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The 2023 Mazda3 is a stylish alternative to the Honda Civic and Toyota Corolla in the compact car segment. However, the little Mazda car lost its top safety rating from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) for 2023. So, why did the popular compact car lose the “+” in its safety scores? 

What safety scores did Mazda’s Mazda3 compact car model earn from the IIHS?

The Mazda3 earned a 2023 Top Safety Pick rating from the IIHS. While a Top Safety Pick is commendable, it’s a lower rating than the Mazda model earned for the 2022 evaluations. 

A gray 2023 Mazda3 shows off its hatchback car proportions.
Mazda3 | Mazda

Specifically, the Mazda3 earned a Top Safety Pick+ in 2022, albeit with similar subcategory scores. For instance, the 2022 and 2023 models earned “Good” scores in every crashworthiness category. However, both vehicles had “inadequate” headlight performance around corners at the 2.5 S, Select, Preferred, and Carbon Edition trims.

Moreover, the 2023 criteria include an updated side-impact test that plagued several popular cars, like the Nissan Maxima and Toyota Corolla. Regarding the Mazda model’s updated side evaluation, the compact car earned an “Acceptable” rating in the structure and safety cage subcategory. Although the overall tests are similar, the IIHS gave the Japanese compact sedan and hatchback models a Top Safety Pick rating without the “+” qualification for 2023. 

What safety scores did the Mazda compact car model earn from the NHTSA?

The 2022 Mazda3 earned a five-star safety rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). In the NHTSA’s evaluations, the Mazda car earned a perfect bill of health. It received a five-star rating in every subcategory, including rollover crashworthiness. 

The 2023 Mazda3 is shows off its top safety rating-earning sedan proportions beside an old building.
Mazda3 | Mazda

What are the Mazda3’s safety features?

The 2023 Mazda3 has a suite of standard safety features:

  • Lane-keeping assist
  • Lane-departure warning
  • Automatic emergency braking
  • Forward-collision alert
  • Driver-attention monitoring
  • Rearview camera
  • Adaptive headlights

In addition to the standard features, the popular Mazda compact car model offers optional safety features to complement the standard equipment.

  • Rear cross-traffic alert
  • Blind-spot monitoring
  • Traffic-sign recognition
  • Surround-view parking cameras
  • Traffic-jam assist
  • Heads-up display

Is the Mazda3 a safe car?

Even with the loss of the “+” on the Mazda model’s IIHS scorecard, it’s a safe car. The model’s NHTSA scorecard leaves little room for improvement.

Moreover, the Japanese compact car model offers optional all-wheel drive (AWD). AWD provides additional grip compared to the standard front-wheel drive (FWD) application in inclement weather. As a result, the Mazda car is composed on slick roads in addition to boasting dependable crashworthiness scores


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