Mazda says nearly every 2018 model vehicle will have forward-collision warning (FCW) and automatic emergency braking (AEB) as standard safety equipment. The only exception will be the MX-5 Miata sports car. 

Consumer Reports has long advocated that FCW and AEB come standard on all vehicles, recognizing them as significant features capable of saving lives and reducing injuries.

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They are such important features that CR awards bonus points to a vehicle's Overall Score if it has forward-collision warning and automatic emergency braking standard across the vehicle’s model line. According to Mazda, all models except the MX-5 will have at least FCW and low-speed AEB, which works up to 19 mph. Select higher-trim versions of some models will get highway-speed AEB standard as well, Mazda says.

Consumer Reports will add some points to the overall scores of these models for the 2018 model year to reflect this move. But CR urges automakers to install emergency automatic braking that works at highway speeds, which could earn those models even more points. 

“Limiting the AEB to only 19 mph prevents these vehicles from saving lives in many everyday crashes,” says Jake Fisher, CR's director of auto testing. “Because safety should never be treated as a luxury item, Mazda should make their high-speed system standard for all models, regardless of trim level."

Because the MX-5 Miata will not have these features standard across all trims, it will not get any extra points. 

FCW and AEB are safety systems that use cameras, lasers, and/or radar to detect an imminent crash. In a car with one of these systems, the driver is warned of an obstacle and the brakes may be engaged automatically if the driver doesn’t respond in time.

AEB will be standard on every trim level of most light vehicles starting in 2022, according to a voluntary agreement announced in 2016 between the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety, and 20 major automakers.

Mazda, Mercedes-Benz, Nissan, and Toyota have all said that most of their models will have at least low-speed AEB standard before 2022. All 2016 and later Volvo cars have low-speed AEB as standard equipment.

The Mazda models affected include:

  • All 2018 Mazda3 sedans and hatchbacks, starting in August 2017. Grand Touring trim models have standard AEB that operates at highway speeds.
  • All 2018 Mazda6 sedans. Touring and Grand Touring trim models have highway-speed AEB standard.
  • All 2018 CX-3 subcompact SUVs, starting in August 2017. Grand Touring trim models have highway-speed AEB standard.
  • All 2018 CX-5 small SUVs. Touring and Grand Touring trim models have highway-speed AEB standard.
  • All 2018 CX-9 midsized SUVs, starting in September 2017. Touring and Grand Touring trim models have highway-speed AEB standard.