Mazda MX-5 disappoints in crash tests

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Mazda’s MX-5 has missed out scoring the full five stars (out of five) in recent Euro NCAP crash tests.

Despite receiving praise for its crash performance in front and side impact tests, the Mazda was denied the maximum five stars because it lacks safety equipment like autonomous emergency braking.

Missing out on the fifth star will be especially galling for the Japanese car-maker since Euro NCAP praised the little Mazda for its crash test protection, with Euro NCAP even awarding the little roadster a very respectable 93 per cent score for pedestrian impact protection thanks to standard-fit pop-up bonnet.

The disappointing score is not the first shock result in recent Euro NCAP history. Recently the Audi’s all-new TT also missed out on the fifth prestigious score for crash protection. Like Mazda, Audi also didn’t offer autonomous emergency braking.

As well as the little MX-5 roadster, Euro NCAP also tested the new Hyundai Tucson and the little Opel Karl (known as the Vauxhall Viva in the UK) city-car.

The new Hyundai SUV received the full five-star rating, scoring high marks in all areas. Perversely, despite autonomous emergency braking being an option for the Tucson, crash testers ignored it because of expected low buyer uptake, but such was the performance in other areas the Hyundai still bagged the fifth star.

GM’s European brand, Opel, didn’t fare quite as well. The Karl matched the Mazda MX-5 in only scoring four out five stars after the crash tests revealed in front offset crash tests the driver’s head was shown to ‘bottom out’ on the airbag. A side impact pole test also saw poor chest protection and a risk of the driver ‘submarining’ under their seatbelt causing knee and leg injuries was also identified.

By John Mahoney

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