New 2020 Subaru Outback's Top Safety Streak Ends, Legacy Continues
Most new cars, and especially Subaru vehicles, get better safety ratings when the redesigned model comes out not worse scores. But that is what happened with the new 2020 Outback. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) has just announced the newly-redesigned 2020 Subaru Outback earns a Top Safety Pick award, and its stablemate Legacy earns the highest Top Safety Pick + award.
The Subaru Outback has an exceptional safety rating and has been a Top Safety Pick+ winner for the last six years (2013-2019) but gets downgraded for the new 2020 model redesign. Automakers work hard at getting the highest rating and it’s a major event to go backward in safety scores.
Why did Legacy sedan outscore the Outback SUV/Crossover model?
2020 Subaru Outback
According to the IIHS, the Outback’s impressive top safety pick plus streak ends because of its headlights. Their explanation is a bit confusing but the IIHS says new Outback’s Top Safety Pick “rating applies to its base headlights as well as its available curve-adaptive LEDs on models built after October 2019. The curve-adaptive lights on earlier models rate marginal.”
For 2013-2019 Model Year Outback models, ratings were given for 3 different headlight variations available on the vehicle with an overall rating of “Good” earning the Outback a Top Safety Pick+ award.
2020 Subaru Legacy
2019 versus 2020 Outback headlights
For the 2020 model Outback, the IIHS ratings were also given for 3 different headlight variations available on the vehicle with an overall rating of “Acceptable” downgrading the Outback to a Top Safety Pick award. The difference between 2020 models versus 2019 vehicles is the IIHS notes low beams created “Some Glare” on the new 2020 Outback, and says “low beams never exceeded glare limits” on 2019 models.
Should customers be concerned the 2020 Outback has been downgraded from earning a Top Safety Pick+ award to a Top Safety Pick winner? In all other IIHS crashworthiness tests, Like the 2019 models, the 2020 Subaru Outback earned a rating of Good, and its front crash prevention vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-pedestrian systems earned a Superior rating.
To sum it up, the 2020 Subaru Outback’s six-year Top Safety Pick+ award streak ends because of “some glare” from the SUVs headlights. Customers will be as safe in 2020 models as the previous-generation models.
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Denis Flierl has invested nearly 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!
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