The 2020 Mazda 3 earned a top five-star rating in each of three crash tests from the NHTSA, the agency announced on February 28.
Earlier in the year the IIHS awarded it a Top Safety Pick+. The top marks in federal and independent crash testing make the compact sedan and hatchback among the safest in its class.
While a five-star rating is relatively easy to come by, a TSP+ rating is much more rigorous, especially for 2020 models. Only 23 of the 219 models evaluated earned the coveted safety award, which for 2020 requires vehicles to have automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, and advanced headlights that don't cause a glare for other drivers.
MORE: Read about how the IIHS changed testing for 2020 models
The 2020 Mazda 3 has both and much more standard safety equipment, including active lane control, blind-spot monitors, rear cross-traffic alerts, and adaptive cruise control. Many other automakers bundle such equipment in packages that range from $1,000- $2,000 extra.
The Mazda 3's LED projector lights with automatic high beams were rated "Acceptable" by the IIHS, with good side visibility and on curves. Additionally the IIHS ranked its automatic emergency braking system as "Superior" for avoiding collisions with both pedestrians and other vehicles at 12 mph and 25 mph.
Only the 2020 Honda Insight has earned both a five-star safety rating and a TSP+ in the small car segment, though the 2020 Subaru Crosstrek Hybrid will likely earn a five-star rating to complement its TSP+ award. The NHTSA is still testing new or redesigned 2020 compacts, including the Nissan Sentra, Nissan Versa, Subaru WRX, and Toyota Corolla.