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Mazda3 scores five-star safety rating

5 for 3: The five-star safety rating of the Mazda3 was expected, but ANCAP has called on the company to fit advanced technology such as autonomous emergency braking (AEB) as standard.

New Mazda3 maintains maximum crash-test rating but ANCAP urges standard AEB

Mazda logo14 Feb 2014

By TERRY MARTIN

THE Australasian New Car Assessment Program (ANCAP) has handed down a maximum five-star crash-test rating for the new-generation Mazda3 but has urged Mazda Australia to fit more life-saving advanced safety technology as standard equipment across the range.

Applying to both hatch and sedan body styles, the result from the independent crash-test authority comes almost three months after its affiliate Euro NCAP bestowed a comparable five-star rating upon the Japanese brand’s redesigned small car.

The maximum result was also anticipated given the previous model had been at five-star status since 2010, however ANCAP chairman Lauchlan McIntosh said the tougher testing procedure introduced since then meant the new Mazda3 had to perform at a higher standard.

“Head-protecting side airbags for rear-seat passengers is now required for five stars, as is a higher score in the pedestrian protection test,” Mr McIntosh said.

“The Mazda 3 ticks these boxes yet life-saving technology such as autonomous emergency braking (AEB) is still only offered as an option on Australian-sold models.

“In the UK, AEB comes standard,” he said.

Mr McIntosh added that while the Mazda 3’s pedestrian injury rating of ‘acceptable’ is “encouraging”, ANCAP is looking for all vehicles to score the maximum ‘good’ rating.

“Pedestrian injuries are an increasing proportion of the total as improved internal protection features reduce occupant injuries,” he said.

ANCAP is particularly interested in the crash performance of the Mazda3 given its position as one of the top-selling vehicles on the Australian market.

“The previous-model Mazda 3 accounted for a considerable 7 per cent of all Australian passenger car sales in 2013,” Mr McIntosh said.

“If the new Mazda 3 is to sell in similar numbers, this will mean tens of thousands of consumers are again purchasing a car with excellent safety performance.”

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