2019 Mazda CX-5

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The spunky Mazda CX-5 SUV gets even more likeable this year with a host of updates for 2019, not the least of which being its new turbo engine option. Further adding to its appeal is a stellar safety rating. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety named the compact SUV a Top Safety Pick Plus — the agency’s highest rating — though only models with uprated LED headlights qualify.

Related: Crash Safety Goal Post Moved for 2019: Which Cars Scored Top Honors?

The CX-5 earned good scores in all of the agency’s crash tests, and also met the headlight and front crash prevention qualifications. Its automatic braking system earned a superior rating and its headlights a good rating. This is the sixth consecutive year the CX-5 has earned IIHS’ top crash rating.

Each year, it gets tougher for vehicles to nab the designation and for 2019, IIHS’ award criteria become stricter: Vehicles must have good scores across all crash tests, including the tough new passenger-side small overlap front test. Previously, an acceptable or good rating was enough to qualify for the 2018 award. Vehicles must also offer a front crash prevention system that gets an advanced or superior score.

Related: Report: Headlights Improving, But Most Base Models Still in the Dark

One tier down is still the Top Safety Pick designation, though it’s harder to get this year, too. An acceptable or good rating in the passenger-side small overlap test is a new criterion for 2019.

Two other model-year 2019 Mazda vehicles earned Top Safety Pick status: the CX-3 subcompact SUV and CX-9 mid-size SUV, both when equipped with optional front crash prevention and specific headlights.

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