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Gold stars for Mazda CX-7

The CX-7 got high scores for occupant protection but didn't do to well in pedestrian protection.

Side curtain airbags and electronic stability control have helped the new Mazda CX-7 medium SUV score top marks for occupant protection in Australian crash tests.

However, it scored only one point for pedestrian protection in the Australasian New Car Assessment Program (ANCAP).

The highest pedestrian scores so far have been four stars for the Subaru Impreza and Citroen C6. Pedestrians represented 12 per cent of the Australian road toll last year.

Electronic stability control (ESC) has this year become a prerequisite by ANCAP to score five stars. This follows international research that shows a reduction of up to 66 per cent in driver injury in single vehicle crashes where ESV is fitted.

About 30 per cent of new passenger vehicles sold in Australia now have stability control.

In other ANCAP results, the Toyota Corolla scored four stars and Hyundai Elantra three.

RACQ vehicle technologies manager Steve Spalding said the results of some of the volume-selling models were a concern.

In Europe, where all Corollas have curtain airbags, it scores five stars.

However, Toyota Australia makes them available only on the more expensive variants.

“It is difficult to understand why Australian consumers are not provided with similar safety features as standard,” he said.

Euro NCAP results for vehicles available here include the Mercedes-Benz C class and Mazda2 (with ESC) scoring five stars.

Four stars were awarded to the Mazda2 (without ESC), Kia Rio with side head protecting airbags, Smart fortwo and Nissan X-TRAIL.

Kia Rio without side head protecting airbags, Kia Cerato and Hyundai Elantra scored three stars.