Car Industry

2019 Mazda3 sedan and hatchback earn IIHS Top Safety Pick

Headlights held it back from Top Safety Pick+.

"My uncle has a dent repair business, he'll have you right as rain in just a day or two, promise."

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Another day, another set of headlights preventing a car from earning the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety's highest award.

The IIHS announced this week that both the hatchback and sedan variants of the 2019 Mazda3 have received the Institute's Top Safety Pick award, its second highest. In order to reach this level, a vehicle must withstand a variety of crash tests, in addition to passing evaluations of its headlights and safety systems.

In its crash tests, both Mazda3 bodies fared very well, achieving the top rating of Good in every test. This includes the new passenger-side small overlap crash test, which was recently instituted to help keep automakers on their toes, safety-wise. Yet the Mazda3 sailed through every test.

Safety system evaluation was equally positive, with both body styles achieving the top Superior rating for their crash avoidance systems. Its standard autobrake system was capable enough to avoid accidents at both 12 and 25 miles per hour. Its headlights, however, were only rated Acceptable, preventing the cars from earning the Top Safety Pick+ award. There's something to be said for consistency, though: Instead of only having one optional set of headlights earn an Acceptable rating, the score applies to every headlight on order, including those arriving as standard equipment.

The Mazda3 fraternal twins are Mazda's only non-SUVs to earn a spot on the Top Safety Pick rankings. The 2019 CX-3 and CX-9 both have Top Safety Pick commendations, as well, but the 2019 Mazda CX-5 leapfrogged the rest of its siblings with a Top Safety Pick+ award.