Subaru Legacy and Outback earn highest possible rating under IIHS new test program

Sep 27, 2013, 10:12 ET from Subaru Canada Inc.

  • New IIHS test program rates the performance of front crash prevention systems.
  • Subaru Legacy and Outback are two of only seven vehicles to earn the highest possible rating for superior front crash prevention.

MISSISSAUGA, ON, Sept. 27, 2013 /CNW/ - Subaru Canada, Inc. today announced top marks for front crash prevention in the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety's (IIHS) new test program. Subaru Legacy and Outback (2013-14 model year) vehicles were among only seven to earn the highest possible rating of superior. A total of 74 moderately priced and luxury midsize passenger cars and SUVs were evaluated under this new program.

The new crash avoidance ratings, designed to evaluate the performance of front crash prevention systems, are intended to help consumers decide which features to consider and encourage automakers to speed adoption of the technology.  The rating system is based on research by the Highway Loss Data Institute (HLDI), indicating that forward collision warning and automatic braking systems are helping drivers avoid front-to-rear crashes.

The Institute rates models with optional or standard front crash prevention systems as superior, advanced or basic depending on efficacy in tests at 12 and 25 miles per hour. The Subaru Legacy and Outback with preventative safety technology, EyeSight, were able to avoid a crash or substantially reduce speeds in both tests. The Institute awards as many as six points based on credit for forward collision warning and how much the systems slow the vehicle to avoid or lessen the severity of impact. Subaru's Legacy and Outback performed best and were the only two vehicles to receive a full six points. Five or six points are needed to obtain a superior rating.

"We want to help get the most effective systems in as many vehicles as soon as possible," said David Zuby, IIHS chief research officer. "That means a speed mitigation system like Subaru's EyeSight that can prevent crashes at low and moderate speeds. At the same time, we want consumers to know that a forward collision warning alone can help them avoid crashes, and it's a feature that's available on more models than autobrake."

Subaru's innovative driver-assist system, EyeSight, was introduced on select 2013 Legacy and Outback models. Like a second pair of eyes to help monitor the road ahead, EyeSight employs a pair of cameras mounted over the rearview mirror to monitor driver behavior and detect objects in the vehicle's path. Pre-collision braking, for example, warns of a vehicle directly in front and applies the brakes automatically to slow or stop the vehicle, depending on travelling speed.

The front crash prevention ratings complement the Institute's long-standing crash test program telling consumers how well passenger vehicles protect people in a range of crash configurations. In its crashworthiness program, the Institute rates vehicles good, acceptable, marginal or poor based on performance in moderate overlap front, side, roof strength and head restraint evaluations. The Institute will award TOP SAFETY PICK with good ratings in all four of those tests.

Last year, the Institute introduced the TOP SAFETY PICK+ award to recognize models with the best crash protection. To qualify for the 2013 award, vehicles had to have good or acceptable protection in a new small overlap front crash test, in addition to good ratings for occupant protection in a moderate overlap front, side and roof strength test, plus good head restraints and seats for protection against neck injuries in rear impacts. For 2014, vehicles must also have standard or optional front crash prevention technology with a basic, advanced or superior rating for TOP SAFETY PICK+ award eligibility.

"This new rating criteria for a 2014 IIHS TOP SAFETY PICK+ award bodes well for Subaru," said Shiro Ohta, president and CEO of Subaru Canada, Inc. "Subaru is the only manufacturer to have achieved a 2013 TOP SAFETY PICK rating for all models four years in a row (2010-2013). Our 2014 model year Subaru Legacy and Outback achieved a 2013 TOP SAFETY PICK+ award. Earning a top rating under the Institute's new program is a positive step towards 2014 TSP/TSP+ award eligibility for us."

About Subaru Canada, Inc.
Subaru Canada, Inc. is a wholly owned subsidiary of Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd. of Japan. Headquartered in Mississauga, Ontario, the company markets and distributes Subaru vehicles, parts and accessories through a network of over 85 authorized dealers across Canada.

SOURCE Subaru Canada Inc.