The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, also known as the IIHS has just given its highest safety rating to three new model rides: The Dodge Journey, Lincoln MKT and Mazda Mazda3. All three of the cars got top marks in the front, side and rear impact tests and all three featured standard stability control.
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety said in a statement that “Criteria to win are tough because the award is intended to drive continued safety improvements.”
Only the Dodge received the IIHS’ top marks in every single category whereas the Lincoln and Mazda received “Acceptable” ratings in other categories. The Insurance Institute said that the Lincoln and Mazda’s overall evaluations were robust enough to receive the “Top Safety Pick” award.
Earlier this year Chrysler received its first IIHS Top Safety Picks awards for the Chrysler Sebring and Dodge Avenger models. Being essentially the same car with different trim and badges, this should really count as one award, but hey, at this point in Chrysler’s tenure on the Earth, why not give them a gimme, y’know?
Over at Ford’s Lincoln brand, which has been getting high marks in styling department of late, several of their models, such as the MKZ, MKS and MKX, have already received the IIHS Top Safety Picks award.
The Mazda3 was the first from Mazda to qualify for the award except for Tribute SUV, but that doesn’t really count, since the Tribute is based on corporate siblings Ford Escape SUV.
Mazda’s is perhaps the most interesting of all three awards given by the IIHS. The Mazda3 isn’t that big of a car to begin with, so topping out with this award is worth noting. But it’s not like Mazda doesn’t know how to make small, safe cars. I have a lot of experience with Mazda’s Miata, and over the years, I have met more than one Miata owner that have rolled their car, only to come out relatively unscathed. Back when there was a functioning national Miata club, their magazine had an article about a Miata owner in Panama that was hit by a duce-and-a-half military truck and survived. The pictures were gruesome, but the guy walked away.
Photo from Flickr user jiazi