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Plaudits for Mazda in green motoring tests

Mazda 2, Ford Puma and DS 3 Crossback receive positive emissions scores from Green NCAP

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The Mazda 2 supermini has earned praise from a test programme analysing new cars for their energy efficiency and environmental credentials.

The result will be welcomed by Mazda which has ‘gone its own way’ on the development of future environmentally-friendly cars.

Green NCAP is an offshoot of safety body the European New Car Assessment Programme (Euro NCAP), and aims to promote the development of cars that are clean, energy efficient and not harmful to the environment. It has been testing new cars since 2019 and giving them a rating between one and five stars, as with Euro NCAP’s well-known crash-test programme.

In the latest tests Green NCAP analysed the Mazda 2, Ford Puma crossover and DS 3 Crossback SUV. The Mazda was tested with its 1.5-litre Skyactiv-G petrol engine and scored three-and-a-half stars, its performance described as “impressive” by testers.

However, while the car’s control of pollutant emissions was rated as ‘good’, the Green NCAP report added that the car would benefit from a gasoline particulate filter as particulate emissions were high in some of the more demanding tests.

Green NCAP’s test programme includes both laboratory analysis and on-the-road testing.

The result will be seen by Mazda as vindication of its Skyactiv development strategy, which has shied away from major downsizing of engines and a wholesale switch to electric. Instead the Japanese manufacturer argues that further development of internal combustion engines has a role to play in future motoring.

Green NCAP tested the Ford Puma with its 1.0-litre mild hybrid petrol engine. The car earned a comfortable three stars, scoring well on energy efficiency and respectably for control of pollutant and greenhouse gas emissions.

However the Ford’s Clean Air Index score suffered due to the car’s emissions of ammonia (NN3), which is a pollutant currently regulated by legislation. Testers commented that an improvement in this area would have seen the Ford earn a similar three-and-a-half star rating to the Mazda.

The DS3 Crossback 1.5-litre diesel scored two-and-a-half stars – it was also marked down for its emissions of ammonia and also of nitrous oxide (NOx). However testers praised the particulate filter fitted to the turbodiesel engine, commenting that it worked well in controlling particulate emissions.

Green NCAP has so far tested 75 models from different manufacturers. Top five-star ratings have gone to several full-electric vehicles, along with the hydrogen-powered Hyundai Nexo. Green NCAP scores, when available, are included in our Expert Rating index.

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Andrew Charman
Andrew Charman
Andrew is a road test editor for The Car Expert. He is a member of the Guild of Motoring Writers, and has been testing and writing about new cars for more than 20 years. Today he is well known to senior personnel at the major car manufacturers and attends many new model launches each year.