Safety » 8
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SAFETY | 8 out of 10
Although safety ratings aren't yet out for the 2014 Subaru Forester, it builds on a long reputation for being one of the best-rated compact crossover wagons. It was a longtime IIHS Top Safety Pick, and Subaru claims to have reinforced its structure in many key places to give the '14 Forester even better occupant protection.
Subaru also considers its Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive system to be a safety asset; although the system is laid-out differently depending on whether it has a manual transmission or the CVT, it distributes its power independently of the stability system (unlike many other modern AWD systems)—an advantage for stability
Available active-safety features in the Forester will now include adaptive cruise control (ACC), running at speeds from 25 mph up to 90 mph, while the Forester gets the EyeSight system for spotting road hazards with a camera-based system, up to 80 meters ahead, and potentially avoiding an accident by braking at up to 0.4g. Furthermore, in X-Mode, Hill Descent Control automatically deploys to keep speeds slow and safe down steep, slippery slopes.
Visibility is also a step ahead of both the previous Forester and most other compact crossovers, because of two changes: Subaru moved the A-pillars forward a bit, then moved the side mirrors back from the pillars and added a small partitioned front windows ahead of the window glass. Bringing the hoodline down in XT Turbo models (where there used to be a big air scoop) also helps.
With a stronger, stiffer body structure, plus active-safety features like EyeSight and expanded off-road safety with X Mode, the 2014 Forester looks poised to offer great passive plus active safety.