The all-new Mazda3 has been awarded the maximum safety rating of five stars by Euro NCAP. Mazda’s newest model is thereby the safest compact available across Europe to be tested by Euro NCAP thus far in 2013.

The latest version of Mazda’s all-time bestseller achieved top marks in all four categories, chalking up 93 per cent and 86 per cent, respectively, for adult and child occupant protection – both among the highest scores in Europe this year – and 65 per cent and 81 per cent in the pedestrian protection and safety assist categories. These figures easily surpassed the respective Euro NCAP thresholds required for five stars overall**. It’s the first rating for the all-new Mazda3 from a major safety assessment authority.

Available as a hatchback or sedan, the new model is now the fifth Mazda to earn the exclusive five-star badge since Euro NCAP introduced a tough new rating system in 2009. Here it follows in the footsteps of the outgoing Mazda3, the previous and current Mazda6, and the Mazda CX-5. Like the latter two, the all-new Mazda3 comes with the unique impact-absorbing yet lightweight SKYACTIV-Body and SKYACTIV-Chassis. Around 60 per cent of the body, for example, is made from high and ultra-high tensile steels. That’s up from half in its predecessor, making Mazda’s new compact lighter yet some 30 per cent stiffer. It thus delivers even better passive safety protection, which is complemented by the cutting-edge i-ACTIVESENSE range of sensor-based active safety technology. Euro NCAP evaluations will include these kinds of systems starting in 2014.

Another highlight of the all-new Mazda3, which went on sale in Europe last month, is its predictably responsive acceleration, braking and steering. By making the car easier to drive safely, such attributes further reduce accident potential with no compromise to Mazda’s fun-to-drive character. The car also features a completely redesigned interior based on a new cabin concept. The idea here is to help the driver make the best possible use of all the information the vehicle’s systems has to offer.