Subaru Scores a Big Victory in Insurance Institute Crash Tests

March 9th, 2020 by

New technology Subaru and other auto manufacturers have developed and are adding to new cars is contributing to a reduction in traffic fatalities. Along with redesign of high-crash sites and reducing the amount of alcohol drivers are allowed to consume, new features on vehicles continue to make them safer. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety tests new vehicles every year and designates the safest as “Top Safety Pick” and “Top Safety Pick+.”



This year, Subaru has placed four models in the Top Safety Pick+ category – the highest – and five models in the Top Safety Pick category. Subaru’s 2020 Top Safety Pick+ models include the Crosstrek Hybrid, Legacy, Outback (built after October 2019) and Forester. Subaru’s Top Safety Pick models include: Ascent and the Crosstrek, Impreza Sedan, Impreza Wagon and WRX, when each is equipped with available front crash prevention technology.

The Criteria

The criteria for winning the designations – only 64 vehicles made the cut in 2020 – are tough: 

  • Top Safety Pick+, vehicles must get “Good” ratings on both the driver-side and passenger-side small overlap front, moderate overlap front, side, roof strength and head restraint tests; advanced or superior ratings for available front crash protection on both vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-pedestrian tests; and “Acceptable” or “Good”-rated headlights as standard equipment.
  • Top Safety Pick awards require that a vehicle must do well on all the crash tests but only have “Acceptable” or “Good”-rated headlights as available (optional) equipment


The IIHS has made the tests harder over the years and added new tests. The latest added were the small overlap evaluations – first the driver-side test and most recently the passenger-side test – which show how well the vehicles protect their occupants when they run into just the corner of the vehicle, for example a tree or utility pole.

Front Crash Prevention

The front crash prevention notation on the four Subaru Top Safety Picks is based on new technology that is available to detect pedestrians. The latest data shows that there’s been a 53 percent increase in pedestrian fatalities since 2009. In 2018 more than 6,000 pedestrians were killed in vehicle accidents. Automakers have been working toward a voluntary commitment to install automatic emergency braking (AEB), which will become standard for most vehicles by 2022. But the commitment only calls for AEB to avoid crashes with other vehicles. Now Subaru is among the manufacturers adding the vehicle-to-pedestrian detection functions, too. 


Some people call Subaru “Colorado’s Favorite Car” because of its outstanding all-weather performance as well as its stylishness, comfort and efficiency across all models. But it’s hard to argue with safety as an important selling point, too. A Schomp Subaru client advisor can highlight these important features for you.

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