Both the 3 hatchback and sedan obtained "good" ratings when put up against the IIHS's roof crush machine, which applies constant pressure to the roof of the car. To earn a "good" rating, the car's roof has to withstand pressure equal to four times the car's weight before being compressed five inches.
The Mazda3 sedan's roof withstood a force equal to 5.32 times its weight, while the hatchback gave up at 5.09 times its weight. The federal requirement for rollover tests is 1.5 times a car's weight.
The 2011 Mazda3 sedan also earned a "good" rating in a 31-mile per hour simulated impact with a truck or SUV. Thanks to side curtain air bags and seat bolster air bags, the dummies' heads were kept safe. Despite the hard hit, there was limited intrusion into the passenger compartment.
The Top Safety Pick award only applies to Mazda3s made after December, 2010 for the 2011 model year. For 2011, Mazda added electronic stability control as standard, a requirement for the award, and strengthened the car's roof structure.