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by Tim Beissmann

All 2011 Mazda2 vehicles equipped with ESC (electronic stability control) and side and curtain airbags have been awarded a five-star safety rating by the Australasian New Car Assessment Program (ANCAP).

The entire Mazda2 range is fitted with ESC as standard. The Maxx and Genki models come with six airbags (dual front, side and curtain), automatically qualifying them for the five-star rating.

The entry-level Neo model only has two front airbags and just a four-star rating, but becomes a five-star vehicle when optioned with the $400 Safety, Pack which adds the full six airbags.

Tested by Euro NCAP, the Mazda2 scored 34.33 points out of 37. It recorded 15.55 out of 16 in the offset crash test, 14.78 out of 16 in the side impact crash test, two points for having seatbelt reminders fitted to the front seats, and two bonus points for completing the optional pole test.

Euro NCAP found there was a slight risk of chest, abdomen and leg injury to the driver in the occupant protection tests.

The Mazda2 also scored 18.49 out of 36 in the pedestrian protection testing, which currently does not affect the overall safety score.

The Mazda2 Neo and Maxx were recently updated in Australia for 2011, with the range-topping Genki to receive more significant equipment upgrades in the middle of the year.

As a result of production shifting back to Japan, the four-door sedan is no longer available. The only body style available in Australia is the five-door hatch.




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