ARLINGTON, Va. — The 2015 Subaru WRX, a small, sporty car, earns the IIHS Top Safety Pick award for good performance in each of the Institute's crashworthiness evaluations, including the small overlap front test.
This is the first time IIHS has rated the WRX, which was completely redesigned for 2015. Although it shares some design elements with the Subaru Impreza, there are sufficient differences for the vehicles to be rated separately.
In the small overlap test, the structure of the WRX held up, and the driver's space was maintained well. The dummy's movement was well-controlled, and measures taken from the dummy indicated a low risk of any significant injuries. The dummy's head made good contact with the front airbag, which stayed in position during the crash. The side airbag deployed with enough forward coverage to protect the head from contact with side structure and outside objects.
The Institute introduced the small overlap evaluation in 2012. In the test, which is more challenging than either the head-on crashes conducted by the government or the IIHS moderate overlap test, 25 percent of a vehicle's front end on the driver's side strikes a rigid barrier at 40 mph. The crash replicates what happens when the front corner of a vehicle collides with another vehicle or an object such as a tree or utility pole.
The WRX also earned good ratings in the moderate overlap front, side, roof strength and head restraint tests.
With the addition of the WRX, Subaru now has six models that have earned 2014 safety awards from IIHS — three with Top Safety Pick and three with Top Safety Pick+. To qualify for Top Safety Pick, a vehicle must earn a good or acceptable rating for small overlap protection and a good rating in the other four tests. The "plus" is awarded to vehicles that meet those criteria and also earn a rating of basic or higher for front crash prevention.