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Why New Subaru Vehicles Dropped Lower In Latest IIHS Safety Report

All 2020 Subaru Outback, Forester, and Ascent models come standard with automatic emergency braking (AEB). Why doesn’t the 2020 Crosstrek, Impreza, and WRX?

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One of Subaru's core values is safety, and all 2020 Subaru Outback, Forester, and Ascent models come standard with automatic emergency braking (AEB). Why doesn’t the brand offer all 2020 Crosstrek, Impreza, and WRX models with its latest safety technology? The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) says Subaru scores low among mainstream automakers in their latest AEB report. In fact, only Kia (46%), General Motors (21%), Fiat Chrysler (8%) and Mitsubishi (0%) score lower than Subaru (50%) in the percentage of vehicles offering AEB.

Subaru touts itself for its stellar safety scores and gets the highest marks from the IIHS and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration every year. Why does Subaru lag behind other mainstream brands like Toyota (97%), VW (88%), Mazda (86%), Nissan (81%), Hyundai (81%), and Honda (71%) in offering standard AEB on their automobiles?

2020 Subaru Crosstrek with 6-speed manual gearbox

Subaru offers a majority of its SUVs and compact cars with standard EyeSight driver assist technology which has been proven to reduce accidents. The IIHS estimates vehicles equipped with AEB will prevent 42,000 crashes and 20,000 injuries by 2025, so why wouldn’t Subaru offer it on all their cars? The 50 percent offering Consumer Reports shows Subaru offering AEB in their lineup is somewhat misleading.

For whatever reason, Subaru Corporation has not been able to fit its excellent EyeSight technology on vehicles with a standard transmission. Subaru does include it as standard equipment on all models with a CVT automatic gearbox. Subaru still offers a manual transmission on the 2020 Crosstrek compact SUV, Impreza sedan and 5-Door, WRX sport-tuned sedan, and BRZ sports coupe.

Subaru still offers models with a manual shifter

The Subaru WRX STI only comes with a 6-speed manual gearbox. None of these manual transmission models are offered with EyeSight lowering Subaru’s overall number of vetches in their stable to 50 percent.

Why doesn’t EyeSight work with a manual transmission?

Eyesight’s array of sensors makes features like automatic emergency braking, lane keep assist, lane departure warning, cruise control, all work in concert. Subaru engineers have not been able to make the driver-assist technology work perfectly with a stick shift, so they have decided to not offer it at all. They want it to work 100 percent or they will not offer the safety technology that doesn’t work right all the time on its manual transmission cars.

What does the future look like for Subaru safety? The Subaru brand is known for its sporty models like the WRX/STI but the world is a different place than it was when Subaru was chasing World Rally Cross titles. The target date for automakers to have AEB on all their vehicles is 2022.

All 2020 Subaru Outback, Forester, and Ascent models come standard with automatic emergency braking (AEB) now. Look for Subaru to drop the manual gearbox on the new Crosstrek, and Impreza models soon. Stay tuned.

You Might Also Like: Why IIHS Says You Will Now Be Less Safe In The New Subaru Outback

Denis Flierl has invested nearly 30 years in the automotive industry in a variety of roles. All of his reports are archived on the Torque News Subaru page. Follow Denis on FacebookTwitterInstagramSubaru Report. Check back tomorrow for more Subaru news and updates!

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Photo credit: Subaru USA

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Ryan Wilson (not verified)    December 23, 2019 - 7:53PM

I just ordered another 2020 Crosstrek manual. Articles like yours will kill the manual...let the consumer decide. Eyesight is standard in CVT.