The 2017 Mazda CX-5 and Mercedes-Benz C-Class Cabriolet have been awarded the maximum five-star safety rating by ANCAP this week, while the Kia Picanto micro car only managed four.
Scoring 36.48 out of 38 for adult occupant protection (95 per cent), the CX-5 performed well in physical tests and comes with all three (City, Interurban, Pedestrian) levels of autonomous emergency braking (AEB) as standard equipment.
Until this week, the CX-5 had gone unrated by the crash-testing authority, despite being the top-selling vehicle in its class.
"As the highest selling unrated model in Australia and New Zealand so far this year, this provides yet another safe option for SUV buyers,” said James Goodwin, CEO of ANCAP.
The five-star rating applies to all versions of the Mazda CX-5 from April 2017 onwards, though scoring is based on testing conducted by Euro NCAP.
Meanwhile, the Mercedes-Benz C-Class Cabriolet also managed a five-star rating, with an adult occupant score of 32.13 out of 38 (84 per cent).
However, the Benz did lose points for child occupant protection.
“The C-Class convertible is a well-equipped model and offers AEB City and AEB Interurban as standard, however in the side impact test, the head of the 10-year-old child dummy contacted the metal frame of the roof," said Goodwin.
ANCAP's five-star rating for the drop-top C-Class applies to C200 and C300 variants from October 2016 onwards, and, like the Mazda, its score is based off Euro NCAP testing.
Finally, the new-generation Kia Picanto only managed four stars, falling from the previous model's five-star rating, despite the recent addition of high-speed AEB in June – shortly after the model's local launch.
Hindering the Kia's effort for a maximum safety rating were average scores in child occupant protection (64 per cent) and pedestrian protection (54 per cent), despite an 87 per cent adult occupant score.
"It is very encouraging to see an affordable, small car offering AEB City and AEB Interurban as standard, and Kia should be congratulated for taking this initiative," said Goodwin.
'The Picanto is, however, limited to four stars due to lower scores in the Pedestrian Protection and Child Occupant Protection areas of assessment.'