The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety is an established authority on car safety. The nonprofit organization recently released its annual Top Safety Pick+ winners, and five Mazda models garnered the prestigious award. Here’s a look at the IIHS crash test scores and why the Japanese automaker’s cars are so safe.
2022 IIHS car safety awards
For a vehicle model to win a Top Safety Pick or Top Safety Pick+ award, it must earn an acceptable or good rating on each of the six IIHS crash tests. A TSP award differs from a TSP+ award in one way: a vehicle’s headlights.
The IIHS requires cars to receive acceptable or good scores on their headlights to receive the TSP+ award. The IIHS’ 2022 top picks come from 101 qualifying models, an increase over 2021’s candidates, with only 90 qualifying models. This year’s list includes automakers such as Genesis, Kia, Hyundai, Volvo, Audi, and Volkswagen.
However, as the IIHS notes, beginning 2023, vehicles will have a tougher time qualifying for an award due to new guidelines. The organization says it will add two new tests to reflect motorists’ real-life dangers. That will challenge automakers to continue improving car safety.
But in this year’s testing, Mazda shines brightly, taking top honors in several categories. Here are overviews of the five 2022 Mazda models that won TSP+ awards.
2022 Mazda3 4-door hatchback
The 2022 Mazda3 four-door hatchback bagged a 2022 Top Safety Pick+ award in the Small Cars category for its impressive performance in all six crash tests. The compact car received good ratings in driver’s side and passenger side small overlap front tests, moderate overlap front, original side, roof strength, head restraint, and seats.
The Mazda3 hatchback also received good or acceptable ratings for headlights. In addition, the IIHS gave its front crash prevention mechanisms a superior rating.
2022 Mazda3 4-door sedan
The 2022 Mazda3 four-door sedan snagged a Top Safety Pick+ in the Small Cars category. Like its hatchback sibling, the sedan received good ratings on all six crashworthiness tests. Similarly, the IIHS gave the model a good and acceptable rating for headlights and a superior rating for crash prevention mechanisms.
2022 Mazda CX-30 4-door SUV
The 2022 Mazda CX-30 four-door subcompact crossover represented the automaker in the Small SUV category. Snagging excellent ratings from the IIHS, the CX-30 passed all crashworthiness tests with good ratings. The CX-30 also earned a good rating on headlights but compensated for the lack of an additional acceptable rating with its superior rating in front crash prevention.
2022 Mazda CX-5 4-door SUV
The 2022 Mazda CX-5 also won a spot in the Small SUV category. The four-door compact crossover received consistently good ratings on all crashworthiness tests. It also earned a good or acceptable rating for headlights and a superior score in vehicle-to-vehicle front crash prevention. And the CX-5 earned an advanced rating in vehicle-to-pedestrian front crash prevention.
2022 Mazda CX-9 4-door SUV
In addition, the Mazda CX-9 earned its spot in the Midsize SUV category, receiving a constant good rating on all six crashworthiness tests. The IIHS gave the CX-9 a good rating in headlights but an advanced rating in vehicle-to-pedestrian front crash prevention. Nonetheless, the midsize crossover earned a superior score in vehicle-to-vehicle front crash prevention.