2018 Subaru Crosstrek, WRX Earn Top Safety Pick Plus Honors

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CARS.COM — The redesigned 2018 Subaru Crosstrek hatchback and refreshed 2018 WRX performance sedan earned the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s Top Safety Pick Plus awards when equipped with optional front crash prevention and headlight systems.

Related: 2018 Subaru Crosstrek: First Drive

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To qualify for the award, the 2018 Crosstrek and 2018 WRX earned the required top scores of good in all five crashworthiness tests. And their Subaru EyeSight front crash prevention systems with automatic emergency braking got the highest possible superior rating in testing. The crash-test and collision-prevention scores repeated top scores in these categories by the 2017 models.

To earn the Plus designation for the 2018 models, however, both vehicles improved their headlight performance scores — the Crosstrek to acceptable and the WRX to good — when equipped with Subaru’s optional LED adaptive headlights with high-beam assist. The 2017 Crosstrek was rated poor for its best available headlights; the 2017 WRX scored marginal.

The best 2018 headlight performance applies only to the top optional LEDs, however. The 2018 Crosstrek’s other headlight systems rated marginal and poor, while the other 2018 WRX systems rated acceptable and poor.

Versus competitors tested for the 2017 model year — including the Chevrolet Trax, Honda HR-V and Jeep Renegade — the Crosstrek leads the pack as the only one to receive a Top Safety Pick Plus designation, let alone the lower-tier Top Safety Pick. The WRX, meanwhile, also outranks rivals tested for the 2017 model year, with the Volkswagen Golf GTI earning a Top Safety Pick rating, missing the Plus designation due to poor-rated headlights, and the Ford Focus failing to earn IIHS Top Safety Pick honors.

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Former D.C. Bureau Chief Fred Meier, who lives every day with Washington gridlock, has an un-American love of small wagons and hatchbacks. Email Fred Meier

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