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Hyundai’s brand new Tucson SUV was awarded the maximum five star rating during Euro NCAP’s latest round of safety tests, while the Mazda MX-5 and the Opel Karl couldn’t secure a perfect rating.
The new generation Tucson achieved high scores in all areas of assessment, showing outstanding all-around safety, especially compared to its predecessor that was tested back in 2006. The new model also featured good safety assist systems, though AEB (Automatic Emergency Braking) technology wasn’t included in the final rating.
Further down the safety pecking order came the Mazda MX-5 with its four star rating – which isn’t a terrible result, considering that the Audi TT (somewhat of a rival) also didn’t score a full five stars.
The MX-5 behaved well in terms of all-round performance, and actually stood out during pedestrian protection tests thanks to its deployable bonnet fitted as standard. One disappointment however was the absence of AEB, where Euro NCAP officials considered that many similarly-priced cars in other segments offer this tech at least as an optional extra.
Finally, the Opel Karl city car (or Vauxhall Viva in the UK) also manged only four stars, despite the fact that its segment isn’t well known for excellent safety features.
Euro NCAP technicians also found that during the frontal offset test, the dummy’s head bottomed out the airbag and in the side pole impact test, the chest was poorly protected. Another issue with the Karl was that the driver slipped under the seatbelt during full-width rigid barrier testing, resulting in elevated risk at knee and femur injuries.
Even though it did secure four stars, there was a general consensus that with better optimized restraints, the Karl would have looked a bit more impressive.
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