The 2019 Mazda 6 Earns IIHS Top Safety Pick

The 2019 Mazda 6, a midsize car, earns a TOP SAFETY PICK award from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety when equipped with specific headlights.

To qualify for a 2019 TOP SAFETY PICK award, a vehicle must earn good ratings in the driver-side small overlap front, moderate overlap front, side, roof strength and head restraint tests, as well as a good or acceptable rating in the passenger-side small overlap front test. It also needs an advanced or superior rating for front crash prevention and a good or acceptable headlight rating.

The 2019 Mazda 6 earns good ratings in all six IIHS crashworthiness evaluations.

The 2019 model comes with a standard superior-rated front crash prevention system. The vehicle avoided a collision in the 12 mph track test and reduced its speed by 24 mph in the 25 mph test. Its forward collision warning component meets the criteria set by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

The midsize car is available with two headlight options. Its optional curve-adaptive LED projector headlights, which come on several premium trim lines, earn an acceptable rating in IIHS evaluations. Its base headlights, which are static LED projectors, earn only a marginal rating because they provided inadequate visibility in several testing scenarios. Neither headlight system exceeded glare limits.

The 2019 Mazda 6 hadn't yet been introduced when this year's IIHS safety awards were first announced in December 2018. The midsize car now joins five other models from Mazda in the winner's circle. Four others earn a TOP SAFETY PICK award, while one — the CX-5 — earns the higher-tier TOP SAFETY PICK+ award.

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Insurance Institute for Highway Safety/Highway Loss Data Institute

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) is an independent, nonprofit scientific and educational organization dedicated to reducing the losses — deaths, injuries and property damage — from motor vehicle crashes. The Highway Loss Data Institute (HLDI) shares and supports this mission through scientific studies of insurance data representing the human and economic losses resulting from the ownership and operation of different types of vehicles and by publishing insurance loss results by vehicle make and model. Both organizations are wholly supported by these auto insurers and insurance associations.

Russ Rader