The 2017 Mazda CX-9, a midsize SUV, qualifies for the top award from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, thanks to across-the-board good crashworthiness ratings, a superior-rated front crash prevention system and acceptable-rated headlights.
Before the current model, the most recent CX-9 to be rated by IIHS was the 2015 model. That vehicle rated poor for protection in small overlap front crashes, as the structure was seriously compromised and the side airbag didn’t deploy. The earlier model also came up short for roof strength, which is important for protecting occupants in a rollover crash, and for head restraints, which help prevent neck injuries in a rear crash. The SUV earned only marginal ratings in those tests.
In addition to improved crash protection, the 2017 CX-9 also offers optional front crash prevention that earns a superior rating. In IIHS track tests at 12 mph and 25 mph, the vehicle avoided collisions. The system also includes Forward Collision Warning that meets National Highway Traffic Safety Administration criteria.
The superior-rated front crash prevention comes on the CX-9′s Grand Touring and Signature trims. Those trim levels also are equipped with the CX-9′s best available headlights, which are rated acceptable. Other trim levels come with marginal headlights.