For many years, the Subaru Forester has garnered exceptional safety scores in the small SUV class, and it customarily earns one of our highest safety ratings. For the 2016 model year, the NHTSA gave it an overall five-star rating, with almost perfect detail scores, except for a single four-star rating on front-impact protection test.
The IIHS awarded the Forester its coveted Top Safety Pick+ designation, thanks to its highest score of "Good" in every single test category, coupled to the available forward-collision protection system.
The Forester's outward visibility is superb, better than that of almost any other compact crossover. There's a small triangular glass pane that lets drivers see out the area ahead of the door-mounted side mirrors. The Forester's simply one of the easiest vehicles to see out of—an often overlooked aspect of safety.
Last year, Subaru made a rearview camera standard on all Foresters. Optional active-safety features include adaptive cruise control that runs at speeds of 25 mph up to 90 mph, and Subaru's highly-ranked EyeSight system for spotting road hazards up to 80 meters ahead, using a pair of cameras. That system can potentially avoid an accident, or reduce its severity, by automatically braking at up to 0.4g. Finally, the Forester's off-road "X-Mode" uses hill-descent control to keep speeds slow and safe while heading down steep, slippery slopes.