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Near-perfect small car? Mazda3 scores 98pc in crash test

The new Mazda3 has emerged as the safety star of the latest round of Australasian New Car Assessment Programme (ANCAP) crash test results.

Five different Japanese and European models achieved five star ratings: Mazda3, Toyota RAV4, Lexus UX, Range Rover Evoque and the Volkswagen Touareg.

But the Mazda3 also stood out with a 98 per cent score for adult occupant protection: an "outstanding" result says ANCAP.

A select few have achieved the same, but the high-scoring Mazda is even more remarkable for being a mainstream family car.

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Other 98 per centers from years past include the Volvo XC60 and Alfa Romeo's Giulia and Stelvio.

Of the other four cars in the latest round of testing, the Lexus, Toyota and Range Rover all achieved over 90 per cent in adult occupant protection. The Touareg scored 89 per cent.

The ANCAP results for all five models were compiled using crash data from parent organisation EuroNCAP.

All five vehicles have critical safety components, such as AEB and lane keep assist, as standard across all variants.

AA Motoring Services general manager Stella Stocks says it's fantastic to see a range of new vehicles achieving top ratings.

"A few years ago it was common to see AEB and lane keep assist reserved for top spec models or available as an optional extra, so it's great to see they're now standard across the range in a mix of new vehicles."

The Japanese Toyota RAV4 and Lexus UX achieved scores of 82-85 per cent for their safety assist features and pedestrian protection, while the European Range Rover Evoque and VW Touareg achieved scores of 72-78 per cent in those categories.

"It's interesting to see Toyota and Lexus rising above their European counterparts for safety assist and pedestrian protection, when European vehicles have traditionally had the edge in these areas," Stocks says.