Mazda’s new-generation BT-50 ute has secured a maximum five-star ANCAP safety rating, but its overall score is slightly lower than its D-Max twin.
The BT-50 was expected to secure the maximum five-star rating after the D-Max became the first ute to score a five-star rating under the current and more stringent crash testing program. Of note, ANCAP updated its testing procedure for 2020 to increase the difficulty of the side-impact test.
While the BT-50 scored identically to the D-Max in three of ANCAP’s four testing categories, it fell behind by two points only in the ‘vulnerable road user protection’ (VRU) category. These points were lost in impact areas for frontal collisions with pedestrians, leaving the BT-50’s unique bumper design as its sole weak point compared to the D-Max.
Rear AEB was also notably missing (as it is on the D-Max), leaving the BT-50 with a VRU score of 67 per cent. The BT-50’s AEB system works from 8-160km/h and was also docked points for only ‘marginal’ detection of cyclists.
Other notable achievements for the BT-50 include its identical rear occupant protection score to the D-Max and very high 89 per cent score in the ‘child occupant protection’ category, which will be an important factor with more families choosing a dual-cab as a multi-purpose family transport. Some vehicles in this segment (like the VW Amarok) are still lacking rear occupant airbags.
As with the D-Max, all Australian variants of the BT-50 are covered by the five-star score. ANCAP communications director Rhianne Robson said: “It is reassuring to see the safety of Mazda customers and other road users being prioritised regardless of market segment.”
All vehicles in Mazda’s range in Australia are now fitted with at least city-speed AEB and carry maximum five-star ANCAP safety ratings. Notable BT-50 rivals, the Toyota HiLux and Ford Ranger, also carry five-star ratings, although these scores were awarded in 2019 and 2015 respectively to less strict standards.