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The Entire Subaru Lineup Earns The Best Road Test Scores Except For One Model

The Subaru Forester, Outback, Crosstrek SUVs are known for all-wheel-drive but are rated highest among all mainstream automakers for road test scores. See which model fails.

When you take a car on a test drive, you don’t notice the ride quality unless it’s really bad. The salesperson usually takes you on a short pre-determined route that doesn’t include rough pavement, dirt roads or sharp curves. You don’t really find out about a car’s ride quality until you have purchased the vehicle and driven it for a few weeks. Then it’s too late.

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Consumer Reports puts cars through comprehensive road tests based on 50 tests performed at their 327-acre auto test center so you can know how a car performs in all driving situations. The Subaru brand that includes the popular 2020 Forester, Outback, and Crosstrek SUVs, most known for its all-wheel-drive all-weather capabilities, is rated the Best Mainstream Brand for road test scores over all other automakers.

2020 Subaru Outback, 2020 Subaru Forester, 2020 Subaru CrosstrekThe entire Subaru lineup gets the best road test scores except for one

The 2020 Subaru Ascent 3-Row family hauler gets the best test score (93) of all Subaru models. This would make sense since it’s the biggest Subaru ever built and should have a smooth ride. The Outback wagon is next with a score of 91. It’s followed by the Forester compact SUV (90), Legacy sedan (89), Crosstrek subcompact SUV (87), Impreza sedan and 5-Door compact car, and BRZ sports coupe (79).

Why does Subaru score so high?

Subaru recently upgraded every one of its new-generation models to its new Subaru Global Platform that the Japanese automaker spent $1 Billion dollars to develop. We’ve driven all of the new-generation Subaru models, and customers will feel three differences in the new SUVs and compact cars. The new models come with improved ride comfort, handling agility, and a quieter cabin.

2020 Subaru Outback, 2020 Subaru Forester, 2020 Subaru Crosstrek2020 Subaru Ascent is rated best by Consumer Reports

In a nutshell, the new underpinnings have reduced vibrations and produce a smoother ride quality over the previous-generation models. The body and chassis is 70-100 percent more rigid which translates to improved steering response, and the increased rigidity of the suspension mounting has reduced body roll by 50 percent compared to current models. The vehicles also have a lower center of gravity improving driving dynamics in the corners producing a more dynamic ride.

Which model fails the CR road test?

The 2020 Subaru WRX and WRX STI performance sedans did not do well in the CR road tests. Consumer Reports says the WRX/STI does have tremendous handling because of its performance-tuned suspension but falls painfully short in its refinement with a “near-brutal ride”, it’s very loud inside the cabin and is difficult to drive smoothly due to its “hair-trigger” throttle, “clunky” shifter and stiff cutch. The WRX and WRX STI have not been upgraded yet with the new Subaru Global Platform. The new-generation performance models should arrive in 2021.

Overall, the entire lineup of new-generation Subaru models that include the 2020 Forester, Outback, Crosstrek, Ascent, and others, are rated highest among all mainstream automakers and earn the best road-test scores.

You Might Also Like: 3 Benefits Subaru’s New Global Platform Gives SUV Shoppers

Denis Flierl has invested over 30 years in the automotive industry in a variety of roles. All of his reports are archived on our Subaru page. Follow Denis on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Subaru Report. Check back tomorrow for more Subaru news and updates at Torque News!

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Photo credit: Subaru


Old guy (not verified)    April 15, 2020 - 5:19PM

Sometimes I wonder who writes this stuff. Of course the performance model has a stiff clutch, quick shift and responsive tuned suspension. It is in a class of its own and really shouldn't even be compared to the other models. Duh.

BigMcLargeHuge (not verified)    April 15, 2020 - 6:24PM

You mean a car designed for cornering performance didn't have a soft comfortable ride? Great journalism.

Turd Ferguson (not verified)    April 15, 2020 - 7:55PM

I own a WRX. Yes, the ride is rough. But no car is more fun to drive. The WRX/STi are the automotive equivalent of the middle finger. They're supposed to be bonkers. CR and the writer of this article are kinda missing the point.

Buster (not verified)    April 15, 2020 - 9:45PM

The WRX is not on the same level as the other models under Subaru's belt. To compare or hold it up to the same standard as the other models is asinine. The mentioned negative points which caused it to very expectedly fail the road course are the exact reasons niche customers want the vehicle.

This just becomes another article that makes me not take Torque News seriously.
What's next, a comparison of the hauling power of a Ford Fiesta to a F250?

kenneth silvestri (not verified)    May 28, 2021 - 4:02PM

Ive owned an 11 and now an 18 OB. I waited patiently for Smooth ride to show up in marketing. Aside from that, too many bloggers, columnists or journalists have picked up a device, to work from everywhere, verbosing their way though tecnical or physical feeling and create digital rants. Wordy, long winded, isnt necessarily a great review. Short and concise, to the point, Makes POINTS.