ARLINGTON, VA -- The Mazda CX-5, an all-new small SUV, has drawn the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s Top Safety Pick award. The vehicle received "good" scores for performance in front, side, rollover and rear impact crash evaluations.
The CX-5 is the second Mazda to qualify since the IIHS made the criteria for earning the award tougher in 2010 by requiring good performance in a roof strength test that assesses rollover protection. The other model is the Mazda 3, a small car.
To measure roof strength, a metal plate is pushed against one corner of a vehicle's roof at a constant speed. The maximum force sustained by the roof before 5 inches of crush is compared to the vehicle's weight to find the strength-to-weight ratio. This provides a good assessment of vehicle structural protection in rollover crashes, IIHS said.
The roof of the CX-5 withstood a force equal to 5.47 times the vehicle's weight. Vehicles with a strength-to-weight ratio of 4 or better earn a “good” rating – the highest awarded.