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2017 Mazda CX-9 picks up IIHS Top Safety Pick+

A little extra safety never hurts -- in fact, it's quite the opposite.


If you were considering adding the three-row Mazda CX-9 crossover to your lineup, rest assured that it'll be one of the safest cars on the road.

The 2017 Mazda CX-9 earned the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety's top accolade, Top Safety Pick+. This award is given to vehicles that withstand the IIHS' battery of crash and headlight tests. In recent years, the IIHS announced that it would award TSP+ only to vehicles carrying some degree of automatic braking and crash detection.

The 2016 CX-9, the first year of the new generation, did not earn this designation. After Mazda changed how its side-curtain airbags deploy, however, it was retested and subsequently passed with flying colors. The CX-9 earned a score of Good in every crash test, including the difficult small-overlap front crash test.

It earned a rating of Superior for its front crash-prevention system, which is available as an option. The vehicle avoided a collision in both 12- and 25-mph tests. Its optional curve-adaptive LED projector headlights earned a score of Acceptable, while the base LED projectors without curve-adaptive tech were scored Marginal. Neither setup gave off too much glare, which is a problem with many crossovers.

The CX-8 joins 48 other Top Safety Pick+ earners, across a wide variety of segments, from compact cars all the way up to pickup trucks. The IIHS tests vehicles regularly, and it's likely that this list will grow as we move closer to 2022, which is the date 20 automakers agreed upon to make autonomous emergency braking standard. Mazda is one of the automakers on that list, alongside BMW, Ford, Honda, Porsche and Subaru.