Both small vehicles qualify for the top IIHS award when they’re equipped with optional front crash prevention and specific headlights.
To earn the Top Safety Pick+ award, a vehicle must draw the highest possible rating of “good” in all five IIHS crashworthiness tests — small overlap front, moderate overlap front, side, roof strength and head restraints. Additionally, the vehicle must attract a rating of “advanced” or “superior” for front crash prevention and a rating of “acceptable” or “good” for headlights.
The new design of the Crosstrek shares the same structure as the Subaru Impreza, which was redesigned for 2017. The Top Safety Pick+ award that the 2017 Impreza earned carries over to the 2018 model and also to the 2018 Crosstrek.
In addition to across-the-board “good” crashworthiness ratings, the Crosstrek has optional front crash prevention that earned a “superior” rating. In IIHS track tests at 12 mph and 25 mph, a Crosstrek equipped with Subaru's EyeSight system avoided collisions. It also has a forward collision warning system that meets criteria from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
The LED headlights on the Crosstrek's 2.0i Limited trim garnered an “acceptable” rating when the vehicle is equipped with high-beam assist -- a feature that automatically switches between high beams and low beams, depending on the presence of other vehicles. Without high-beam assist, the LED headlights drew a “marginal” rating and the base halogen lights drew a “poor” rating.
Meanwhile, improved headlights lifted the 2018 WRX into Top Safety Pick+ territory. The 2017 model earned a Top Safety Pick award, but fell short of the “plus” because its best-available headlights were scored as “marginal.” When equipped with high-beam assist and LED lights that come with the Limited trim, the 2018 WRX drew a “good” headlight rating. Without high-beam assist, the same headlights were rated as “acceptable.” The base halogen lights attracted a rating of “poor.”