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IIHS Rear Seat Crash Protection Update - Subaru Crosstrek Gets A Poor Rating

How safe is the 2023 Subaru Crosstrek for rear passengers in a crash? A new report from IIHS testing says Crosstrek gets the lowest score. Check out the updated information here.

How does the 2023 Subaru Crosstrek compare with other small SUVs in rear passenger crash protection? In the new moderate overlap front crash test from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), the Crosstrek subcompact SUV earned a "Poor" rating for rear passenger safety.

The IIHS tested five small cars, including the Crosstrek. None of the five small cars IIHS tested earned a good rating. The Honda Civic sedan and Toyota Corolla sedan are rated "Acceptable." The Kia Forte, Nissan Sentra, and Subaru Crosstrek are rated "Poor."

2023 Subaru Crosstrek
photo credit: IIHS

The Crosstrek received "Good" scores in driver's head and neck injury and driver head protection. But Crosstrek scored "Marginal" in rear passenger head and neck, "poor" in rear passenger chest protection, "Good" in thigh protection, and "Poor" in rear passenger restraints and kinematics. As a result, Crosstrek's overall rating is "Poor."

The IIHS says, "In the three "Poor" rated vehicles, measurements taken from the rear dummy also showed a moderate or high risk of head, neck or chest injuries."

The test results include the 2022 and 2023 Subaru Crosstrek model years. The Crosstrek has been redesigned for 2024, and the IIHS says it plans to test the next-generation 2024 Crosstrek in the future.

2023 Subaru Crosstrek
photo credit: IIHS

To earn a "Good" rating, the IIHS says there can't be an excessive risk of injury to the head, neck, chest, abdomen, or thigh, as recorded by the second-row dummy.

"These results highlight one of the key reasons we updated our moderate overlap front crash test," said IIHS President David Harkey. "In all the small cars we tested, the rear dummy 'submarined' under the seat belt, causing the lap belt to ride up onto the abdomen and increasing the risk of internal injuries."

Where does Crosstrek need to improve?

One way both the IIHS and Consumer Reports say automakers could improve rear occupant safety is through better implementation of pre-tensioners, which tighten the belt at the onset of a crash, and load limiters, which let the belt spool out a bit to reduce any jerking force that might injure the occupant's chest.

Emily Thomas, manager of auto safety at Consumer Reports' auto test center, says, "This is the first batch of small cars tested, and there's no reason why these cars can't score better," she says. "We often see low scores in the first round of tests, but manufacturers typically rise to the occasion."

What are the current Crosstrek IIHS safety scores?

The 2023 Subaru Crosstrek earned the Top Safety Pick award. The all-new 2024 Crosstrek has yet to be tested.

When will Subaru improve Crosstrek's rear passenger protection?

Consumer Reports says Subaru did not respond to its request for comment about the new scores. However, Subaru did say about the 2024 Crosstrek, "Subaru anticipates the all-new 2024 Crosstrek will continue to deliver exemplary safety performance."

The second-generation Subaru Crosstrek gets a "Poor" rating from the IHHS for rear passenger crash protection. Will the third-generation 2024 Crosstrek get an improved score from the IIHS when tested? Stay tuned.

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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: IIHS