trailed,” McIntosh says in a statement.

“Pressure not only from ANCAP, but now big business, is encouraging manufacturers to elevate safety as a priority in the design and construction of new LCVs, and consumers are the winners.”

ANCAP says LCVs make up close to one-fifth of Australian vehicle sales annually (about 180,000 vehicles), yet only 13% of these vehicles delivered in 2011 earned a 5-star safety rating, compared with more than 60% of passenger cars.

The release of the 5-star Colorado rating coincides with this month’s implementation of the Australian government’s purchasing policy requiring that all new LCV vehicles in its fleet hold a 4-star ANCAP safety rating or greater.

The second-generation Hyundai i30 hatchback again achieved a 5-star rating, retaining its place as one of the safest small cars. The rating applies to both the 1.6L diesel and 1.8L gasoline models.

ANCAP says Subaru’s dedication to maximum safety across its range sees its new BRZ sports coupe – equipped with front, side, head and knee airbags – perform well enough to achieve its 5-star rating.

ANCAP is supported by all Australian and New Zealand motoring clubs, the governments of both countries, all Australian state governments, the Victorian Transport Accident Commission, NRMA Insurance and the FIA Foundation.