Three new sets of crash-test results released late this week by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) appear to leave very little, if any, room for improvement. All three of these vehicles—the 2010 Dodge Journey, 2010 Lincoln MKT, and 2010 Mazda Mazda3—achieved top ratings in all the major categories and were named Top Safety Picks by the IIHS.
The Dodge Journey, a crossover vehicle that had been introduced for 2009, hadn’t yet been tested by the IIHS, so results apply to both 2009 and 2010. And they’re pretty much perfect across the board. The Journey SXT all-wheel-drive model tested got top ‘good’ scores in all three primary areas—frontal offset, side-impact, and rear crash protection—with the IIHS commenting that the results indicated a “low risk of any significant injuries in a crash of this severity” for both the driver and the rear passenger of the 2010 Dodge Journey.
2010 Lincoln MKT
Lincoln’s all-new MKT—closely related to the Ford Flex but carrying its own very different sheetmetal and interior—was tested separately by the IIHS, and it achieved top ‘good’ ratings in frontal offset, side, and rear protection. The institute also indicated a low risk of significant injuries in a side or frontal crash, but the only slight blemish for the 2010 Lincoln MKT was an only ‘acceptable’ score in the structure/safety cage category of the side test.
The redesigned 2010 Mazda Mazda3, in its sedan body style, was newly crash-tested by the institute as well, also gaining all ‘good’ ratings this time around, along with the Top Safety Pick distinction. That’s a huge improvement, especially in side impact testing, especially versus the 2005-08 models of the Mazda3 without the formerly optional side airbags. The previous model had also only achieved ‘marginal’ results in the seat-based rear-impact test.
The 2010 Mazda3 comes with front side airbags and side-curtain bags; but TheCarConnection.com notes that electronic stability control, which is standard on the i Touring and all the s models (with the larger 2.5-liter engine), isn’t available on bargain-priced i SV and i Sport models.