The Mazda CX-5 is probably the safest crossover in North America
This is a talk driven by the revelation that not all SUVs are created equal. The latest evidence comes from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) recognizing that modern commercial vehicles are bigger and heavier than ever. It also reveals a consequential truth that questions the safety of your SUV compared to the real world.
If you live in the US, this real-world scenario means you’re surrounded more by suburbs and excursions and the upcoming 4.5-ton GMC Hummer EVs. No matter how massively popular vans are, the vehicle you’re driving already raises the prospect of an insurance nightmare.
Maybe that’s why the IIHS upped the weight scale of its control ram, which is made up of a rectangular metal barrier, and drove it at a higher speed through a bunch of little crossovers to see what that would happen.
Two small tweaks in testing safety standards have pushed automakers to do better. And a vehicle came out as a hero.
The winner is… the Mazda CX-5
squid game viewers have flashbacks. Twenty cars entered the collision zone. Glass and bolts fall as if on the ground, and one emerges victorious. Much to the amazement of probably everyone in the industry, the honor goes to one of the oldest vehicles in the small SUV class.
Mazda has been building the CX-5 for years. It’s something of an OG model for the brand, having pulled the company out of near financial extinction after the 2008 recession. At the same time, the Mazda CX-5 was one of the first crossovers to achieve more than 30 MPG and thereby spark (pun intended) the crossover sales that have spurred the modern SUV craze.
Today, the CX-5 is Mazda’s best-selling and most successful model. And now they have one more reason to be proud.
But aren’t the others the best security choices?
Remarkably, the IIHS ranks almost every car on this list as a top safety pick. Many of them even got the Top Safety Pick More nickname; achieved if active collision avoidance technology becomes standard and headlights pass glare test; the latter which the industry has struggled with with the growing popularity of LEDs.
In light of the recent report, the question remains whether cars that have already won this accolade will retain their rating. The IIHS 2021 report has already been released with a long list of recommended winners. Scrolling down the page, you will see the criteria for that year.
The IIHS may be able to release an updated list for 2022 with stricter collision standards. Based on this finding, the Mazda CX-5 could be the only vehicle to earn a Top Safety Pick More. Is your car on the list?
What does this mean for Mazda?
Well, at the moment they are the only company in the world to receive good news. Mazda is leading the way in the frugal internal combustion engine while everyone else is moving into adapting electric vehicles. It’s on the heels of one of the biggest automotive comebacks in automotive history.
At the same time, they don’t have a noisy marketing department. There’s no fanfare when a new model is announced, probably because their specialty remains small, efficient cars that might not otherwise be the most powerful things in North America. They pride themselves on being different.
That’s why the MX-5 Miata is the best-selling two-seater in the world. The principle of lightness, efficiency and fun follows their cars today, resulting in their biggest volume success which is the CX-5. It’s not always rosy though; because they have already struggled with the diesel engine in the United States.
At the same time, innovation is slow for them. Mazda’s formula for reliability is simple; the same powertrain goes in each car with little variation. With the exception of the Miata, every model sold today uses the SkyActiv 2.5-liter four-cylinder, with or without turbocharging, which is bolted to the same six-speed automatic. Because what’s been proven to work. This means they can spend their time writing some of the most beautiful cars on the road today (in the words of my customers) and be able to give them away as a bonus. It doesn’t hurt that they are among the safest.
For now, it looks like Mazda will stick to its high horsepower. The imminent debut of the SkyActiv inline-six platform, followed by the Mazda6, CX-50, CX-70 and CX-90, all remain a visual mystery. All we have are optimistic renders to go on. Maybe it’s time Mazda got that loud marketing department.
Find out why the Mazda CX-5 is considered the best mid-size SUV among other top-performing SUVs in Europe.
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