New SUVs achieve top safety ratings against increased testing standards

19 July 2018

New SUVs achieve top safety ratings against increased testing standards

Volvo and Mazda's new SUVs have hit the New Zealand market with 5 star safety ratings from the Australasia New Car Assessment Programme (ANCAP) - in spite of increased testing standards.

Volvo's first small SUV, the Volvo XC40, and the seven-seater Mazda CX-8 performed well across various crash scenarios and tests, providing high standards of safety for drivers, passengers and pedestrians.

For the first time, the safety testing included testing the performance and effectiveness of safety assist technologies, and the ability for the vehicles to protect a broader range of occupants, including children.

AA Motoring Services General Manager Stella Stocks says it's fantastic that the first vehicles tested against ANCAP's new standards achieved top safety ratings.

"It's great to see Volvo and Mazda setting the new standard for vehicle safety," she says.

"SUVs are a popular choice for families so it's fantastic that in both cases the vehicles were able to achieve high ratings when more thoroughly tested for child occupant safety."

Both models have autonomous emergency breaking (AEB), lane keep assist (LKA) and a seatbelt reminder system. The Volvo XC40 also has emergency lane keeping (ELK), which intervenes more aggressively than its LKA in emergency situations to keep the SUV on the road or from hitting another vehicle.

The Volvo XC40 achieved 84% overall for child occupant protection, with perfect scores for the dynamic tests with ANCAP's new 6-year-old and 10-year-old child dummies. The Mazda CX-8 achieved 87% for child occupant protection and 96% for adult occupant protection.

The full list of ANCAP’s vehicle safety ratings, other vehicle safety information and the specifications of the rated vehicles are available online at or

ANCAP is supported by all Australian motoring clubs, the New Zealand Automobile Association, the Australian Government, the New Zealand Government, Australian state and territory governments, the Victorian Transport Accident Commission, NRMA Insurance and the FIA Foundation.

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