For 2019 Mazda6 and CX-9, Crash Safety Is a Plus

2019 mazda cx 9 oem jpg 2019 Mazda CX-9 | IIHS image

Thanks to gains in safety equipment and headlight effectiveness, Mazda continues to improve its safety ratings. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety awarded the 2019 Mazda6 mid-size sedan and CX-9 three-row SUV Top Safety Pick Plus status, an improvement over their model-year 2018 Top Safety Pick (minus the Plus) status.

Related: 2019 Mazda6 Drops Stick, Adds Safety Tech, Bumps Price

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2019 Mazda Mazda6 Grand Touring
27,958 mi.
$21,400 $320 price drop
2019 Mazda Mazda6 Sport
19,633 mi.

The Mazda6 earned good scores in all of IIHS crash tests, as well as a superior rating for front crash prevention and a good rating for headlights. There’s a caveat, however. Only up-level Grand Touring Reserve and Signature models built after June 2019 have the good-rated headlights necessary to qualify for the Top Safety Pick Plus designation. Other lower-trim models and up-level models built before June have acceptable- or marginal-rated headlights. The 2019 Mazda6 previously earned a Top Safety Pick award.

The Mazda6 was refreshed for 2018, and for 2019 the automaker added more standard safety features across the lineup — including a forward collision warning system with automatic emergency braking — as well as revised headlights. Model-year 2018 versions of the sedan earned IIHS’ second-highest safety rating, Top Safety Pick.

Similarly, the CX-9 three-row SUV also earned the Top Safety Pick designation for 2018 models, then bumped to Top Safety Pick Plus status for 2019 — but again, there’s a catch. Only models with the optional Smart Brake Support forward collision warning system qualify. IIHS said the SUV’s other standard system “does not meet the requirements for forward collision warning,” and the agency did not test its autobrake functionality.

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2019 Mazda CX-9 Grand Touring
66,077 mi.
2019 Mazda CX-9 Sport
115,841 mi.

Also, only up-level Grand Touring and Signature models built after June 2019 have the good-rated headlights needed to qualify for the Top Safety Pick Plus award; the headlights on other models received acceptable, marginal or poor scores.

In Mazda’s lineup, the 2019 Mazda6 and CX-9 join the CX-5 on the Top Safety Pick Plus list; the Mazda3 sedan and hatchback, as well as the CX-3 subcompact SUV, are Top Safety Pick models for 2019.

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News Editor Jennifer Geiger joined the automotive industry in 2003, much to the delight of her Corvette-obsessed dad. Jennifer is an expert reviewer, certified car-seat technician and mom of three. She wears a lot of hats — many of them while driving a minivan. Email Jennifer Geiger

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