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Five stars for Mazda’s hardtop MX-5

Safety first: Mazda has added new safety technology to its MX-5 Roadster and RF retractable hardtop.

Mazda MX-5 RF follows rag-top sibling with top marks from ANCAP

7 Feb 2017

MAZDA’S just-launched MX-5 RF retractable hardtop has been awarded the same five-star safety rating as its drop-top twin.

The hardtop version of Mazda’s popular sportscar rolled in to Australian showrooms last month, offered in base and GT guises, priced from $38,550 plus on-road costs and topping out at $45,890.

The Australasian New Car Assessment Program has transferred the same five-star rating and score on the RF as the rag-top model, with both versions meeting the criteria for the maximum rating.

Some of its competitors in the class – the Holden Cascada, Nissan 370Z and BMW 2 Series – are yet to be tested by ANCAP, but others, including the Toyota 86/Subaru BRZ twins and Hyundai Veloster have also achieved a maximum five-star rating.

The MX-5’s Italian cousin, the Abarth 124 Spider, is also yet to be tested.

In the original ANCAP test of the MX-5 Roadster from June last year, the safety watchdog awarded an overall score of 35.2 out of a maximum 37 points, including a top score for occupant protection (16 out of 16) and the pole test (2 out of 2), while achieving 14.2 out of 16 for the frontal offset test.

The score of 33.72 out of 36 for pedestrian protection was the best result ANCAP had recorded for any car tested in Australia.

Mazda says this was thanks to the MX-5’s active bonnet that pops up when an accident is detected, as well as energy-absorbing foam in the front bumper beam that works with the lower stiffener in the bumper to ensure pedestrian’s legs from slipping under the front of the car.

The Japanese car-maker has also added some new safety tech to its MX-5 range, with the Roadster now getting blind spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert, which are both now standard fare across the MX-5 range.

The RF in top-spec GT guise now adds adaptive LED headlights to its list of standard kit.

Mazda already offers the MX-5 with standard emergency brake assist, emergency stop signal, hill start assist, traction control, dynamic stability control, ABS and front and side airbags.

Mazda Australia marketing director Alastair Doak said while the company was expecting the five-star result, the company was keen to introduce even more safety gear to the sportscar range.

“From the outset we were confident that the Mazda MX-5 had the inbuilt proactive and passive safety technology to earn the maximum safety rating, which is why we didn’t hesitate to crash test under the strict parameters of ANCAP,” he said.

“As highlighted recently, considerable effort went into making the all-new Mazda MX-5 the safest two-seater sportscar, and this is still the case.

“We expected the five star rating would carry over to the all-new Mazda MX-5 RF, but as we’ve done across most of the Mazda range in recent months, we were keen to introduce more safety technology for the benefit of our customers.”

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