2021 Subaru Ascent Wins Top Safety Award

Subaru Ascent
Subaru Ascent. Credit: Subaru.
Good news for 2021 Subaru Ascent buyers. The entire lineup now comes with adaptive LED headlights. Subaru calls them “Steering Responsive LED headlights with High Beam Assist”. Last year, the curve-adaptive LED headlights were only available on select trims and base model buyers were stuck with halogens. So we’re happy to see its expanded standard availability. It also helps the 2021 Subaru Ascent achieve the highest rating from the Insurance of Highway Safety (IIHS). It’s now ranked as a TOP SAFETY PICK+.

The 2021 Ascent joins eight other Subaru models in receiving an IIHS award this year, all equipped with Subaru’s fantastic EyeSight driver assist technology.


  • 2020 Crosstrek Hybrid
  • 2020 Forester
  • 2020 Legacy
  • 2020 Outback


  • 2021 Crosstrek (with EyeSight and specific headlights)
  • 2020 Impreza sedan and five-door (with EyeSight® and specific headlights)
  • 2020 WRX (with EyeSight and specific headlights)

The 3-row Ascent comes in four trim levels – Base, Premium, Limited and Touring - and starts from $32,295, a $300 bump over the previous year. It’s on sale now at CarProUSA Certified Subaru Dealers.

You can check out Car Pro Show host Jerry Reynold’s review of the 2019 Ascent here.

IIHSA Top Safety Pick+

To earn a 2020 TOP SAFETY PICK+ or TOP SAFETY PICK award, vehicles must earn 'Good' ratings in each of IIHS's six crashworthiness evaluations: driver-side small overlap front, passenger-side small overlap front, moderate overlap front, side, roof strength and head restraint tests. Vehicle must also earn 'Good' or 'Acceptable' headlight ratings and offer available front crash prevention that earns 'Advanced or 'Superior' ratings in both vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-pedestrian evaluations. Ascent comes standard with Subaru EyeSight® Driver Assist Technology, which includes automatic emergency braking, and it earns the 'Superior' rating for both evaluations.

In the vehicle-to-vehicle evaluation, the Ascent avoided collisions in both the 12 and 25 mph track tests. In the vehicle-to-pedestrian test, the Ascent avoided collisions in the 12 mph and 25 mph scenarios simulating an adult crossing the road in each of the five trials. It also avoided striking the dummy in the 25 mph scenario simulating an adult walking parallel to the road. In the 12 and 25 mph scenario simulating a child crossing the road from behind two parked cars and the 37 mph parallel adult test, it averaged substantial speed reductions.

The IIHS tweaked award criteria for this model year. It added a requirement to achieve a 'Good' rating for the passenger-side small overlap front collision, such as if the front corner of the vehicle hits a tree or utility pole. It also added pedestrian crash prevention ratings into its TOP SAFETY PICK and TOP SAFETY PICK+ awards for the first time.

Automatic Emergency Braking

Subaru and other automakers have made a voluntary commitment to make automatic emergency braking standard on virtually all their models by 2022. Subaru says it’s going even further, committing to also include vehicle-to-pedestrian safety functionality with its Eyesight system.

IIHS says the technology could help reduce the rising number of pedestrian fatalities, which have increased 53 percent since reaching a low point in 2009. More than 6,000 pedestrians were killed in crashes in 2018.

"Subaru supports IIHS efforts that spur the industry to achieve higher levels of vehicle safety and occupant protection," says Thomas J. Doll, President and CEO, Subaru of America, Inc. "We view the IIHS awards as validation for our efforts to continually innovate safety features for our customers."
For more info about these safety ratings visit the IIHS.
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