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SAFETY | 8 out of 10
‘Good,’ frontal offset; ‘good,’ side impact, ‘good,’ rear impact; 'good,' roof strength; Top Safety Pick
Four stars overall, four stars frontal, three stars side
Standard on our Touring model was a rearview camera with a 4.3-inch display screen, a wonderful addition that isn't part of an additional navigation package.
Standard safety features on the 2013 Subaru Forester include the usual stability and traction control and anti-lock brakes, along with a tire-pressure monitoring system, and six airbags. The Forester scores very well in outward visibility, which is excellent, with its low beltline and large glass area giving superb rear three-quarter and rear vision. Because it's harder and harder to say that of crossovers, with the latest styling trends featuring rising window lines and enormously thick roof pillars, we complement Subaru on getting the basics of driving safety right.
The 2013 Subaru Forester has been hurt by the age of its design in safety ratings. When the model was redesigned for 2009, it topped the safety test results, but new and much tougher Federal crash tests have taken their toll. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) still gives the 2013 Forester a rating of "Good" (its highest) for frontal, side, and rear impact tests, and it also scores a "Good" on the new IIHS roof strength test.
However, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration busted the Forester down substantially from its earlier years' ratings. It gets only three stars out of five for its side impact crash performance--and a low two stars on its side pole test. That test, recently added to the testing protocols, isn't yet factored into the NHTSA's overall score. It did get four stars on front crash performance, and four stars overall.
The 2013 Subaru Forester gets mixed safety ratings, though its all-wheel drive and excellent on-road behavior are mitigrating factors.