The 2014 Subaru Impreza and its near-twin, the Subaru XV Crosstrek, have drawn the IIHS Top Safety Pick+ award for their performance in Insurance Institute for Highway Safety crash tests including the small overlap front test.
Beginning with 2014 models, Subaru made structural changes to improve occupant protection in small overlap frontal crashes. These changes and ratings apply to the Impreza wagon and 4-door sedan as well as the XV Crosstrek, which is available only as a wagon.
In the small overlap front test, the driver's space was maintained well. “Injury measures recorded on the dummy indicated a low risk of any significant injuries in a crash of this severity,” IIHS said in a statement. “The dummy's head made good contact with the front airbag, which stayed in position during the crash. The side curtain airbag deployed and had sufficient forward coverage to protect the head from contact with side structures and outside objects.”
IIHS added the small overlap test to its lineup of vehicle safety evaluations last year. This test replicates what happens when the front corner of a vehicle strikes another vehicle or an object like a tree or a utility pole. In the test, 25 percent of a vehicle's front end on the driver side strikes a 5-foot-tall rigid barrier at 40 mph. A 50th percentile male Hybrid III dummy is belted in the driver seat.
Among the current models the IIHS has rated, five Subaru models have qualified for a 2013 Top Safety Pick+ award. They are the Forester, Impreza, Legacy, Outback and XV Crosstrek. For the 2013 award, winners must earn “good” ratings – the highest awarded – for occupant protection in four of five evaluations and no less than “acceptable” in the fifth test.