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New five-star Mazda3 smashes ANCAP tests

Small Mazda3 scores big safety rating with record 98 per cent adult protection

22 May 2019

ONE of Australia’s most popular passenger cars, the Mazda3, has knocked the Australasian New Car Assessment (ANCAP) tests out of the park with a small-car record rating of 98 per cent for adult occupant protection.


The latest edition of the small hatchback and sedan that started to roll out in Australia last month also scored well in child and pedestrian protection, proving that bigger and more expensive is not always better when it comes to road safety.


The Mazda3 now joins two luxury vehicles – the Volvo XC60 and Alfa Romeo Giulia – with results of 98 per cent for adult protection.


The Mazda3 was one of five new vehicles given five-star ratings by ANCAP today, joining the latest iterations of the Toyota RAV4, Range Rover Evoque, Volkswagen Touareg and Lexus UX in getting a big tick from the independent rating organisation.


ANCAP chief executive James Goodwin said it was encouraging to see safety continuing to be prioritised across the market.


“The physical protection offered by the popular-selling Mazda 3 was excellent, scoring a record high 98 per cent for adult occupant protection,” he said.


The only minor blemish on the Mazda3’s frontal impact tests was an ‘adequate’ rating for lower leg protection in the offset crash, dropping the score in that test to 7.71 points out of 8.


Whiplash protection earned a minor deduction, with a score of 1.83 out of 2.


Otherwise, it was a clean sheet in adult protection, with full frontal, side impact, oblique pole and autonomous emergency brake tests all scoring maximum points in the tests that, like those done on other cars revealed by ANCAP today, were performed by European NCAP.


The Mazda3 also scored well in child protection (89 per cent), vulnerable road user protection (pedestrian and cyclist) (81 per cent) and safety assist technologies (76 per cent).


In other tests revealed by ANCAP today, the Toyota RAV4 score five stars, despite having a glitch when one of the side curtain airbags failed to deploy properly, thus incurring a points penalty for adult occupant protection.


In fact, it lost part of a point on all crash tests for a final adult protection score of 93 per cent, which still put it comfortably in five-star territory.


Sister brand Lexus fared better with its Lexus UX small SUV, getting a healthy 96 per cent rating on adult protection.


Volkswagen’s new Touareg was the only vehicle in today’s rating line-up that failed to crack 90 per cent for adult protection, scoring 89 per cent, mainly because of marginal chest protection for the driver in three of the tests – front offset, full frontal and oblique pole.


However, it still did well enough overall to come through with the five-star rating.


The Range Rover Evoque – to be launched in Australia next week – score well in adult protection with a 94 per cent haul but was let down by a 72 per cent pedestrian and cyclist crash protection rating, despite having sophisticated safety features including an active bonnet and pedestrian-protecting airbag.


“The Range Rover Evoque offers a range of active safety assist systems, and tests of its autonomous emergency braking scored well,” Mr Goodwin said.


“Tests of lane support functionality showed some ‘good’ performance, however the system does not intervene in more critical emergency lane-keeping scenarios.”

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