The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety announced on Tuesday that the 2011 Mazda 3 sedan/hatchback qualifies as a TOP SAFETY PICK among small cars.
The compact had previously garnered good ratings for front, side, and rear crash protection.
The Mazda3 sedan’s roof withstood a force equal to 5.32 times its weight, while the hatchback gave up at 5.09 times its weight. The federal requirement for rollover tests is 1.5 times a car’s weight.
The 2011 Mazda3 is the first car from Mazda to score a Top Pick since the IIHS enacted new roof strength regulations, but it is also joined by 12 other small cars in receiving the accolade, including the Honda Civic, Chevrolet Cruze and Kia Forte.
In addition to good crash test ratings, winners must have electronic stability control (ESC), an important crash-avoidance feature, which became standard on the 3 for the 2011 model year.
The 2011 Honda Odyssey, 2011 Chevrolet Traverse, 2011 Buick Enclave and 2011 GMC Acadia recently earned the Top Safety Pick designation in the minivan and large SUV categories.
In roof-strength tests, the Honda Odyssey can withstand 5.15 times its own weight; the GM CUVs can withstand four times.