The addition of various safety technologies has seen the updated, 2018 Ford Mustang coupe's Euro NCAP crash score climb to three stars.
While not exactly a cause for raucous celebration, the new result published by Euro NCAP is certainly better than the infamous two-star crash score awarded by its Australian partner, ANCAP, at the start of this year.
The rating will apply to models ordered in Europe from about now onwards. However, Australian readers must note here that the MY18 Mustang won't arrive here until the second half of next year, meaning cars sold until then will retain the old rating.
Ford's upgraded Mustang comes with standard autonomous emergency braking, forward collision warning, pedestrian detection and lane assist. Ergo, the 'Safety Assist Pillar' increases from 16 per cent to 61 per cent, a five-star rating in this category.
The company has also updated the restraint system to prevent the airbag bottoming out for driver and passenger, while the automatic airbag deactivation now meets Euro NCAP's requirements.
Euro NCAP in fact awarded the revised Mustang an unchanged 72 per cent in adult occupant testing and upped the pedestrian protection to 78 per cent. However, the lowly 32 per cent child occupant rating cuts the rating from four or five stars, to three.
Despite this, Euro NCAP did commend Ford for moving quickly to make tech changes following the shocking ANCAP result.
“Our advice to buyers is to always opt for a Euro NCAP Five Star car, so a Three Star Euro NCAP rating is never a cause for celebration," added director of research at road safety group Thatcham Research, Matthew Avery.
"However, Ford’s rapid addition of a suite of standard-fit safety tech and its prompt updates to improve the performance of the airbags and restraints is to be applauded and underlines the power of the Euro NCAP consumer testing programme as a force for positive action."
Ford Australia said it remained of the view that: "the 2015 and 2018 Mustangs are safe vehicles, equipped with advanced safety features and structure and restraint systems designed to manage crash energy under a variety of crash modes".
"The Mustang has exceeded all crash safety regulatory requirements," a spokesperson said.
Ford Australia president and CEO, Graeme Whickman made some pretty strong, aggressive statements defending his brand after we slammed the company earlier this year, which you can read and decide on.
ANCAP commented on the Euro NCAP result, but has not yet revised its rating as the upgraded MY18 Mustang won't arrive here for some time. However from January 1 its ratings will align with Euro NCAP's, and Ford Australia confirmed our cars would get the upgrades.
The terrible safety score has hardly hurt Mustang sales in Australia, which has fast become one of the world's major markets for the Pony Car. Ford sold a staggering 1276 last month and has sold more than 5000 this year, making it the company's second top-seller here behind the Ranger.
Read the Euro NCAP safety report for greater detail.
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