While we are all familiar with Mazda’s engineering ingenuity and stylish design, their safety department deserves some mentioning. The Hiroshima-based automaker’s commitment towards safety has paid off when all 2017 Mazda models selected by IIHS, including the new CX-5, earned the highest Top Safety Pick Plus rating.

IIHS or the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety is a non-profit group funded by insurance companies. They evaluate new cars sold in the United States via six test: a small-overlap front test, a moderate overlap front test, a side test, a roof-strength test, head-restraints-and-seats test, and the frontal collision avoidance evaluation

Instead of the star rating system used by NCAP, IIHS devised a category-based rating based on these four categories: Poor, Marginal, Acceptable and Good. There are two awards for the cream of the crop. The Top Safety Pick is awarded for cars that performed exceptionally well for its class. The Top Safety Pick Plus award sits on top of the earlier award.

The Mazda cars tested this year are the CX-9, CX-3, 3, 6, and the all-new CX-5. They all came with the optional front crash prevention and adaptive LED headlights, and each was awarded with the highest Top Safety Pick Plus award.

The reason behind Mazda’s stellar ratings is quite simple, really. While Honda has Honda Sensing, Mazda’s own equivalent is called i-ACTIVESENSE, comprised of adaptive LED headlamps, Lane Departure Warning System, Lane Keep Assist System, Smart City Brake System, Blind Spot Monitoring and Rear Cross Traffic Alert. So far, only the facelifted Mazda6 comes with it in Malaysia.

On the other hand, the second-generation CX-5 will make its Malaysian debut later this year 2017, and it’ll be locally assembled. It remains to be seen if Mazda Malaysia will package the new CX-5 with I-ACTIVESENSE as a countermeasure to the new Honda CR-V.