The results of the latest round of European New Car Assessment Program (Euro NCAP) crash testing have been released, and there have been some surprises.
The Mazda MX-5 sports car managed a less-than-perfect four-star Euro NCAP rating in the latest round of tests, with the Japanese convertible model praised for its "exceptional pedestrian protection thanks to the deployable bonnet fitted as standard" for which it scored 93 per cent, and a "good all-round performance", but let down by a lack of the "latest crash avoidance technology".
The main issue was the lack of autonomous emergency braking (AEB), which was described by Euro NCAP as "disappointing".
CarAdvice understands that Mazda engineers have found it extremely difficult to fit the technology to such a low-set, sleek car. And it's not the first sports car to score a four-star rating, with the Audi TT managing the same score for largely the same reason earlier this year.
It is also understood that the Australasian New Car Assessment Program (ANCAP) may issue a localised result within weeks. Stay tuned for that.
The other relevant score for the local market was the Hyundai Tucson medium SUV, which managed the top five-star score thanks to the inclusion of AEB, speed assist and lane assist technology - though the testing authority marked in its release that the inclusion of that tech "was not included in the rating as the uptake is not expected to be high enough". At least it ticked the box, then...
In Australia the Tucson has AEB standard on the top-spec Highlander model.
The final score handed out this time around was for the Opel Karl, an affordable small hatch for Europe by the German arm of General Motors. It scored four stars.