Subaru is no stranger to safety awards, so it should come as no surprise that the automaker’s newest model fits right in. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety announced today that the 2019 Ascent earned its Top Safety Pick Plus award.
The new three-row SUV nabbed the agency’s highest honor after scoring good in all of its crash tests — driver-side small overlap front, passenger-side small overlap front, moderate overlap front, side, roof strength, and head restraint and seats evaluations. The passenger-side small overlap test is the agency’s newest and has been tough for many vehicles to ace.
To qualify for the Top Safety Pick Plus, a vehicle also must have a front crash prevention system that earns an advanced or superior rating and good-rated headlights. IIHS said the Ascent’s standard front crash prevention system avoided collisions in track tests at 12 mph and 25 mph; it earned a superior rating.
For headlights, the rating depends on the trim level. IIHS said the headlights on the base model provide inadequate visibility and create excessive glare for drivers of oncoming vehicles; they received a poor rating. The LED headlights that come on the uplevel Limited and Touring trims earn a good rating, however.
The 2019 Ascent is the seventh Subaru vehicle to earn the 2018 Top Safety Pick Plus award. Some competitors, like the 2018 Hyundai Santa Fe and 2019 Honda Pilot, have excellent crash-test scores. Others do not fare as well.
The 2018 Toyota Highlander scored well enough in all of the crash tests, but its acceptable-rated headlights earned it a Top Safety Pick, not the Plus. The 2018 Ford Explorer did not score well in either small front overlap test and has poorly rated headlights, precluding it from either Top Safety Pick status.
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