Introduced just over one year ago, the next-generation Mazda CX-9 crossover has already earned its share of awards in Canada, including’s Midsize SUV/Minivan of the Year award for 2017, as well as around the world, notably being named one of the finalists for the 2017 World Car of the Year award.

The latest recognition to come the CX-9’s way is from the IIHS (Insurance Institute for Highway Safety) in the United States, which gave it its Top Safety Pick+ award – the highest possible rating from the organization.

Explained Masashi Otsuka, VP of R&D and design, Mazda North American Operations, “We wanted to create a vehicle that could delight couples or shuttle families with the same effortlessness. Now, we are proud to say that the IIHS has recognized CX-9 for its safety, highlighting the achievements of our engineering team.”

The Mazda CX-9 excelled in collision and occupant protection tests, garnering the highest possible rating (Good), as well as passing the IIHS’ rigorous new LED light tests. The vehicle’s automatic emergency braking abilities were also put to the test, again earning it a Good rating.

The CX-9 is built with a SKYACTIV chassis and body structure consisting of ultra-high-resistance steel, and is available with the i-ACTIV predictive all-wheel drive system, a smart city braking system, a radar-based cruise control system, advanced blind spot monitoring with rear cross traffic alert, front obstruction warning and an adaptive front headlight system that pivots the lamps when cornering.

Make sure to read our long-term review of the new Mazda CX-9, carried out over 10,000 km and three seasons – fall, winter and spring!