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New IIHS Driver Death Rate Study - Subaru Outback Is Top-10 Safest, WRX Not So Good

The Subaru Outback is one of the Top-10 safest vehicles with the fewest driver deaths in a new study. See where the other Subaru models rank.


Car shoppers looking for the safest vehicle they can buy have a new study to help determine the best and worst cars. Recent studies show three of the top five technologies consumers most prefer in their next vehicle are related to collision protection. Other studies reveal standard safety technology is one of the things consumers want most in a new vehicle.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) published its most recent list of the deadliest cars, SUVs, and trucks with a focus on the number of drivers killed in each. The organization looked at 2015 to 2018 models years, as long as they had “not been substantially redesigned over the intervening period.” They also reveal which models are the safest. The Subaru Outback is one of the top-10 models with the fewest driver deaths. How do the other Subaru models rank?

2020 Subaru Outback

The Subaru Outback wagon scored the fewest driver deaths per million cars registered with 3 deaths for 2015-2017 model years. This puts the popular wagon in the top ten safest vehicles in the U.S. according to the newly released IIHS study.

The Subaru Legacy scored well with 14 driver deaths for the 2015-2017 model years. The number one selling Subaru Forester had 17 driver deaths (2014-2017 MY). Subaru Crosstrek was next at 18 driver deaths, (2014-2017) and Subaru WRX had the highest driver deaths of all Subaru models with 54 (2015-17).

2020 Subaru Outback

The Subaru WRX is a Top Safety Pick by the IIHS and scored a Superior rating in front crash protection and highest side crashworthiness for the 2015-2017 model years. It’s noteworthy that the WRX is the brand’s performance sports car and those who drive it get the most speeding tickets of any car in America. Even though the WRX is rated high in safety, it's not a surprise the way it’s driven, the sports car has a higher number of driver fatalities.

The Subaru Ascent is an all-new model and has not been out long enough for the IIHS to gather crash information. The IIHS says, “It takes considerable time to gather and tabulate the real-world data needed to provide statistically significant results for new models.”

We were surprised the IIHS did not include the Subaru Impreza compact sedan and 5-door hatchback models in the study. They also did not have any data for the Subaru BRZ sports coupe.

Overall the Subaru lineup of all-wheel-drive vehicles scores well in the latest IIHS driver death rates study. The Subaru Outback scores best of all cars in America with the fewest driver deaths.

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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 USA