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Subaru Just Dropped An Inferior Feature On New Models To Get The Best Safety Score

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety says the 2024 Subaru Crosstrek and 2024 Subaru Impreza have improved crash protection. See what underperforming feature Subaru dropped to earn the higher scores.


The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) recently tested the all-new next-generation 2024 Subaru Crosstrek subcompact SUV and 2024 Subaru Impreza compact hatchback. Both compact vehicles have improved crash protection according to the new scores. 

One of the reasons is that they needed to have better headlights. So Subaru dropped the underperforming lights to put customers on a well-lit path.

2024 Subaru Crosstrek and Impreza headlights

Subaru redesigned the Impreza and Crosstrek, and the remodeled vehicles earned higher scores. The IIHS says thanks to improvements in side crash protection and the elimination of subpar headlight options, the two Subaru models qualify for new awards.

I covered the 2023 Crosstrek and 2023 Impreza when they were tested for side crash protection. The models scored poorly, along with three competitors. Four small cars scored a "Poor" grade in the new IIHS side crash test: the Kia Forte, Subaru Crosstrek, and two Subaru Impreza trim levels: the sedan and hatchback.

2024 Subaru Crosstrek with improved headlights

The next-generation models are significantly improved. 

The IIHS says both cars improved over their 2023 models, which earned poor ratings in the new version of the side impact evaluation launched last year. It's a significant improvement over the previous generation model.

The 2024 Impreza earned a good rating in the updated side test and gets the highest Top Safety Pick+ award. The 2024 Crosstrek earned an acceptable side rating and is a Top Safety Pick award winner.

The IIHS says to qualify for the Top Safety Pick+ award in 2023; a vehicle must earn a good rating in the updated side test and the driver-side small overlap front, passenger-side small overlap front, and original moderate overlap front tests. 

Acceptable or good headlights must be standard across all trims, and a front crash prevention system that earns advanced or superior ratings in both the daytime and nighttime vehicle-to-pedestrian evaluations must be available.

In contrast, for the lower-tier Top Safety Pick award, an acceptable rating in the updated side test is enough, and only an advanced or superior rating in the daytime vehicle-to-pedestrian test is necessary.

The Crosstrek and Impreza get a better score by dropping poor headlights. 

The redesigned 2024 Crosstrek and 2024 Impreza now come with good headlights across the board, says IIHS. Previously, some trim lines of the Crosstrek had poor headlights, and some Impreza trims had marginal ones.

The IIHS revealed that the new Crosstrek and Impreza also have standard front crash prevention that earns a superior rating in both the daytime and nighttime vehicle-to-pedestrian tests.

"We are thrilled that seven of our 2024 models received a 2023 IIHS TOP SAFETY PICK award, especially under the new criteria," said Jeff Walters, President and Chief Operating Officer, Subaru of America. "This is a testament to our commitment to providing customers with vehicles set to the highest safety standards."

Customers looking for the safest compact vehicles with top crash scores should check out the 2024 Subaru Crosstrek subcompact SUV and 2024 Subaru Impreza compact hatchback models. Both have improved crash protection and better headlights in the new IIHS testing. 

Now it's your turn.

Will you be shopping for a 2024 Subaru Crosstrek or Impreza? Do safety scores make a difference in your decision when buying a new car? 

Thanks for reading, everyone. I hope you enjoyed this Subaru Crosstrek and Impreza report. See you tomorrow for my latest Subaru Report.

For additional articles related to the new Subaru safety tech, here are a few of my top stories you may enjoy. 

My Must-Read Top Picks

Here is the 2024 Subaru Crosstrek passenger-side small overlap IIHS crash test YouTube video from the IIHS

Denis Flierl - I have over twenty years of Subaru and automotive journalism experience. I enjoy bringing you, the Subaru fans and customers, the most up-to-date Subaru news, reviews, and new model information. You'll find the latest Subaru stories on the Subaru page. Follow me on my The Dirty Subaru website, Dirty Subaru blogSubaruReportAll Subaru, WRXSTI, @DenisFlierlFacebook, and Instagram.

I’ve got you covered! - I cover all Subaru all the time - It’s called the “Subaru Report.” Check back daily for my expert Subaru analysis!

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Photo: Subaru USA