The Safest Brand Flies a Bit Under the Radar

Safety is a huge factor in finding your next car. Of course, you want drivers and passengers as safe as can be. While we all hope every auto we purchase won’t ever be in a crash, we also know that accidents happen. So, when it comes to shopping car brands and finding the perfect––safe––vehicle for you and your precious cargo, Mazda models need to be on your radar.

bird's eye view of the Mazda 3 hatchback and sedan
bird’s eye view of the Mazda 3 | Mazda

We already know that Mazdas are fun to drive. They are luxurious and agile for the price. Many remember the iconic “zoom zoom” commercials. But it’s not as if Mazdas are one of those brands that immediately comes to mind when you think “I need to find a really safe car.” Are Mazdas really that safe? According to the IIHS, a 2020 Mazda is a great bet on safety.

Which Mazdas earned a Top Safety Pick+?

As of March of 2020, Mazda had not just procured 2 or 3 Top Safety Pick+ awards, but 6. What Mazda models earned Top Safety Pick+ awards? Well. you’ll have your pick of a sedan, hatchback, or crossover SUV. Even if you need three rows, the Mada CX-9 gets the Top Safety Pick+ award in trims equipped with the upgraded headlights.

MAZDA CX-5 compact crossover SUV on display at Brussels Expo
The Mazda CX-5 | Sjoerd van der Wal/Getty Images

The Mazda3 sedan earned the safety award from IIHS. It also gleaned the prize in its hatchback version. The Mazda6 also earned the award. Add to the Mazda Top Safety Pick+ lineup the Mazda CX-3 and CX-5 and the range of choices broadens quite a bit. The Mazda CX-30, new for 2020, also earned an IIHS Top Safety Pick+ award.

These Mazdas, except the CX-9 all come standard with LED headlights––according to MotorTrend. The each also come standard with the brand’s active safety and technology suite. This helpful bundle includes automated adaptive cruise control, emergency braking with pedestrian detection, automatic high-beam headlights, lane-departure warning, and lane-keep assist.

A grey 2020 Mazda CX-9 sparked in near a lush green forest.
2020 Mazda CX-9 | Mazda

The LED headlights are a huge asset when it comes to safety. Basic though it may seem, it’s best your emergency systems never even activate. This noting is far more plausible if you can see better.

Choosing the IIHS Top Safety Pick+ winners

MotorTrend reports that earning a Top Safety Pick+ means a vehicle earned a rating of “Good.” in the IIHS small and moderate overlap front crash tests, head restraint evaluations, roof strength, and side impact tests. Plus IIHS Top Safety Pick+ awards are bestowed for “Superior” or “Advanced” scoring for front “accident detection and avoidance systems.” At least “Acceptable” or “Good” for headlight visibility is needed as well. Overall, it just means that a car is generally more safe than other cars.

The Mazda CX-30 on display at the Brussels Motor Show
The new Mazda CX-30 | Didier Messens/Getty Images

2019 Toyota RAV4 Gets IIHS Top Safety Pick

Interestingly enough, MotorTrend also mentions that Mazda safety has Subaru beat by several models. But don’t for get that the IIHS isn’t the only judge of safety. We also have other entities like the NHTSA grading all of these models. However, in terms of IIHS Top Safety Pick+ awards Mazda has everyone beat––even though it’s not exactly the first brand we think of when we think of something safe. Looks like Mazda is changing the game.