Cars have been tested through the Australasian New Car Assessment Programme since 1993 to determine the level of safety offered in a crash. The only model to have ever received a zero-star rating was the Mitsubishi Express van back in 2021. Add a couple of new vehicles to that list because the MG 5 and Mahindra Scorpio also failed ANCAP's test.

How can that be? The saloon's entry-level trim doesn't even have seatbelt pretensioners while the more expensive version only has them for the front seats. The MG 5 also lacks blind spot monitoring and lane assist while the intervention of autonomous emergency braking was limited.

These drawbacks were reflected in the car's safety rating since the saloon scored only 37 percent in the Adult Occupant Protection category and 58 percent for Child Occupant Protection. The MG 5 got a 42 percent score for Vulnerable Road User Protection and only 13 percent for Safety Assist.

As for the Mahindra Scorpio, the body-on-frame SUV didn't fare any better either. ANCAP rated it at 44 percent for adult protection and 80 percent for child protection. It only got 23 percent in the Vulnerable Road User Protection category and 0 percent for Safety Assist. It's sold in Australia with six seats whereas in New Zealand it also comes in a seven-seat layout with the middle row's centre seat featuring a lap-only seatbelt.

However, the Mahindra Scorpio did receive a five-star rating from Global NCAP about a year ago. How can there be such a discrepancy between the two crash tests? Global NCAP prioritises crash safety whereas ANCAP is more about active safety to prevent an accident.

ANCAP Chief Executive Officer, Carla Hoorweg, said both MG and Mahindra have "misjudged the safety expectations of today's consumers. This is a stark reminder that not all cars offer the same level of safety – even when they're brand new models."

Gallery: 2023 Mahindra Scorpio and MG 5 ANCAP crash test