2014 Subaru Forester safety
Denis Flierl's picture

2014 Subaru Forester safety begins before design phase

The new 2014 Subaru Forester is one of the safest SUVs on the planet and it starts with Subaru’s extremely high safety targets set before the design starts.
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Safety isn’t something that just happens in an automobile, but it starts with an automakers goals and targets before it is ever designed. The Subaru brand has some of the safest vehicles on the planet and has been rated high in the area of safety for many years. The new 2014 Forester has been designed with the same high safety standards that Subaru is becoming known for around the globe. Safety isn’t just limited to how a vehicle performs in crash tests, but it also includes how well it performs in extreme weather conditions.

Forester tested in extreme environments

Subaru shipped Forester test mules all over the world in a variety of countries and tested the new crossover in all climates and weather conditions. Subaru’s goal is to have its customers use the new Forester with confidence in any environment. Subaru also does testing at their Climatic Test Facility located in Japan. It’s an “environmental laboratory” where they artificially produce temperature changes from 50 degrees C (122 fahrenheit) to minus 40 degrees. Heat lamps generate temperatures that reproduce an environment that is like having the car sitting under the sweltering sun for hours on end. Cabin temperatures reach in excess of 60 C (140 F). The car is then driven under those conditions to test the engine and cabin cooling efficiency.

Then the simulator is switched to produce freezing temperatures where sprays of water on the car freeze in a flash. The engine is then started under these conditions and the defroster and heater is checked for operation. The car is then driven at 100 kilometers per hour in the freezing conditions at minus 67 degrees. The new Forester mules were also taken outside the laboratory and driven through a ditch filled with water that went to the top of the hood. Subaru wanted to create conditions that would simulate a flood, and the Forester went through with out engine failure or getting stuck.

The new Forester is a global car

Because the new Forester will be a global car, the next test was to check the cars ability to withstand a salt environment near the ocean. The Forester was driven through a salt bath repeatedly to check the effects. An anti-freezing compound called Magnesium Chloride was also sprayed on the road that is used in snowy climates to keep roads clear of ice. The winter testing was conducted at a northern Japan test course to check the Foresters performance on icy and snow packed roads. They also checked brake performance, vehicle dynamics control and Foresters new standard X Mode system.

Crash safety is a priority at Subaru

Safety is not something the Japanese automaker has just begun to incorporate in their cars. Subaru has been testing their cars since the 1960’s before safety testing methods had yet to be established. The whole Subaru lineup along with the new Forester has won high praise around the globe.

The all-new 2014 Forester has been awarded the Top Five-Star Rating in the Euro NCAP Safety Test. This is the highest possible rating a car can get in the 2012 European New Car Assessment Program (Euro NCAP) safety performance test. This is just the third time in Subaru’s history that the Japanese automaker has been honored with the prestigious five star rating from Euro NCAP. It follows the 2009 rating for the Subaru Legacy and the 2011 rating for the Subaru XV Crosstrek.

Safety targets were set before the Forester was designed

The high safety targets are designed into their vehicles before they ever reach production. The safety targets are set first, and then the design team uses computers to conduct impact simulations. Those results are then incorporated into the new design. Real-world impact simulations are then conducted in Subaru’s own test facility. Hundreds of new Forester test mules were smashed before the crossover ever reached production. And Subaru even goes beyond what is expected from the various national safety tests around the world.

Subaru has developed the Forester by conducting thousands of tests to ensure the new global Forester can be driven safely anywhere, in any environment in the world. The all-new 2014 Forester is truly a global SUV.

Watch the 4th-generation Forester safety development video chapter 4.


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