Kimiko Kidd
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Is Mazda the Safest Brand to Buy in 2020?

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2019 Mazda CX-5 Signature
Photo: Mazda

Although Mazda vehicles are known for their sleek styling and spirited driving dynamics, the automaker is quickly becoming known for its remarkable safety record. For the 2020 model year, Mazda boasts more Insurance Institute for Highway Safety Top Safety Pick + vehicles in its lineup than any other automaker. The Mazda lineup boasts five TSP+ models — the Mazda6 sedan, the Mazda3 sedan and crossover, the CX-3, and the CX-5

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What it means to be a Top Safety Pick +

2020 Mazda CX-3
Photo: Mazda

Based on the IIHS ranking system, a Top Safety Pick + designation is the highest honor a vehicle can earn. But what does a model need to earn this lofty title? First, the car’s front accident detection and avoidance systems need to score an “Advanced” or “Superior” grade in IIHS testing. The vehicle’s headlights also need to score a “Good” or “Acceptable” rank, and the car itself has to earn a “Good” or better rating in the Institute’s small and moderate overlap front crash evaluation, as well as in its head restraint, roof strength, and side-impact tests. That said, the Top Safety Pick + title ultimately comes down to headlight performance. Since many Mazda models come standard with LED headlights, they’re a shoo-in for the title.

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Mazda safety technology

2020 Mazda6
The 2020 Mazda6 comes standard with Advanced Smart City Brake Support with pedestrian detection
Photo: Mazda

In addition to their vibrant LED headlights, the award-winning Mazda models boast the i-Activsense suite of safety technology. These advanced driver-assist technologies include adaptive cruise control, pedestrian detection, lane-keep assist, and automatic high beams. Those tech tools often cost extra on competitor models, but they’re part of the standard-issue equipment on many Mazdas.

On top of this, Mazda is dedicated to continually improving its vehicles. The 2020 Mazda CX-3 and Mazda3 enjoyed some safety updates for the latest model year, such as better headlights and automated braking capabilities.

If you’d like to learn more about Mazda’s safety technology, check out our quick-and-easy glossary of i-Activsense driver-assist features.