Is the new Mazda MX-5 safe? ANCAP crash tests return 5-star result

Even though the new Mazda MX-5 has been on sale for a while now, buyers have been in the dark in regards to knowing how safe it is. ANCAP has just crash-tested it and awarded the full five stars.

2016 Mazda MX-5 ANCAP crash test

Australia’s ANCAP used its latest round of crash testing to sample the MX-5. Interestingly, test results aren’t carried over from the Euro-based NCAP organisation. The five-star rating is an improvement over the previous model’s four-star effort.

In the frontal offset, side impact, pole and whiplash tests the car received high scores, however, ANCAP was most impressed with the MX-5’s pedestrian safety. ANCAP CEO James Goodwin said:

“Not only has the MX-5 performed well in each of the impact tests, this is the highest pedestrian protection score we have seen for any vehicle to date.”

The MX-5 comes with an active pop-up bonnet that raised in the event of a collision with pedestrians, helping to protect the unfortunate person/s from the hard components just beneath the bonnet. As a result it scored 33.72 out of 36 for pedestrian safety – higher than the next-safest, Volvo V40, with its pedestrian airbag (31.76).

It’s not all bells and whistles though. ANCAP expresses that newly-developed vehicles, such as the MX-5, that are likely to live in new-car showrooms for a few years really should come with autonomous braking technology. Goodwin said:

“Autonomous emergency braking, active lane support and speed assistance systems are lacking. As a newly designed model – one that is likely to remain in the market for some time – it is concerning to see these important safety technologies have been overlooked.”

Overall, the new MX-5 received a score of 35.20 out of 37, including 16 out of 16 for the side impact test and 14.20 out of 16 for the frontal offset crash test.

2016 Mazda MX-5 ANCAP pole crash test

Brett is the editor and founder of PerformanceDrive. He's obsessed with driving, having played with Matchbox cars until he was tall enough to drive a real one. After initially working as a mechanic, Brett earned a degree in journalism and entered media as an editorial assistant at Top Gear Australia magazine. He then worked at His dream is to live next door to the Nurburgring in Germany.

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