The 2006 Model Year Subaru Legacy saloon and Sports Tourer have been given the first-ever ‘Top Safety Pick Gold’ award by America’s Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).
Not only is this the top award given by the IIHS but the first time a midsize-class car has scored the highest accolade - ‘Good’ - in every category.
Areas covered included side impacts at 31 mph, offset frontal barrier at 40 mph and rear crash impact where the stationary Legacy is struck by a car at 20 mph and the head-restraint mechanism checked for neck-injury protection.
All tests are conducted at speeds higher then the US Federal Motor Vehicle Safety standards require.
In scoring ‘Good’ in all categories - leading to a Gold award - the latest Legacy beat US-market models such as the Audi A3, A4 and even the larger A6, plus the latest 2006 MY Volkswagen Jetta and Passat.
The ratings reflect injury-protection measures recorded on two SID-11s dummies, one in the driver’s seat and one directly behind.
Essentially the same car structurally, the latest UK Subaru Legacy line-up starts with the new 165 PS Legacy 2.0R AWD saloon at £16,995 on-the-road.
In congratulating his American colleagues, Subaru (UK) Limited Managing Director, Peter Kinnaird, said: "Everyone knows how important safety is regarded in the US and it is to Subaru’s credit that it has produced such a strong overall package.
"Like all Subarus, the Legacy is designed to have high levels of roadholding and handling agility in all conditions - helping the driver avoid the accident in the first place. This is due to its symmetrical all-wheel drive and low-centre-of-gravity ‘boxer’ engine.
"However, should the worse happen, it is reassuring to know the Legacy scores top in all the most common ‘real-world’ accident scenarios."Published 27 January 2006