2021 Subaru Forester, 2021 Subaru Outback, 2021 Subaru Ascent
Denis Flierl's picture

The Safest New Cars - Subaru Doesn't Score Perfect 10s In Latest Rankings

Does Subaru make the safest cars? A new study says only one Subaru model scores a perfect ten.
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The 2021 Subaru Forester, Outback, and Ascent SUVs get top safety scores from the NHTSA and Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) testing, but the Car Connection’s Safest New Cars of 2021 doesn’t put them in the top tier models for safety. Only one Subaru model, the 2021 Legacy, makes perfect 10s along with the Audi E-Tron, Ford Escape, and Mercedes-Benz E-Class.

The new Car Connection list puts the 2021 Subaru Forester, 2021 Subaru Outback, 2021 Subaru Ascent in the second tier of safest cars, even though they get top safety scores and come with the brand's highly-ranked EyeSight safety technology. All trim levels come with automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, lane-departure warning, automatic high beams, blind-spot monitors with rear cross-traffic alerts, and adaptive cruise control.

2021 Subaru Forester, 2021 Subaru Outback, 2021 Subaru Ascent

They also put the 2021 Subaru Impreza and 2021 Subaru WRX on the list, and we can understand their lower ranking. Not all Impreza and WRX trim levels come standard with Subaru’s EyeSight driver-assist technology. Only Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT) models offer it. Impreza and WRX come with manual transmissions, and EyeSight is not compatible.

The 2021 Subaru Crosstrek doesn’t make the list

The new Car Connection list does not put the 2021 Subaru Crosstrek on the list, and most Crosstrek trim levels come standard with the brand’s top-ranked EyeSight technology. The 2021 Crosstrek Hybrid gets the top safety pick plus score from the IIHS. Other trims get lower top safety pick scores because of their headlights.

2021 Subaru Forester, 2021 Subaru Outback, 2021 Subaru Ascent
Photo credit: Subaru West Palm Beach

Subaru Forester and other models get emergency braking ahead of schedule

A new report from the IIHS says Subaru, along with nine other automakers, has fulfilled a voluntary commitment to equip nearly all its vehicles they produce for the U.S. market with automatic emergency braking (AEB). The 2021 Subaru Forester, Outback, Ascent, and Legacy all come with automatic emergency braking as standard. You can read the report here.

According to the terms of the voluntary commitment, Subaru may defer equipping the Crosstrek, Impreza, and WRX with manual transmissions with AEB until the 2024-25 production year.

Does Subaru make the safest cars?

The 2021 Legacy makes Car Connection’s perfect 10s along with the Audi E-Tron, Ford Escape, and Mercedes-Benz E-Class. We would also put the 2021 Subaru Forester, Outback, and Ascent SUVs on the top 10s list because of their top safety scores and standard EyeSight safety technology across all trim levels.

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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: main photo Budds Subaru


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Comments

I fail to see how CarConnections safety rankings even warrants a blog post when NHTSA and IIHS give them saftey+ (top level). Even more absurd for the Ascent is Cole's review giving it a ding when he ascribes the reason to SUVs in general: "The 2021 Ascent misses a perfect score on our safety scale due to its size: big cars have big pillars that get in the way of outward vision." The visibility on the Ascent is marvelous. Contrast to the Mazda CX-9 and you'd see why for visibility the Ascent comes out on top: smaller pillars, higher seat position and more glass. But the lazy writing at the Car Connection won't give any SUV a 10 because he believes they are all the same. Again, why even put this bush league review into a blog post here if it's contrary to the big dogs revies?
Totally agree!