Better, but not exactly standout, from the reworked 'Stang

The updated 'FN' Ford Mustang has improved on its predecessor's woeful ANCAP result, but still only manages a three-star safety rating.

Central to the improvement is the addition of autonomous-emergency braking, forward collision warning and lane-keeping assist across the range of vehicles built since December 2017.

That bumps the car's safety assist score from 16 per cent to 61 per cent, and improves its pedestrian protection rating from 64 per cent to 78 per cent.

Why the three-star rating, then? Well, although it has more safety assistance kit, the Mustang's basic structure hasn't been revised for 2018, which means it still falls short of ANCAP expectations in adult and child occupant protection.

"Structurally however, the revised Ford Mustang is identical to the Mustang we originally rated, meaning it still falls short of our expectations in the areas of Adult Occupant and Child Occupant Protection," said James Goodwin, ANCAP CEO.

"The inclusion of driver assistance aids such as AEB and lane keep assist is a definite step in the right direction, yet these upgrades have neglected to address the injury risk posed to rear seat occupants as well as whiplash protection."

In response to the updated result, Jasmine Mobarek, communications manager for Ford Australia, said the Mustang "is a safe car".

"We are committed to continued improvement in vehicle safety and have taken action and updated several systems on the MY2018 model," she said, highlighting the standard active safety equipment offered across the range.

Ford was keen to highlight an updated restraint system, designed to address Euro NCAP and ANCAP's worries about unstable airbag contact in the frontal-offset test, and pointed out the four-star adult occupant and five-star pedestrian protection results.

In initial testing (pictured above), conducted in 2017, the Mustang was slammed by Goodwin, who said its result is "simply shocking for such a newly designed and popular model".

Along with the fact it was missing crucial active safety technology, Goodwin said the car's physical test performance was poor.

"Of concern, the full width frontal test showed a risk of serious head, chest and leg injury for the rear passenger," Goodwin said last year.

"There was also insufficient inflation of both the driver and front passenger airbags in the frontal offset test which allowed the driver’s head to contact the steering wheel and the passenger’s head to contact the dashboard."

Ford last year said it was disappointed with the original result, and cited its five-star score in NHTSA and 'good' rating in IIHS testing. Both those are American testing protocols.


Podcast

Listen to the CarAdvice team talk to ANCAP CEO James Goodwin last year after the Ford Mustang was given a two star safety rating, and catch more like this at caradvice.com/podcast.