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Impreza scores top safety rating

Media Information April 26, 2006

Impreza scores top safety rating

The 2006 model Subaru Impreza has received the highest possible safety rating from the Institute for Highway Safety for frontal, side and rear impact crash tests.

The 2006 Subaru Impreza received “GOOD” ratings in the frontal, side and rear-impact crash tests for both the driver and passenger seating positions. Based on this performance, the United States based IIHS gave the 2006 Impreza the coveted “Top Safety Pick Gold” award calling it “a gold standard” among small cars.

The IIHS Top Safety Pick award recognises car designs that afford the best protection for people in front, side and rear crashes. This award provides consumers with an overall vehicle assessment based on all three tests.

“We are pleased the 2006 Impreza has added the IIHS Top Safety Pick Gold award to the brand’s long list of safety accolades,” said Chris Rickards, the General Manager of Subaru of New Zealand. “Subaru provides customers with a fun-to-drive vehicle that sets the gold standard for safety at great value. That’s what makes a Subaru, a Subaru.”

In its report, the IIHS highlighted the reinforced pillar behind the rear passenger door and standard side airbags of the 2006 Subaru Impreza, except the WRX STI. They also said the active head restraints on the 2.0i “do a better job” than those in other small cars. New Zealand's other Impreza models, the 2.0R, the WRX and WRX STI all come with high backed sport's seats, which have a head restraint incorporated in the seat back.

The IIHS provides consumers with vehicle safety information, primarily front and side crash test results, and now rear impact, to aid consumers in their vehicle purchase decisions. The test results are relayed to consumers via a simple rating system – poor, marginal, acceptable and good, with good being the highest.

The IIHS crash tests are conducted at speeds higher than required by the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards for both side impacts, at 50 km/h, and frontal offset barrier impacts, at 64 km/h. The rear crash test simulates a collision in which a stationary vehicle is struck at 32 km/h, and is a measure of the effectiveness of the head restraint geometry. The new awards provide consumers with the ability to compare cars’ ratings more quickly and easily.

The Subaru Impreza models were restyled and re-powered for 2006, with the 2.0i coming into the market from $24,990.

More Subaru Safety News

This is the second IIHS “Top Safety Pick Gold” award for Subaru. The 2006 Impreza joins the Subaru Legacy, also honoured with this distinction in its class for superior overall crash protection. The IIHS also recently rated the Subaru Forester the best vehicle in its class for protection against whiplash injury in a rear collision. The B9 Tribeca and Outback continue the Subaru tradition for outstanding safety as evidenced by the NHTSA double 5-Star rating for frontal and side impact protection, as well as 4-star ratings for rollover resistance.

Subaru Making Safety Standard

Subaru vehicles have set an outstanding safety standard in their respective segments, many achieving the highest marks in crash tests conducted both by government and private agencies. To Subaru, safety means far more than protecting a car’s occupants in the event of a collision. Ideally, a passenger vehicle should provide the driver with the means to avoid hazardous situations. Subaru calls the concept Active Driving/Active Safety. Designing a vehicle for active safety gives a driver a strong sense of control, manoeuvrability and security.

Active Safety

Subaru Symmetrical All Wheel Drive forms the core of the Subaru Active Driving/Active Safety concept. Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive gives a Subaru a significant traction advantage over two-wheel drive cars (front- and/or rear-wheel drive) on all road surfaces. On all Impreza models, the standard 4-channel / 4-sensor Anti-lock Brake System (ABS) incorporates Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD). This system enhances braking performance and stability by actively optimizing braking force between the front and rear wheels according to how the vehicle is loaded with passengers and cargo.

Passive Safety

The compact Subaru Boxer engine helps enhance safety, because it allows more crush room in front and on the sides. Subaru vehicles are designed to allow the entire powertrain to slide under the car along the floor tunnel in a severe collision, helping to prevent intrusion into the passenger compartment.

All Subaru models are built around a Ring Frame Reinforced body structure design that incorporates front and rear crumple-zone construction to absorb the energy of an impact and help protect the reinforced passenger compartment. Essentially, the Ring Frame Reinforced structure forms a series of “rings” around the passenger compartment, providing excellent protection in a variety of collision types. This structure increases cabin rigidity and can absorb impact energy from any direction.

Other Impreza safety features include 3-point seatbelts for all five seating positions, with electrically triggered pre-tensioners and force limiters in front. Active front seat head restraints in the Impreza 2.0i are designed to help reduce whiplash injury in a rear collision. Other Impreza models have high backed sport's seats which incorporate a head restraint.

All 2006 Impreza models have standard two stage inflation Subaru Advanced Frontal Airbag system and front seat head/chest side-impact air bags, except the WRX STI.

Impreza sedan models have integrated headrests for the rear seats, and the wagon models use removable headrests to enable rear seatback folding. All Impreza models are equipped with the ISOFix child safety seat anchor points for use with compatible child safety seats.

The safety brake pedal system in all Impreza models is designed to yield during a serious frontal impact in order to help reduce injury to the driver’s lower limbs.


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