The Best Brands - Why Subaru Fails To Score The Most Top Safety Awards This Year
The Subaru brand has a lot to cheer about with the new 2021 Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) safety awards, but they fall short of being the best automaker. Volvo scores the most Top Safety Pick + awards with nine. Subaru has five models with the highest score. The 2021 Subaru Forester, Outback, Crosstrek Hybrid, Ascent, and Legacy get the highest Top Safety Pick + safety scores.
The 2021 Subaru Crosstrek, Impreza, and WRX earn Top Safety Pick awards, but why don't they also earn the best scores? There are two reasons why.
To qualify for a Top Safety Pick+ award, vehicles must have "good" ratings in all six of the institute's crashworthiness tests. Vehicles also must have front-crash prevention that the institute considers "advanced" or "superior." The 2021 Subaru Crosstrek, Impreza, and WRX all meet these requirements when equipped with Subaru's Eyesight safety technology.
The Crosstrek, Impreza, and WRX all come standard with a manual transmission, and Subaru's EyeSight driver assist technology is not compatible with the manual gearbox. The models without EyeSight don't get the highest scores and can't be included with the CVT transmission models.
Another category where the 2021 Subaru Crosstrek, Impreza, and WRX fall short is in their headlights. The Top Safety Pick+ is only awarded to models that meet all the requirements and must have "good" or "acceptable" headlights across all trim levels and packages. This is where Crosstrek, Impreza, and WRX fall short. Not all trims have the best headlights.
Subaru will soon drop all manual shifters in their cars to bring EyeSight driver assist technology as standard equipment to their entire SUV lineup. Subaru wants all its models to be Top Safety Pick+ award winners, so models with a manual gearbox will be gone soon.
Look for Subaru to improve its headlights and offer the best LED projector headlights across all trim levels and packages. They will also drop manual transmission models. When Subaru makes these two changes, they will have nine models with Top Safety Pick+ awards.
The 2021 Subaru Forester, Outback, Crosstrek Hybrid, Ascent, and Legacy earn the highest Top Safety Pick+ award. The 2021 Subaru Crosstrek, Impreza, and WRX earn Top Safety Pick awards.
Denis Flierl has invested over 30 years in the automotive industry in a consulting role working with every major car brand. He is an accredited member of the Rocky Mountain Automotive Press. Check out Subaru Report where he covers all of the Japanese automaker's models. More stories can be found on the Torque News Subaru page. Follow Denis on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
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Photo credit: Main image Subaru via Rachel Pennington