The 2020 Mazda CX-9 earns a TOP SAFETY PICK+ award from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety for models built after December, thanks to improvements made to its base headlights. The Mazda 3 sedan and hatchback also earn improved headlight ratings but had already qualified for the Institute’s highest award.
The 2020 CX-9 was previously named a 2020 TOP SAFETY PICK but missed out on the “plus” award because its base headlights — static LEDs — rated only marginal while its optional curve-adaptive lights earned a good rating. Vehicles equipped with the base headlights built after December 2019 now also earn a good rating.
To qualify for a 2020 TOP SAFETY PICK+ award, a vehicle must come standard with acceptable- or good-rated headlights, in addition to meeting criteria for crashworthiness and available front crash prevention.
Mazda also recently made improvements to the premium curve-adaptive LED projector headlights available with the Mazda 3 sedan and hatchback. Those headlights earn a good rating for models built after February. Earlier models rate acceptable. The sedan and hatchback also earn acceptable ratings for their base headlights and had previously qualified for TOP SAFETY PICK+ awards.
With the addition of the CX-9, Mazda now counts six 2020 TOP SAFETY PICK+ awards.