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4/12/2011 - IIHS adds Mazda 3 to its list of Top Safety Picks

Mazda is the latest car maker to be given the Top Safety Pick designation by the IIHS.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has added a new model to its line of Top Safety Picks for 2011.

The Mazda 3 sedan/hatchback earned the IIHS' Top Safety Pick designation after scoring "good" in front, side, rear and rollover crash tests. Its roof strength fared particularly well.

The IIHS recently updated the criteria needed to score a "good" rating in roof tests. According to the Institute, the sedan's roof was able to withstand a force equal to 5.32 times the car's weight.

The IIHS' original list of 2011 Top Safety Picks was published in December, but since the beginning of the year, eight vehicles have been added, the Mazda 3 being the latest addition. The Mini Cooper, made by BMW, received the award for the first time earlier this month.

The NHTSA has done testing of other 2011 Mazda 3 models - four- and five-door - and each scored four out of five stars overall.

Auto insurance companies may take safety standards into consideration when determining premiums for specific models, meaning those who choose safer vehicles may have lower rates.

For more information on the 2011 Top Safety Picks, please visit

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