The 2014 Subaru Outback's main safety feature, airbags aside, may be its standard all-wheel-drive, a feature offered on no other affordable mid-size crossover. It includes stability and traction control systems, anti-lock brakes, and a hill-holder feature that keeps the car in place on slopes of 5 percent or more.
For crash safety, there are six airbags, as well as seatbelt pre-tensioners. And last year, Subaru added a stereo camera system called EyeSight, centered around windshield-mounted stereo cameras, which detect potential obstacles on the road ahead. The data is fed to a bundle of different electronic safety systems, including adaptive cruise control, vehicle lane-departure warning, and pre-collision braking.
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) tested the Outback in its new and tougher small-overlap front crash category, and it earned an 'acceptable' score--still qualifying it as a Top Safety Pick+. And the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) gives the 2014 Outback five stars (its highest rating) overall, and five stars in the frontal crash and side crash tests. It gets four of five stars for Rollover safety.
On safety, perhaps our only substantial complaint about the current Outback is that its blocky styling impedes rear three-quarter and rearward vision, although Subaru offers a backup camera as a standalone option or as part of the optional navigation system.