Don’t Buy a Subaru Forester if You Drive at Night [Video]
The 2016 Subaru Forester is a go-anywhere vehicle, just not the best if you drive at night. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) tested headlights on 21 small SUVs, and not one earned the top rating of Good for headlight performance at night. Only four SUVs rated Acceptable and five Marginal. The Forester wasn’t even Marginal, the small SUV scored in the Poor category.
You would think that an automaker, who touts safety as being one of their core values, would put a good set of headlights on the top-selling vehicle in their lineup. Subaru offers their new High Beam Assist High Intensity Discharge (HID) headlights on the new Outback wagon which scored in the acceptable range. So Subaru does offer better headlamps than the Forester gets.
Subaru also introduced the new improved illumination HID headlights on the Subaru WRX and WRX STI in their South African models. They do make a difference in safety at night. IIHS says the Outback’s lamps and WRX/STI lamps provide improved illumination at night over the Multi-reflector halogen lamps currently on the Forester. The 2016 Subaru Forester gets the Poorly-rated headlights as standard on all trim levels.
Subaru offers better lighting features on other models
Subaru is also offering High Beam Assist (HBA) on some of their models. 2016 WRX/STI models in SA get the HBA feature. HBA can automatically toggle between high and low beams depending on road conditions such as speed and oncoming traffic, enhancing visibility for you, and other drivers as well. LED Steering Responsive Headlights are available on the 2.5i Forester Limited models that move as the vehicle turns and illuminates a corner at night.
Go to Page 2: How did IIHS rate the other SUVs?
How was the study conducted? IIHS says they tested headlights at night on a test track. The lights were tested on straightaways as well as on left-hand and right-hand curves. Researchers tested how far the SUVs lights traveled, as well as whether oncoming vehicles experienced excessive glare.
How did IIHS rate the other SUVs?
The Ford Escape, Honda CR-V, Hyundai Tucson and Mazda CX-3 all scored in the Acceptable range. BMW X1, Mazda CX-5, Mitsubishi Outlander, Toyota RAV4 and VW Tiguan all scored Marginal. The Audi Q3, Buick Encore, Chevrolet Trax, Fiat 500X, Honda HR-V, Jeep Patriot, Jeep Renegade, Jeep Wrangler, Kia Sportage, Mitsubishi Outlander Sport, Nissan Rogue and Subaru Forester all scored in the Poor category.
Watch Headlights for most small SUVs are poor - IIHS News video
Image source: Subaru