Sedans

2019 Mazda6, CX-9 nab Top Safety Pick Plus awards -- with a catch

The Mazda6 and CX-9 are two very safe modes of transportation, the IIHS found.

Sexy and safe.

Mazda

Crash tests were hardly a match for both the 2019 Mazda6 sedan and the CX-9 crossover. The insurance industry-funded IIHS put both models through its barrage of tests and found the sedan and crossover performed well enough to take home top honors with Top Safety Pick Plus awards. The awards will transfer to the 2020 model years for both models as well.

To earn a Top Safety Pick Plus, vehicles must earn ratings of Good in every single crash test -- that includes the passenger-side small overlap front test. They also need to earn a Superior rating for their frontal-crash avoidance technology. The active safety technology is standard on the 2019 Mazda6, but optional for the CX-9. There's one of the catches.

The other catch is the headlights. Only specific trims offer the "Good" headlights that the IIHS deemed appropriate for the Top Safety Pick Plus award. For the Mazda6, the lights are only found on the Signature and Grand Touring Reserve trims. Additionally, the specific headlights are only included on these trims built after June of this year. The same goes for the CX-9 with identical trims and the same build timeline.

2019 Mazda CX-9

Also safe. Just not as sexy as the Mazda6.

Mazda

Other trims still use LED projectors like the Good-rated headlights, though they fell short in testing. They also lacked the curve-adaptive function found on the Signature and Grand Touring Reserve trims, for a final grade of Marginal on the CX-9. The 6 sedan earns Acceptable ratings on its other headlights offered.

For the CX-9, buyers will be looking at a $42,480 for the cheapest SUV with the safety award. For sedan buyers, the least expensive Mazda6 with the specific safety goods will be the Grand Touring Reserve trim, which starts at $33,120. Both models are about $10,000 more than what a base spec costs without the IIHS-approved safety technology and headlights.