Subaru's new generation Legacy and Outback have received the highest possible safety ranking in testing conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) in North America.
Both cars have been awarded "Top Safety Pick+" status - along with the elite "Superior" rating for front crash prevention for versions equipped with Subaru's EyeSight driver assist system.
EyeSight variants earned the maximum six out of six points for front crash prevention. The results mean Subaru now has seven models that have earned 2014 safety awards from IIHS - four with Top Safety Pick and three with Top Safety Pick+.
Subaru has more 2014 IIHS Top Safety Picks than any other brand.
EyeSight was the first driver assist system to use stereo camera technology to detect objects such as vehicles, pedestrians and cyclists.
Since its Japanese debut in May 2008, EyeSight features have won wide acclaim. They include pre-collision braking control and all-speed range adaptive cruise control tracking.
The new generation Subaru Legacy (overseas model shown)
The new generation EyeSight featured on the latest U.S. specification Legacy and Outback includes fully revamped stereo cameras that increase viewing angle and range by approximately 40 per cent, further improving preventative safety.
To win a Top Safety Pick, a vehicle must have "Good" ratings in all four tests: • High-speed front crash • High-speed side crash • Roll-over • Evaluation of seat/head restraints for protection against neck injuries in rear impacts.
In addition, "Good" or "Acceptable" performance in a small overlap front crash test is required.
2015 Legacy and Outback earned the highest "Good" rating in these five IIHS evaluations for occupant protection.
To achieve Top Safety Pick+, cars also have to achieve "Basic", "Advanced" or "Superior" ratings for front crash prevention.
IIHS is a non-profit organisation supported by auto insurers in the US.
The next generation Legacy and Outback are due for launch in Australasia by early 2015, with specification yet to be confirmed.