The US-built Ford Mustang has finally been given an ANCAP safety rating and the news isn’t good, with the big V8 muscle car scoring just two out of the possible five stars.
Testing of the V8 coupe saw it perform poorly in three of the four assessment areas - Adult Occupant Protection, Child Occupant Protection and Safety Assist.
The poorest performing area of assessment was Safety Assist with the Mustang scoring 2 points out of a possible 12 points (16 percent).
“This result is simply shocking for such a newly designed and popular model,” said ANCAP Chief Executive Officer, James Goodwin.
“The safety of adult occupants, child occupants and the ability to avoid a crash all form the basis of our ratings and the Mustang falls short in each of these areas,”
“There’s strong consumer expectation that a new vehicle will be 5 stars and a sports car is no different – safety should never be compromised,” he said.
Goodwin said speed assistant systems, lane keeping support, autonomous emergency braking, forward collision warning and rear seat-belt reminders, available in many cars in its $45,000-plus price range, are missing from the Mustang.
In a statement Ford defended its car and described the ANCAP result as “disappointing”, and that it relates to a “rigorous new [testing] protocol” introduced by ANCAP last year, well after development of the current Mustang had already been completed.
The statement also asserted that the ANCAP tests were now “more tailored to family cars and people movers” than sports cars such as the Mustang.
“The overall Euro NCAP rating is based on four pillars, with a very strong focus on family car safety characteristics and specific safety assist features, which are usually not part of the standard equipment of cars in the Mustang category,” the Ford statement read.
But as Goodwin points out the poor result wasn’t just because of missing active safety equipment.
“The full width frontal (crash) test showed a risk of serious head, chest and leg injury for the rear passenger. There was also insufficient inflation of both the driver and front passenger airbags in the frontal offset test which allowed the driver’s head to contact the steering wheel and the passenger’s head to contact the dashboard,”
“The driver’s door opened in the pole test, and whiplash protection for rear-end collisions was marginal,”
“This rating is not intended to shock or surprise – it simply presents the safety of this car against that of its contemporary competitors.”
The Mustang is believed to be the only new passenger car on the market with a two-star ANCAP safety rating. Other Ford models subjected to ANCAP testing, including the Ford Ranger, Kuga, Escape, Fiesta, Focus, Mondeo and the outgoing Falcon and Territory achieved five star ratings.
The four-cylinder Mustang and convertible models have yet to be rated.