Mazda has introduced a pair of new SUVs to the U.S. market in recent years, including the CX-50 and fresher CX-90. The upscale family haulers are nicer and more engaging than most expect, and to add to their appeal, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety recently awarded both with its highest safety honor.
Both the gas and PHEV versions of the CX-90 earned 2023 Top Safety Pick+ awards from the IIHS. Though they’re 2024 models, their 2023 release date is the reason for an award this year.
Other 2024 models earning honors include the Genesis GV60/70/80, the Audi Q8 E-Tron, and the Audi Q8 Sportback E-Tron with Top Safety Pick+ awards. The Mitsubishi Outlander grabbed a Top Safety Pick.
The organization cites the Mazda SUVs’ standard front crash prevention systems and strong performances in nighttime testing. Headlights are often a testing category where vehicles fall short, but many CX-90 configurations earned “Good” scores, with others grabbing “Acceptable” scores.
To earn a Top Safety Pick+, a vehicle’s headlights must earn an “Acceptable” or “Good” score across all trims, and it must come standard with a front crash prevention system that earns an “Advanced” or “Superior” rating. The IIHS updated its crash-test criteria for 2023 to include a more intense side-crash test and more stringent requirements on other parts of testing. The move knocked several previously awarded models out of contention, as vehicles must earn a “Good” score in all crash tests to qualify.
The CX-90 and CX-90 PHEV are the first two Mazda vehicles to earn a Top Safety Pick+, but the IIHS noted that six of the brand’s models earned Top Safety Pick awards. Standard safety tech for the CX-90 includes blind spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alerts, lane departure alerts and lane keep assist, forward collision warnings, automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go, rear seat alerts, safe exit warnings, and more.