Five stars for hard­top MX-5

The Weekly Advertiser Horsham - - Motoring -

Mazda’s just-launched MX-5 RF re­tractable hard­top has been awarded the same five-star safety rat­ing as its drop-top twin.

The hard­top ver­sion of Mazda’s pop­u­lar sportscar rolled in to Aus­tralian show­rooms last month, of­fered in base and GT guises, priced from $38,550 plus on-road costs and top­ping out at $45,890.

The Aus­tralasian New Car As­sess­ment Pro­gram, ANCAP, has trans­ferred the same fives­tar rat­ing and score on the RF as the rag-top model, with both ver­sions meet­ing the cri­te­ria for the max­i­mum rat­ing.

Some of its com­peti­tors in the class – the Holden Cas­cada, Nis­san 370Z and BMW 2 Se­ries – are yet to be tested by ANCAP, but oth­ers, in­clud­ing the Toy­ota 86/Subaru BRZ twins and Hyundai Veloster have also achieved a max­i­mum five-star rat­ing.

The MX-5’S Ital­ian cousin, the Abarth 124 Spi­der, is also yet to be tested.

In the orig­i­nal ANCAP test of the MX-5 Road­ster from June last year, the safety watch­dog awarded an over­all score of 35.2 out of a max­i­mum 37 points, in­clud­ing a top score for oc­cu­pant pro­tec­tion, 16 out of 16, and the pole test, two out of two, while achiev­ing 14.2 out of 16 for the frontal off­set test.

The score of 33.72 out of 36 for pedes­trian pro­tec­tion was the best re­sult ANCAP had re- corded for any car tested in Aus­tralia.

Mazda says this was thanks to the MX-5’S ac­tive bon­net that pops up when an ac­ci­dent is de­tected, as well as en­ergy-ab­sorb­ing foam in the front bumper beam that works with the lower stiff­ener in the bumper to pre­vent pedes­trian’s legs from slip­ping un­der the front of the car.

The Ja­panese car-maker has also added some new safety tech to its MX-5 range, with the Road­ster now get­ting blind spot mon­i­tor­ing and rear crosstraf­fic alert, which are both now stan­dard fare across the MX-5 range.

The RF in top-spec GT guise now adds adap­tive LED head­lights to its list of stan­dard kit.

Mazda al­ready of­fers the MX-5 with stan­dard emer­gency brake as­sist, emer­gency stop sig­nal, hill start as­sist, trac­tion control, dy­namic sta­bil­ity control, ABS and front and side airbags.

Mazda Aus­tralia mar­ket­ing di­rec­tor Alas­tair Doak said while the com­pany was ex­pect­ing the five-star re­sult, it was keen to in­tro­duce even more safety gear to the sportscar range.

“From the out­set we were con­fi­dent the Mazda MX-5 had the in­built proac­tive and pas­sive safety tech­nol­ogy to earn the max­i­mum safety rat­ing, which is why we didn’t hes­i­tate to crash test un­der the strict pa­ram­e­ters of ANCAP,” he said.

“As high­lighted re­cently, con­sid­er­able ef­fort went into mak­ing the all-new Mazda MX-5 the safest two-seater sportscar, and this is still the case.

“We ex­pected the five star rat­ing would carry over to the all-new Mazda MX-5 RF, but as we’ve done across most of the Mazda range in recent months, we were keen to in­tro­duce more safety tech­nol­ogy for the ben­e­fit of our cus­tomers.”

SAFETY FIRST: Mazda has added new safety tech­nol­ogy to its MX-5 Road­ster and RF re­tractable hard­top.

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