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All-new for the 2020 model year, the compact and cozy Mazda CX-30 adds to the brand’s growing lineup. The Mazda brand is quickly becoming known as one of the most technology-forward and safest automakers in the world, with every one of its SUVs dominating important safety testing. But as the newest SUV in the lineup, the 2020 Mazda CX-30 is the only one to miss out on one important award.

The 2020 Mazda lineup earns more safety awards than any other automaker

Every year, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) awards the safest vehicles with the title of “Top Safety Pick” or “Top Safety Pick+.” According to IIHS, vehicles that qualify for “Top Safety Pick” status must receive an evaluation of “Good” in all frontal crash-testing (including roof-strength and head-restraint testing), an “Advanced” or “Superior” rating for crash-prevention technology, and must also have headlights available with an “Acceptable” or “Good” rating. In order to earn the higher-praised “Top Safety Pick+” award, vehicles must feature “Acceptable” or “Good” headlights as standard equipment.

For the 2020 year, Mazda stands out as the safest automaker in the country. Mazda earned more spots in the “Top Safety Pick” awards than any other automaker, with six total vehicles earning “Top Safety Pick” or “Top Safety Pick+” status.

This includes two sedans/hatchbacks and four SUVs. In fact, every single 2020 Mazda passenger vehicle made the list. The only vehicle that didn’t qualify for a safety award, unsurprisingly, is the roadster MX-5 Miata

How Mazda’s SUV lineup conquered IIHS ratings

All four of Mazda’s SUVs performed well enough on IIHS testing to receive a spot in the “Top Safety Pick” awards. The larger Mazda CX-9 is one of only two total vehicles in the entire midsize SUV segment to be chosen as a “Top Safety Pick+.” Not just performing great on crash-testing, standard headlights offered in all CX-9 trim levels built after the 2019 model year received the perfect rating of “Good.” 

Mazda’s other three SUVs in its lineup fall into the much-more-crowded small SUV segment. Both the Mazda CX-3 and CX-5 made it as IIHS “Top Safety Pick+” choices, and are two of only three in the segment to earn that status.

But the third small SUV to earn “Top Safety Pick+” belongs to another automaker, as the 2020 Mazda CX-30 stands as the brand’s sole vehicle to “only” make it as a “Top Safety Pick.”

The only SUV left behind: the 2020 Mazda CX-30

The 2020 Mazda CX-30 is the only SUV from the brand without the “Top Safety Pick+” moniker. According to Mazda, the CX-30 earned the highest ratings in all six IIHS crash-testing evaluations, as well as a “Superior” rating for its front-crash prevention system.

Like all Mazda vehicles, the 2020 CX-30 comes with the brand’s i-Activsense suite of advanced safety technologies. This suite includes automatic braking (with pedestrian detection and pre-collision warning), blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, lane-departure warning, lane-keeping assist, driver-attention alert, and more.

But while the Mazda CX-30 appears to be just as safe as the rest of the brand’s SUVs, its headlights are the true reason the small SUV cannot ascent into “Top Safety Pick+” status. This is because not all the CX-30 trim level headlights come with a “Good” or “Acceptable” rating.

Three CX-30 trim levels come standard with LED headlights that received a “Good” rating in testing for good visibility and high-beam assist. However, the Premium trim’s LED headlights caused so much glare, IIHS gave it a rating of “Poor.”

Oddly enough, the Mazda CX-30 Premium is the highest trim level available and specifically features a new adaptive front-lighting system. 


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