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You won’t always find brand-new SUVs on the IIHS Top Safety Pick winners list, but Mazda has done the impossible. Safety was a top priority for the newest Mazda SUV on the market. The 2024 Mazda CX-90 proved itself in the most recent round of crashworthiness testing from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

Is the 2024 Mazda CX-90 SUV safe?

The Mazda SUV back end
The 2024 Mazda CX-90 | Amanda Cline, MotorBiscuit

This week, the 2024 Mazda CX-90 SUV earned the IIHS Top Safety Pick Plus award. It is no secret that these safety tests have increased in difficulty in the last few years, ultimately leading to safer cars on the road. The CX-90 comes in two different types, which were rated separately. The 2024 Mazda CX-90 and the CX-90 PHEV, a plug-in hybrid variant. Both versions earned the TSP+ award.

In the primary crashworthiness test, both Mazda SUVs earned the highest score of “good” in all four segments. For the gasoline CX-90, a few different headlight options were available across the trims. The S, S Premium, and S Premium Plus trims use curve-adaptive LED projector lights that earned the highest score of “good.”

Crashworthiness Test2024 Mazda CX-90 Gasoline2024 Mazda CX-90 PHEV
Small overlap front: driver-sideGoodGood
Small overlap front: passenger-sideGoodGood
Moderate overlap front: original testGoodGood
Side: updated testGoodGood
Front crash prevention:
vehicle-to-pedestrian (day)
Front crash prevention: vehicle-to-pedestrian (night)SuperiorSuperior
Seat belt remindersGoodN/A
LATCH ease of useGoodN/A

The Preferred, Preferred Plus, Premium, and Premium Plus trims use LED projector headlights that are not curve-adaptive. These provided good visibility, but the curve-adaptive feature provided better visibility overall. For the CX-90 PHEV, all trim levels use the same not curve-adaptive LED projector lights, which provided good visibility but only earned the “acceptable” score.

Did the Mazda CX-90 SUV protect the driver and passengers in testing?

In the overall evaluation, the Mazda CX-90 SUV protected the driver and passengers in multiple areas. These include structure, safety cage, driver injury measures, and driver restraints. Mazda’s SUV maintained the cabin and structure in the head-on collision simulation, and the side curtain airbags helped keep the occupants in place. In all 28 areas of the IIHS test, the CX-90 SUVs proved to be safe options.

One of the relatively new test areas is the front crash prevention vehicle-to-pedestrian (day) and vehicle-to-pedestrian (night) tests. These check how well the standard safety systems work to help avoid a collision.

Using Mazda’s standard Smart Brake Support system, the CX-90 could avoid a collision at 12 mph. It also avoided a crash in the 25 mph test. The tested systems earned overall scores of “superior” on both parts of the safety testing. Since the CX-90 is a three-row SUV that would be ideal for families, knowing that the systems work as described is important.

Does Mazda make safe SUVs?

Mazda has many safe SUVs, but the 2024 CX-90 is the first to take home next year’s higher-tier Top Safety Pick Plus award. The 2023 CX-30, CX-5, and CX-50 in the small SUVs category took home the Top Safety Pick award. Additionally, the 2023 CX-9 earned the same TSP award.

It is no secret that safety testing is more rigorous than ever before, but that has only made the roads safer for everyone. If a car, truck, or SUV does not pass a test for whatever reason, the automaker usually fixes the issue before the next round of testing. For instance, perhaps Mazda will make the curve-adaptive headlights standard on all trim levels next year.

Check out our full review of the 2024 Mazda CX-90 to see what it is like to drive this modern three-row SUV. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has not completed its crash testing on the 2024 CX-90, but that is likely ongoing.


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