Subaru Earns Nine IIHS Awards for 2020 Model Lineup

February 18th, 2020

Subaru of America, Inc. announced that its 2020 vehicle lineup offers four TOP SAFETY PICK+ and five TOP SAFETY PICK awards from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). For 2020, Subaru tied for most IIHS awards earned by an individual brand:

Subaru Crosstrek Hybrid
Subaru Forester
Subaru Legacy
Subaru Outback (built after October 2019)

Subaru Ascent (with specific headlights)
Subaru Crosstrek (with EyeSight® and specific headlights)
Subaru Impreza sedan and five-door (with EyeSight® and specific headlights)
Subaru WRX (with EyeSight® and specific headlights)

The IIHS launched its TOP SAFETY PICK award in the 2006 model year to help consumers identify vehicles with the highest safety ratings. For 2020, the IIHS has strengthened award criteria that prioritise the protection of pedestrians in addition to vehicle occupants.

This was the seventh time since the awards’ inception that IIHS has raised its testing criteria, a strategy that has encouraged automakers to more quickly adopt new safety innovations. Reflecting the application of stricter criteria, the number of vehicles that earned either a TOP SAFETY PICK or TOP SAFETY PICK+ award declined from 111 total in 2019 to 64 for 2020.

Subaru XV AKA Crosstrek

Subaru XV aka CrosstrekSubaru’s total awards increased from eight to nine for 2020, including four out of 23 TOP SAFETY PICK+ awards given across the industry.

To earn a 2020 TOP SAFETY PICK or TOP SAFETY PICK+ award, vehicles must earn ‘Good’ ratings in each of IIHS’s six crashworthiness evaluations; ‘Good’ or ‘Acceptable’ headlight ratings, and available front crash prevention that earns “Advanced” or “Superior” ratings in both vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-pedestrian evaluations. The ‘Plus’ is awarded to models that come exclusively with ‘Good’ or ‘Acceptable’ headlights.

“Subaru supports IIHS efforts that spur the industry to achieve higher levels of vehicle safety and occupant protection,” says Thomas J. Doll, President and CEO, Subaru of America, Inc. “We view the IIHS awards as validation for our efforts to continually innovate safety features for our customers.”

Because the IIHS criteria has become more stringent over the past 14 years, consumers should not equate a 2020 TOP SAFETY PICK or TOP SAFETY PICK+ vehicle from any brand with one from previous years.

Focus on Pedestrians
For the first time, IIHS criteria for both awards require that vehicles achieve a ‘Good’ rating for the passenger-side small overlap front collision. The small overlap tests are designed to replicate what happens when just the front corner of the vehicle collides with another vehicle or an object such as a tree or utility pole.

All of Subaru’s IIHS award winners for 2020 have the EyeSight® Driver Assist Technology that includes automatic emergency braking. (Vehicles can meet the front crash prevention requirements for either award with standard or optional equipment.)

For 2020, IIHS has incorporated pedestrian crash prevention ratings into its TOP SAFETY PICK and TOP SAFETY PICK+ awards for the first time. Subaru and other automakers have made a voluntary commitment to make automatic emergency braking standard on virtually all their models by 2022. This voluntary commitment calls only for systems that help avoid crashes with other vehicles, but Subaru is among some that have also committed to include vehicle-to-pedestrian safety functionality.

The IIHS tests a vehicle’s pedestrian-detection technology using three scenarios: (1) an adult pedestrian stepping into the street in the path of the oncoming vehicle with an unobstructed view; (2) a child darting into the street from behind two parked cars and (3) an adult pedestrian near the side of the road in the travel lane, facing away from traffic. Each test is conducted at two different speeds.

Such technology, IIHS has determined, could help reduce rising pedestrian fatalities, which have increased 53 percent since reaching a low point in 2009. More than 6,000 pedestrians were killed in crashes in 2018.

“Rewarding technology that protects people outside the vehicle is new territory for the TOP SAFETY PICK awards, but we believe vehicle manufacturers have an important role to play in protecting vulnerable road users,” says IIHS President David Harkey.

To qualify for 2020 TOP SAFETY PICK+, a vehicle must earn good ratings in the driver-side small overlap front, passenger-side small overlap front, moderate overlap front, side, roof strength and head restraint tests. It also must earn an advanced or superior rating for vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-pedestrian front crash prevention and come with standard acceptable- or good-rated headlights.

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