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SAFETY | 8 out of 10
Unfortunately, base models will not come with standard stability control
The 2010 Mazda Mazda3 has not been in the public eye long enough to receive attention from either NHTSA or the IIHS, so crash-test data is unavailable at the time of writing, but the outgoing Mazda3 model earns decent marks. Unfortunately, the 2010 Mazda3 still lacks some basic standard safety features offered by some other vehicles in the class.
While the Mazda3 2010 edition hasn't been crash-tested by either major testing agency, last year, NHTSA awarded the Mazda Mazda3 four out of five stars for front impact protection, the only test they conducted. The four-star rating applied to both sedan and hatchback body styles. The IIHS test offered similar results, with the Mazda3 earning the highest possible rating, "good," for frontal offset impact protection. Once again, this was the only test conducted, and the score applied for both body styles. While the 2010 Mazda3 features all-new styling, much of its internal architecture is similar, so experts at TheCarConnection.com expect little variation in the test ratings.
For those of us who would rather avoid accidents in the first place, Mazda outfits the Mazda3 2010 with a few noteworthy safety features. Jalopnik reviewers note that "powerful disc brakes are standard Mazda3 features," and mentions that standard safety equipment includes "six airbags and active head restraints," which work to reduce the risk of whiplash by moving forward to meet the back of the head in the event of an accident.
However, Mazda cannot be congratulated for offering all the right safety features as standard on the Mazda3. Cars.com reports that "base models will not come with standard stability control," but rather "it and ABS will be optional equipment."
The 2010 Mazda Mazda3 might have a full roster of airbags, but it lacks standard ABS and electronic stability control.