As it turns out, not all Subaru models provide the same level of safety.
When the automaker launched the all-new 2020 Subaru Outback crossover and 2020 Subaru Legacy this year, it claimed that both models have significantly improved safety following a stiffer Global Platform the company launched. According to Subaru, the new platform improves crash protection with a new body that absorbs more than 40 percent more energy in front and side crashes than its current model. This is on top of a slew of other standard safety features.
But in a series of crash tests conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, the two models have slightly varying results. While both models scored well enough to receive Top Safety Pick recognitions, the Legacy turned out to be the better model as it was awarded the coveted Top Safety Pick+.
According to IIHS standards, a vehicle must earn Good ratings in the driver-side small overlap front, moderate overlap front, side, roof strength, and head restraint tests, as well as a Good or Acceptable rating in the passenger-side small overlap front test in order to qualify for the Top Safety Pick award. An Advanced or Superior rating is also needed for front crash prevention and a Good or Acceptable rating for the headlights. Meanwhile, the Top Safety Pick+ recognition is given to vehicles with a Good passenger-side small overlap rating and Good headlight rating.
The 2020 Legacy and Outback, equipped with Subaru’s EyeSight crash avoidance system as standard, were both meted out with Good ratings in all six crash tests by the IIHS.
Additionally, the two models earned Superior ratings for the vehicle-to-vehicle front crash prevention after avoiding collisions in 12 and 25 mph track tests, plus another Superior rating for pedestrian crash prevention.
But the Legacy came on top with the Top Safety Pick+ citation, thanks to its headlights. Its curve-adaptive headlights earned the highest award, while the base headlights earned an Acceptable rating. The 2020 Outback, on the other hand, fell a little short because the crossover’s base lights and optional curve-adaptive LEDs both received an Acceptable rating.