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New Subaru Forester, Crosstrek Are Still Rated The Safest Compact SUVs In America

The new 2019 Subaru Forester, Crosstrek and Impreza earn the highest score in safety. See what it means for customers.


Consumers looking for the safest small compact SUV and compact cars in America can get them in the new 2019 Subaru Forester SUV, Crosstrek and Impreza compact all-wheel-drive vehicles. Subaru Corp announced the three models have earned the highest score in the Japan New Car Assessment Program (JNCAP) preventive safety performance assessment. Forester, Crosstrek, and Impreza received the top rating of Advanced Safety Vehicle Triple Plus (ASV +++).

Second set of eyes

The 2019 Subaru Forester features Subaru’s unique “EyeSight” driver assist system as standard equipment that acts as a second set of eyes. EyeSight uses a pair of cameras for forward-recognition and provides assist functions including pre-collision braking, pre-collision throttle management, and lane keep assistance. EyeSight is an option on Crosstrek and Impreza.

An optional High Beam Assist function on the new Forester automatically switches the headlights between the high and low beams by detecting the lights in front of the vehicle with EyeSight cameras and supports nighttime driving.

What it means for customers

Riding on the Subaru Global Platform, the architecture used in all new-generation Subaru vehicles enhances passenger protection with improved energy absorption compared to previous generation models. Subaru uses optimized body structure and high-tensile steels in the new models to improve passenger protection for frontal, side and rear-end impacts with a minimal weight increase.

In Japan-spec models, Forester employs pedestrian protection airbag as standard equipment. A pressure sensor inside the front bumper determines whether the vehicle has collided with a pedestrian, and the airbag covers the wipers and the bottom of the front pillars right after the collision is detected to reduce the impact on the pedestrian’s head.

Also rated highest by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, the new 2019 Subaru Forester, Crosstrek and Impreza are the safest compact SUVs in America. One of Subaru’s core values is safety and the Japanese automaker says they have a goal to eliminate traffic accident deaths by 2030.

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Photo credit: Subaru Corp


Digitaldoc (not verified)    June 1, 2019 - 12:35PM

I would not choose a Subaru based on safety ratings. However, I would not choose many vehicles based on poor safety. I look at the IHSS designations, and make sure it is a Top Safety Pick prior to purchase, and would move on to another vehicle if it does not perform well enough to earn that distinction.

I actually do not like the Eyesight system as when I looked into it, a number of users reported false positives, and the car slowed down for no real reason. Other vehicles combine radar and optical data for a more comprehensive assessment, and do not get fooled so easily. Eyesight has dual cameras, and is a cheaper to make, and cheaper to repair after an accident system, but overall inferior.

While the Forester does indeed get the highest rating, Top Safety Pick Plus, from the IHSS, , they are hardly the "highest rated," with many other vehicles also achieving this distinction.