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by Matt Campbell

The big-selling Mazda CX-3 compact SUV has been awarded a shock four-star Euro NCAP crash test rating in the latest round of testing.

The CX-3 scored a less-than-perfect four-star Euro NCAP rating because, according to a release from the testing authority, despite offering autonomous emergency braking (AEB) as an option in that market, the uptake is expected to be low. (It’s optional on lower-spec models in Australia, too).

Going by the testing regimen, the Mazda CX-3 was unable to score the maximum rating partly because the technology is not standard equipment. The score for the Mazda baby SUV, though, doesn’t just come down to the lack of standard anti-crash technology, because, for example, the Porsche Macan doesn’t have AEB standard yet it managed the maximum five-star rating.

Mazda CX-3 Euro NCAP

The CX-3 scored fairly well in terms of occupant protection, scoring 85 per cent for adult safety, 79 per cent for child safety, 84 per cent for pedestrian safety but 64 per cent for safety assist technology.

According to the notes on the test results, rear passenger protection was weak in the front offset crash test, while rear impact testing showed poor whiplash protection for back-seat passengers.

The Mazda CX-3 has not yet been tested by the Australasian safety watchdog ANCAP.

Mazda Australia senior manager of public relations Karla Leach didn’t comment on the European score, but said: “The Mazda CX-3 has been submitted for ANCAP crash test evaluation. ANCAP will release the results in the near future.”

Mazda CX-3 Euro NCAP_2

Based on the same AEB requirement, the Mitsubishi L200 (known as Triton here) also scored a four-star rating. ANCAP earlier this year rated the Triton a five-star car.

There were a handful of other models tested in the latest round of Euro NCAP procedures, all of which saw the maximum score awarded.

The recipients included the Volvo XC90 and Audi Q7, while Euro-market models including the Renault Kadjar, Ford Galaxy, Ford S-Max, Volkswagen Touran and Toyota Avensis.