The first five-star Euro NCAP crash-test rating for Suzuki is on its way, and it will be on the all-new family saloon car due for launch in 2009.

Until then, and to show it is committed to driver safety, the Japanese firm has announced that every new model, including the Splash which goes on sale in March, will have ESP stability control as standard.

Speaking at the Tokyo Motor Show about the D-segment saloon - previewed by the Kizashi 2 concept - a Suzuki spokesman said: "We have been working very closely with Euro NCAP and believe this will be Suzuki's first five-star car, with four stars for pedestrian and child safety." 

With the exception of the ageing Jimny which was never Euro NCAP-tested, all Suzuki's current cars have scored four stars, with three in the other two categories.

"It's much easier to get five stars in a larger car because there's more space to absorb the crash impact. So our objective is that when the Swift is replaced in 2010, we will be able to get five stars and four each for pedestrian and child safety. This task is that much harder because the car is obviously smaller."

The forthcoming saloon, which is being benchmarked against the Mazda6, is unlikely to be called the Kizashi. It will be shown in its next stage of development at the Geneva Motor Show in March, and is likely to appear in its final production trim at the same event in 2009. It will go on sale soon after.

"It's a car we badly need because the range effectively ends in the middle of the C-segment and customers have nothing to move up into," said the spokesman.