Mazda MX-5 gets five-star ANCAP rating

The Mazda MX-5 convertible has received a 2016 date-stamped five-star rating from independent crash tester the Australasian New Car Assessment Program (ANCAP).
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Interestingly, the five-star result is in contrast to the four-star score given to the MX-5 by ANCAP’s sister organisation Euro NCAP in October last year.

Euro NCAP’s rationale was the Mazda MX-5’s lack of active safety equipment such as autonomous emergency braking (AEB) — something that has not prevented the Mazda from a five-star score against ANCAP’s criteria.

As we know, ANCAP and Euro NCAP will fully align testing protocols in 2018 and conduct tests for each other. But that’s then, and this is now.

PHOTO - Mazda MX-5 (2016-onwards) pole

The MX-5’s ANCAP score is based on Australian-conducted testing on right-hand drive models. The total score was 35.2 out of 37, with 1.8 points deducted in the head/neck and lower leg tests. The rating applies to all MX-5’s built since September last year.

“The ever-popular sports car impressed in local testing achieving a good result for this type of vehicle,” said ANCAP CEO James Goodwin. “This is a significant improvement on the model it replaces.”

“Roadsters present a design challenge for manufacturers in ensuring equivalent levels of occupant protection to conventional cars. Their structures obviously differ so additional engineering elements are needed in order to provide the same levels of structural safety.

“The frontal offset, side impact, pole and whiplash tests each revealed high scores but the most impressive area of assessment was pedestrian protection.

PHOTO - Mazda MX-5 (2016-onwards) frontal offset B

“Not only has the MX-5 performed well in each of the impact tests, this is the highest pedestrian protection score we have seen for any vehicle to date.”

The MX-5 has an active, or ‘pop-up’, bonnet which is designed to provide extra clearance between a pedestrian’s head and the vehicle’s stiff components beneath.

The MX-5 achieved a pedestrian protection rating of ‘Good’ scoring 33.72 points out of a possible 36 points. Its closest competitor is the pedestrian airbag equipped Volvo V40 with a score of 31.76.

While giving it praise, Goodwin highlighted the MX-5’s lack of driver assistance technologies.

PHOTO - Mazda MX-5 (2016-onwards) pedestrian head

“Autonomous emergency braking, active lane support and speed assistance systems are lacking. As a newly designed model – one that is likely to remain in the market for some time – it is concerning to see these important safety technologies have been overlooked.”

“Considerable effort went into making the All-New Mazda MX-5 the safest two-seater sportscar of its type; ANCAP awarding it five stars validates this approach,” said Mazda Australia marketing director Alastair Doak.