The Subaru Forester has won a top safety award in the United States

Subaru Forester

The New Subaru Forester ( US - Spec )

Subaru’s much-praised new Forester has won a top safety award in the United States, scoring the highest marks for side, rear and offset frontal impact-protection.

The US-market Forester has earned the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s ‘2008 Top Safety Pick’ award.

To win, the vehicle must offer superior overall crash protection among the vehicles in its class, not only registering the highest marks in front, side and rear tests but be equipped with electronic stability control.

Institute President, Adrian Lund, said: “The performance of the Forester underscores Subaru’s commitment to delivering state-of-the-art safety to its customers.”

He added: “You don’t know what kind of crash you are going to be in. That’s why it’s important to choose a vehicle that will protect you in all kinds of crashes. The ‘Top Safety Pick’ designation is intended to help people find the safest choices.”

The Institute’s frontal crashworthiness evaluations are based on the results of a 40 mph offset accident, while the side impact is measured by a moving barrier colliding at 31 mph. Rear crash protection tests a stationary vehicle’s head-restraint and seat effectiveness at an impact of 20 mph.

Subaru of America’s Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, Tom Doll, said: “This award speaks to the quality of work our engineers put into equipping our cars with industry-leading safety, while still making them affordable with standard all-wheel drive.”

Meanwhile, Lawrence Good, Managing Director of Subaru (UK) Limited, said: “This is excellent news and perfectly timed just as the UK version of the new Forester is about to go on sale.

“The tests by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety are respected worldwide and it is also worth noting that both the US and UK Foresters are Japanese-built and therefore share the same basic potential life-saving features.”

Arguably the first of a new genre of crossover Sports Utility Vehicles, Subaru’s completely new third-generation Forester made its European debut at the 78th Geneva Motor Show earlier this year.

Based on the platform of the new Impreza, the Forester features more passenger and luggage space plus a smoother ride and even more agile handling thanks to a new multi-link double-wishbone rear suspension.

Now closer in size to its Honda CR-V and Toyota RAV4 competitors, the new Forester is 75 mm longer, 45 mm wider and gains 110 mm in height.

Rear legroom grows by 95 mm, the driver’s eye-line is 30 mm higher, while the load space is now 450 litres with the rear seat up – 63 litres more than the previous model.

Launched in the UK this month, the completely new Forester will be initially available as a 2.0 litre petrol only with the option of both manual and automatic transmission.

Published 24 April 2008 Melanie Carter

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