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Each automotive company has fought tooth and nail to get an SUV on the market that tops all its competitors. In the midsize crossover segment, Mazda threw out its answer to the best sports utility vehicle for that market and came up with the CX-9. Mazda began producing it in 2007 and made a few redesigns since then to meet the needs of consumers.

The CX-9 impressed SUV buyers with its powerful engine, exterior styling, and interior space. But, one of the key factors when buying a family crossover SUV, like this one, is how well it stands up in the safety department. So, how safe is the Mazda CX-9? The IIHS and the NHTSA tested various versions of it and reported their findings on their websites.

How the Mazda CX-9 fared with past safety tests

Some of the earlier models of the Mazda CX-9 didn’t go over very well for either the NHTSA or the IIHS testing. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration tested the 2013 model and felt it performed well on some of its front and side tests.

However, it only received three stars in the overall side pole evaluation. It didn’t perform as well for the front passenger or front driver safety tests either, only earning three stars for both. The rollover was pretty average with four stars, and they rated the rollover risk at 14.30%.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety tested the 2014 Mazda Touring model, and they felt that the front drivers-side test performed poorly, while the roof strength and head and seat restraints barely passed with marginal ratings on the 2010 model. The moderate overlap front and side test results came from a 2008 model and it passed with a good rating.

How the Mazda CX-9 fares with current models

The Mazda CX-9 fared better for the more current models. The IIHS gave the 2017 Touring trim all good ratings across the board. The 2016-2018 models were used for evaluations on roof strength, passenger-side crash tests, and head restraints.

All passed with good ratings, and the IIHS gave it Superior, their best rating, for overall evaluations with the optional equipment included in the tests.

The NHTSA used a 2018 model for their safety crash testing. Overall, they felt it held up well. Side crash tests all received five stars. Frontal got four stars for both driver and passenger sides, and they gave the rollover risk a rating of 15.10%.

Final thoughts on this SUV

It looks like Mazda made some decent improvements in the crash testing area to make the CX-9 a safer vehicle to drive. Safety features have also improved with plenty of airbags to protect from the front, side, and rear of both the driver and passenger.

It has brake assist, electronic stability control, auto-leveling, and 4-wheel ABS. There’s also lane departure warning, blind-spot monitoring, and lane-keeping assist to add to all the other fine features found on the CX-9 optional equipment list.

If you’re considering buying one of these, it might be a good idea to avoid any of the older versions. Safety testing wasn’t so good with the NHTSA and the IIHS for the previous generations.

However, things seemed to look up for the newest models starting in 2017. Its ratings significantly improved over the older models. With the added safety features for both standard and for optional packages, the CX-9 continues to impress.

The Mazda CX-9 has been through quite a lot when it comes to designing a safe vehicle for a family to drive. The newest SUVs have gained back some trust in Mazda, becoming a top safety pick for 2019. Of course, it will only get better with each model produced.