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SAFETY | 8 out of 10
Five stars, driver, front passenger, and side frontal impact protection; four stars, side impact protection (rear) and rollover resistance
The car has to be stopped to program in a destination
The 2010 Mazda Mazda5 has reasonably good crash-test results, in a class of overachievers. The federal government awards the Mazda5 five stars in frontal impact protection; in the NHTSA side-impact test, the Mazda5 achieves five-star results for front occupants but four-star results for those in back. Considering the Mazda5 is a vehicle that might frequently carry back-seat passengers and the class of minivans and compact SUVs is jam-packed with five-star ratings, that's more of a demerit here than it might otherwise be. Although crash-test information from the often more critical and descriptive Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) would help here, the IIHS hasn't rated the Mazda5.
The news is more assuring with respect to features. The 2010 Mazda5 now includes electronic stability control, along with anti-lock brakes with electronic brake-force distribution (EBD) and brake assist (BA).
Regarding the brakes, J.D. Power explains that "EBD automatically balances front-to-rear braking forces to optimize stopping power...BA provides full braking power in emergency braking situations." Motor Trend notes, "All models get 24-hour roadside assistance."
"Front-seat passengers receive standard front airbags that measure the driver's weight, distance from the dash, and the severity of the crash before deploying," reports Motor Trend. Other standard safety features on the Mazda5 include side impact airbags for the front seats and side curtain airbags for all three rows. Cars.com notes, regarding child car seat anchors (LATCH points), that the second row has upper and lower anchors, but the third row has only upper anchors. All six occupants get three-point seatbelts.
Compared to many other new vehicles, outward visibility is quite good in the Mazda5, with a relatively high perch and low beltline. Kelley Blue Book says that drivers "[have] a commanding outlook over...the instrument panel." There is no backup assist camera available on this 2010 Mazda, and an anti-theft alarm system is available only on the top-of-the-line Grand Touring trim as standard.
Although crash-test results aren't as perfect as we've come to expect from people-movers, the 2010 Mazda Mazda5 now has all the requisite safety features for family duty.