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SAFETY | 7 out of 10
Top Safety Pick and highest "Good" ratings in all categories
Mazda took this opportunity to significantly upgrade its safety...equipment.
Car and Driver
class-leading handling and controllability
Unlike other makers who now fit up to 10 airbags, the 2013 Mazda CX-5 has six: two for the front passengers, two side bags, and two window curtains.
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) gives the CX-5 its highest ratings of "Good" for frontal offset and side impact crash tests, for roof strength, and for rear crash protection. The IIHS also designated the CX-5 a "Top Safety Pick." The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) gave the CX-5 four out of five stars on frontal rollover ratings, and a five-star rating for side-impacts, averaging for a four out of five star overall rating.
The 2013 CX-5 has the usual complement of electronic aids, including stability and traction control, anti-lock brakes, and other safety control systems. And its handling is so predictable that we expect more drivers than usual simply to drive around or away from potential dangers. Mazda is also particularly proud of the stiffness of the entire body shell, despite its light weight.
Visibility to the front and sides is very good, with clearly defined corners visible from the driver’s seat, a low hoodline revealing a lot of the road ahead, a low beltline, and large door mirrors mounted low and far enough back that there’s a gap between them and the windshield pillar—improving the driver’s ability to see pedestrians and road shoulders to the side.
Rear quarter vision is as bad as the front visibility is good, though. Over their shoulders, drivers will see only gigantic blind spots on the corners, with the small triangular windows offering little help. A rearview camera for reversing is offered on the higher trim levels, but this is a car in which we think it’s an absolute necessity.
The 2013 Mazda CX-5 gets top IIHS ratings for crash safety, but its six airbags seem minimal and its rear-quarter vision is dreadful.