Mazda's all-new 2013 CX-5 crossover is the latest small SUV to earn an Insurance Institute for Highway Safety Top Safety Pick award. It received a "good" rating -- the highest rating possible -- in all tests including frontal offset, side impact, roof strength (in rollover situations), and rear-end collision tests.
In 2010, the IIHS made the criteria for earning the Top Safety Pick award tougher by adding the roof strength test. The IIHS measures roof strength by pushing a metal plate against one corner of the vehicle's roof until it crushes in five inches. The result is compared to the vehicle weight to determine the roof's strength-to-weight ratio. The IIHS requires a minimum strength-to-weight ratio of 4.0 or better to earn a good rating: the CX-5 had a 5.47 strength-to-weight ratio. Since the addition of the roof strength test in 2010, only two Mazdas have earned the Top Safety Pick award: the CX-5 crossover and the Mazda3.
The Mazda CX-5 crossover joins other small SUV Top Safety Picks including the 2012 Volkswagen Tiguan, 2012 Honda CR-V, 2012 Subaru Forester, 2012 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport, 2012 Hyundai Tucson, 2012 Kia Sportage, and 2012 Jeep Patriot (with optional side airbags).
Small SUVs that didn't make the cut because of the roof strength test include: The 2012 Nissan Rogue, 2012 Toyota RAV4, 2012 Mitsubishi Outlander, and 2012 Ford Escape.
Although the 2013 Mazda CX-5 earned the IIHS Top Safety Pick award, it hasn't yet been tested by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
Source: Insurance Institute for Highway Safety