The new MX-5 only manages a four-star crash test score, while the new Hyundai Tucson gets top marks
7 October 2015

The all-new Mazda MX-5 has missed out on the top-level score in the latest Euro NCAP crash tests while the Hyundai Tucson did get a five-star result. The Vauxhall Viva was the third car to be tested, and also managed a four-star score.

The MX-5 was praised for its performance in the actual crash tests but missed out on the top score due to the limited amount of safety technology.

Specifically, testers noted the absence of Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB) to help avoid or mitigate crashes around town, pointing out that similarly priced cars in other segments offer this at least as an option.

However, the car’s pedestrian protection came in for special praise, scoring 93% thanks to its standard fit deployable bonnet.

The Tucson scored well across the board, though, with scores of 86% and 85% in the Adult and Child Occupant categories, and 71% in both the Pedestrian and Safety Assist sectors. The testers said that the Tucson represented a notable improvement over the previous generation, and the car managed the top score despite only offering AEB as an option.

The third car to be tested was the Vauxhall Viva (although it was tested as the European version, known as the Opel Karl). It managed a four-star score, which the testers described as a commendable one for a car in this sector. However, it was pointed out that there were a few points of concern.

In the front impact test, the dummy’s head bottomed out on the airbag, while the chest protection in the side-pole test was described as being poor. Chest protection for the rear female dummy was also poor in a side-impact test while the driver slipped under the seatbelt in one test. Testers said that better restraint systems would bump the score higher.

Our Verdict

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Join the debate


7 October 2015
Only a bunch of clowns would mark down a car with excellent safety credentials for lacking a braking system that could potentially be hacked. Oh, wait a minute, it's NCAP.

7 October 2015
I think NCAP tests are every bit as suspect as emissions tests. If you build an idiot proof car it will do well in NCAP, but for drivers who are not idiots NCAP is not important.

8 October 2015
Uncle Mellow wrote:

I think NCAP tests are every bit as suspect as emissions tests. If you build an idiot proof car it will do well in NCAP, but for drivers who are not idiots NCAP is not important.

Unless you can react faster than a computer (you can't), driver aids will help you in the event of a dangerous situation. It's perfectly reasonable for them to be included in a safety rating.

EuroNCAP has morphed from a crash test into an overall safety rating though, and how it's referred to by people (especially journalists!) needs to change alongside that.

9 October 2015
I'm guessing that insurers may well have statistics that show one of the more common types of accident is "hit in rear". One might assume that, with some electronic gadgetry (AEB), this could be much reduced and it should follow that costly whiplash claims and vehicle damage could reduce too. The alternative, of course, would be to get rid of all idiots off the road, and those who stop in front of them.

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