The 2014 Mazda CX-5 is built on a completely new structure, somewhat shared with the 2014 Mazda6, and it was strengthened with more high-strength steel as well as reengineered for better occupant safety.
And for that, it does very well. 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—as well as in the new, more stringent small overlap frontal test. The IIHS also designated the CX-5 a "Top Safety Pick+" on the merits of those top-notch scores. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has given the CX-5 five stars overall, with a top five-star rating for side impact, as well as in the side-pole test.
The 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. Although the 2014 CX-5 has fewer airbags than some of its rivals, it does have several noteworthy active-safety options--including side blind spot alert system for Touring and Grand Touring trims, as well as a new Smart City Brake Support—newly wrapped into the Tech package—that will automatically brake the vehicle for hazards at speeds ranging from 4 to 19 mph.
Rear quarter vision is as bad as the front visibility is good. Over their shoulders, drivers will see only gigantic blind spots on the corners, with the small triangular windows offering little help. We think that for all but the tallest drivers, perhaps, the rearview camera that you get in Touring and Grand Touring models is a necessity.