The new Subaru Forester has become the first vehicle to score top marks in a severe new frontal crash test conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) in the USA and the only small SUV to achieve the highest (“good”) rating.
In contrast to the Forester, of 13 SUVs subjected to the test, the protection afforded by 11 other models was found to be “poor” or “marginal”.
The new small overlap front crash test replicates what happens when the front corner of a vehicle strikes another vehicle or object such as a tree or telegraph pole. With a 50th percentile male dummy belted in the driver’s seat, 25 per cent of the vehicle’s front end on the driver’s side strikes a five-foot-tall rigid barrier at 40mph.
In the test, the Forester achieved good ratings for structure, restraints and kinematics, and all four injury measures on the dummy, with the dummy’s movements sufficiently well controlled to prevent contact with hard surfaces.
In many vehicles, such an offset impact misses the primary structures designed to manage crash energy, increasing the risk of severe damage to the occupant compartment. IIHS data shows that this type of front overlap impact accounts for nearly one-in-four frontal crashes involving serious or fatal injury to front seat occupants.
Joe Nolan, vice president for vehicle research at the IIHS, said: “The Subaru’s performance was textbook. With the redesigned Forester, Subaru’s engineers set out to do well in our new test, and they succeeded. This is exactly how we hoped manufacturers would respond to improve protection for people in these kinds of serious frontal crashes.”
The new Forester has also been awarded the full five-star Euro NCAP crash safety rating, notable scores of 91 per cent for both adult occupant and child occupant protection confirming it as one of the safest cars on sale in the UK.
A link to the IIHS findings can be found at: http://www.iihs.org/news.
To find out more about the new Subaru Forester, visit www.subaru.co.uk.