3 New Subaru SUVs Have 1 Advantage Over Others in a Side Crash

Everyone knows that Subaru cars and SUVs are safe. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) recently changed one of its side-impact crashworthiness tests to make all vehicles safer. How did Subaru manage to excel at this safety test while similar vehicles failed? More specifically, what did the 2022 Subaru Ascent get right that other sport utility vehicles missed out on?

The 2022 Subaru Ascent is one of the safest new Subaru SUVs

These new Subaru SUVs like the 2022 Subaru Ascent are safe, according to the IIHS
The 2022 Subaru Ascent SUV in black | Subaru

Thanks to the IIHS, the 2022 Subaru Ascent managed to get the 2022 Top Safety Pick Plus award. Compared to the sea of SUVs that did not, this new test has proved difficult. The IIHS recently changed an important crash test that seems to be tripping automakers up. The side test was updated due to increased fatalities on the road under similar circumstances.

“The updated evaluation uses a heavier barrier traveling at a higher speed to simulate the striking vehicle. Instead of the earlier 3,300 pounds, the new one weighs around 4,200 pounds, which approximates the weight of most modern midsize SUVs.”

Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS)

The IIHS used 10 years’ worth of crash data to determine that an SUV with a “good” rating in the original test was better prepared for such accidents. Occupants were 70% less likely to die in an SUV with a “good” score than one with a “poor” rating. These side impacts account for 23% of passenger vehicle deaths from 2020.

The 2022 Subaru Ascent, Forester, and Crosstrek are safe new Subaru SUVs

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In one part of the report, the IIHS notes an interesting fact about SUVs that scored well. “A higher-riding vehicle may benefit from the barrier striking lower on its side,” Raul Arbelaez, vice president of the Institute’s Vehicle Research Center, said. Vehicles like the 2022 Subaru Ascent, Subaru Forester, and Subaru Crosstrek ride higher than similar SUVs.

Subaru wants its vehicles to be capable of going off the beaten path, which is why all three have 8.7-inched of ground clearance. This gives the Subaru Ascent, Forester, and Crosstrek a higher ride height, which helps in the updated side crash safety test.

The 2022 Subaru Forester received the 2022 Top Safety Pick Plus award. Additionally, the 2022 Forester received a “good” score on the original test and “acceptable” on the updated test. The 2022 Subaru Crosstrek Hybrid also received a TSPP award, while the non-hybrid received the TSP award.

The IIHS recommends these sport utility vehicles

Subaru has a lot of cars and SUVs that qualified for the Top Safety Pick and Top Safety Pick Plus awards. The 2022 Subaru Outback is another SUV that qualified for the TSPP award and scored “good” on the original side test. The IIHS has not tested the Outback with the updated side test, but it looks like this new Subaru SUV will get a high score.

RELATED: Consumer Reports Scores 3 Subaru Models Among the Best SUVs of 2022