The 2018 Mazda CX-5 has earned a Top Safety Pick Plus award from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety by acing crash tests and getting the required scores for its front crash prevention system, as well as the top score of good for headlights — if equipped with the available adaptive LED headlight system and built after March 2018. However, CX-5 compact SUV models with other headlights and built after that date still rate just a step lower with IIHS Top Safety Pick status (minus the plus).
The Top Safety Pick Plus award is a competitive plus for Mazda, making it the only vehicle in the IIHS "small SUV" category so far to win the top designation. Rivals such as the Honda CR-V, Hyundai Tucson and Nissan Rogue meet the requirements for Top Safety Pick, but they all fell short of the top award with acceptable scores for their best available headlight systems. See the category here.
The CX-5 got the required top scores of good in all IIHS crash tests (driver- and passenger-side small overlap front, moderate overlap front, side, roof strength and head restraints). While the adaptive LED headlights got the top score of good required for a Top Safety Pick Plus, all CX-5 headlights scored at least acceptable, which qualifies the SUV as a Top Safety Pick.
Meanwhile, the highway-speed front crash prevention system standard on higher trim levels and optional on the base model got the top score of superior[SM8], while the low-speed system standard on the base model was a step lower with an advanced score. Either scored qualifies for a top IIHS award.
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