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2024 Subaru Crosstrek Deemed Acceptable by the IIHS in the Updated Side Crash Test

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has recently published safety ratings for the 2024 Subaru Crosstrek. As the headline implies, the only area where Subaru could have done a better job is the updated side crash test.
2024 Subaru Crosstrek crash test 14 photos
Photo: IIHS / edited
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First and foremost, side crashes account for nearly a quarter of passenger vehicle occupant deaths in the United States of America. Vehicle sides offer little space to absorb energy as opposed to the front and rear of a given vehicle, which flaunt crumple zones. Be that as it may, stronger passenger cells and side airbags make 2024 vehicles way safer than equivalents from a decade ago.

The IIHS began side testing in 2003. Nearly two decades later, the nonprofit organization revamped the side crash test with a barrier that weighs roughly the same as a modern sport utility vehicle. Said barrier is also shorter and closer to the ground than before. That being said, why did the Subaru Crosstrek fail to earn the top rating?

According to the report published on the institute’s website, there are high chances are pelvis and torso injuries for the rear passenger dummy. On the upside, the IIHS awarded the Crosstrek good ratings for head and neck protection. Also worthy of note, Subaru’s compact-sized crossover aced every other crashworthiness evaluation.

The Crosstrek also received good ratings for crash avoidance and mitigation, child restraints and seat belts, and for headlight performance. Speaking of which, all trims available to configure for 2024 feature curve-adaptive LED projector-style headlights with high-beam assist. Even so, the Impreza’s high-riding cousin is a value-oriented crossover at $24,995 sans delivery fee.

2024 Subaru Crosstrek crash test
Photo: IIHS on YouTube
Still based on the Subaru Global Platform of its predecessor, the 2024 Subaru Crosstrek comes in five distinct flavors: Base, Premium, Sport, Limited, and Wilderness. The latter is an off-road-oriented specification with 9.3 inches (make that 23.6 centimeters) of ground clearance and unique exterior design cues.

Joining the Forester Wilderness and Outback Wilderness, the Crosstrek Wilderness premiered earlier in 2023 at the New York Internal Auto Show. Priced at $31,995 before taxes and options, the most rugged Crosstrek of them all is equipped with standard dual-function X-MODE with Snow / Dirt and Deep Snow / Mud settings. Every mode optimizes the continuously variable transmission’s ratio positions, engine output, and Vehicle Dynamic Control with Traction Control System to maximize traction.

Hill Descent Control is also standard, acting in a similar fashion to cruise control. HDC works exclusively on downgrades at speeds under 12 miles per hour (19 kilometers per hour). Active Torque Vectoring is standard too, but don’t expect supercar-like handling because the Crosstrek Wilderness is no Chevrolet Corvette E-Ray.

Regardless of trim level, customers are presented with a continuously variable transmission. There’s no manual to speak of, which shouldn’t come as a surprise. Both the Base and Premium use a 2.0-liter boxer with 152 horsepower to its name, whereas the Sport, Limited, and Wilderness level up to a 2.5-liter mill with 182 ponies.

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Editor's note: Passenger-side small overlap crash test featured in the video.

About the author: Mircea Panait
Mircea Panait profile photo

After a 1:43 scale model of a Ferrari 250 GTO sparked Mircea's interest for cars when he was a kid, an early internship at Top Gear sealed his career path. He's most interested in muscle cars and American trucks, but he takes a passing interest in quirky kei cars as well.
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