Is Mazda’s safety rating on small SUVs better than Mitsubishi’s?

Mazda and Mitsubishi both received top honors for their small SUVs from the IIHS, but Mazda won overall. Safety features can lower auto insurance rates by up to 8%.

Free Auto Insurance Comparison

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

Leslie Kasperowicz holds a BA in Social Sciences from the University of Winnipeg. She spent several years as a Farmers Insurance CSR, gaining a solid understanding of insurance products including home, life, auto, and commercial and working directly with insurance customers to understand their needs. She has since used that knowledge in her more than ten years as a writer, largely in the insuranc...

Full Bio →

Written by

Dan Walker graduated with a BS in Administrative Management in 2005 and has been working in his family’s insurance agency, FCI Agency, for 15 years (BBB A+). He is licensed as an agent to write property and casualty insurance, including home, auto, umbrella, and dwelling fire insurance. He’s also been featured on sites like and Safeco. He reviews content, ensuring that ex...

Full Bio →

Reviewed by Daniel Walker
Licensed Auto Insurance Agent

UPDATED: Apr 21, 2020

Advertiser Disclosure

It’s all about you. We want to help you make the right coverage choices.

Advertiser Disclosure: We strive to help you make confident auto insurance decisions. Comparison shopping should be easy. We are not affiliated with any one auto insurance provider and cannot guarantee quotes from any single provider. Our partnerships don’t influence our content. Our opinions are our own. To compare quotes from many different companies please enter your ZIP code on this page to use the free quote tool. The more quotes you compare, the more chances to save.

Editorial Guidelines: We are a free online resource for anyone interested in learning more about auto insurance. Our goal is to be an objective, third-party resource for everything auto insurance related. We update our site regularly, and all content is reviewed by auto insurance experts.

Things to remember...

  • Mazda’s CX-3 and Mitsubishi’s Outlander both rate the same in all tests
  • Both of Mazda’s small SUVs are top safety picks but only one Mitsubishi is a top safety pick
  • The Mazda is the winner of the safest vehicle from the IIHS

Mazda and Mitsubishi both have two vehicles in the small SUV class, and both are good small SUVs to own. They’re affordable, they’re safe, and they’re both sporty.

Perfect for a small family or someone who enjoys spending time in their car but needs a little more space than a sedan offers, these vehicles are difficult to choose between.

That’s why so many consumers base their decision on the safety factor. The safest vehicle gets to go home with him, and not just because it means getting an insurance discount.

Driving is not a cheap activity. Gas is expensive, insurance is expensive, and people are driving everywhere without insurance.

Many don’t care that it’s mandatory and the financial setback of causing an accident can haunt them forever. They don’t buy insurance, and they break the law.

If you want to make driving more affordable, you buy a small SUV with a top safety rating from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) top pick rating so you don’t end up faced with big insurance premiums.

Compare car insurance quotes to see how much that good safety rating could save you on your monthly premiums. Enter your zip code above to begin comparing.

How do I find a small SUV with a top safety rating?

It’s easier than it seems. The IIHS carefully tests all small SUVs on the market every year and grades them using letters. It’s like being back in school except for this time you’re using a few different letters and choosing the safest car rather than applying for college.

  • “G” is the best rating, and its meaning is good.
  • “A” is the second-best rating, and its meaning is acceptable.
  • “M” is the next best rating, and its meaning is marginal.
  • “P” is the worst rating, and it means poor.

The IIHS grades all vehicles on the safety provided in crashes. Child safety, crash avoidance and mitigation, and crashworthiness are the three categories graded, but each subcategory within is the one that gets the grade.

If a vehicle gets five “G” ratings and an advanced or higher rating on the front crash prevention test, it’s a Top Safety Pick. If it gets that and an “A” rating or higher for headlights, it’s a Top Safety Pick+ award-winner.

Free Auto Insurance Comparison

Enter your ZIP code below to view companies that have cheap auto insurance rates.

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

Free Auto Insurance Comparison

Enter your ZIP code below to view companies that have cheap auto insurance rates.

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

How do Mazda’s small SUVs rate?

The Mazda CX-3 is a Top Safety Pick+ in 2017. This vehicle has all “G” and “A” ratings in every category. The only “A” ratings are the headlights and the child latch system.

It has a superior rating for front crash prevention, which is why it’s a top safety pick plus. This vehicle is eligible for major discounts for insurance because it’s so safe.

The Mazda CX-5 is the second Mazda in the small SUV lineup for 2017, and it’s another Top Safety Pick+ vehicle with the same ratings across the board as its sister vehicle.

The only difference is this vehicle has a lower superior score than its sister vehicle in the front crash prevention category.

How do Mitsubishi’s small SUVs rate?

Like Mazda, there are two Mitsubishi vehicles in this class. The Mitsubishi Outlander has excellent safety ratings, and it was ranked a Top Safety Pick+ by the IIHS. It has the same ratings as the Mazda CX-3 in every category.

These two vehicles scored the same in every category, which means either is a great drive and there is no clear winner.

The Mitsubishi Outlander Sport, however, is a different story. It didn’t make it onto the list of top safety picks for two reasons. 

  1. It did not receive a “G” rating in all five crashworthiness categories, and the front crash prevention was not tested.
  2. It also received a “P” score for headlights, with is as bad as it gets.

Mazda Wins Overall in Terms of Safety

If you’re only comparing the Mazda CX-3 and the Mitsubishi Outlander, you’re getting two cars with equal safety and ratings. You can’t go wrong with either, but the other two models that fall into this category are the tiebreaking models.

The Mazda CX-5 outdoes the Mitsubishi Outlander Sport by far, making the Mazda selections the best overall.

This is important for two reasons. The first is obviously the safety of everyone in the car. When a vehicle earns a good safety rating, it means the vehicle is more likely to protect passengers in case an accident occurs.

You could be the safest driver you know and still end up in an accident because other people are negligent, which is why you want the safest vehicle possible.

The other reason is cost. Both vehicles are fairly priced, but you only get to save on insurance if you have a safe vehicle that ranks high on the list. Insurance agencies look to see how well a vehicle holds up in an accident so they know how to price the premiums for that car.

If it’s safer in an accident, it more than likely means there will be fewer injuries and fewer necessary repairs. That’s big savings for the insurance company.

Insurance savings, discounts, and cheaper premiums do matter, but it’s not the only important thing to consider when choosing a new car.

You’re safer in a car you feel comfortable driving, and you probably have very specific needs based on your family size and lifestyle preferences. Take safety and insurance into consideration, but don’t let those deter you from buying what your family needs the most.

Compare car insurance quotes right here. It’s free, easy, and convenient! Enter your zip code into our free rate tool below to get started.

Free Auto Insurance Comparison

Enter your ZIP code below to view companies that have cheap auto insurance rates.

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption