Subaru’s always made safety a part of each vehicle’s winning formula, and its redesigned-for-2020 Outback wagon and Legacy sedan build on that premise. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety announced that the Outback earned the Top Safety Pick award. The Legacy did one better, nabbing Top Safety Pick Plus honours — the agency’s highest designation.
Both models scored good ratings (out of good, marginal, acceptable or poor) in all six IIHS crash tests, as well as a superior rating (out of superior, advanced, basic or none) in frontal crash prevention. Each vehicle comes standard with Subaru’s EyeSight crash-avoidance system, and IIHS said the system avoided collisions in both its 12- and 25-mph crash tests. The agency also said it evaluated the system for pedestrian crash prevention and it earned a superior rating, though that test is not yet part of the awards criteria.
In headlights, the two models differed. The 2020 Outback lost the Plus designation for the outgoing 2019 Outback because of its acceptable headlight rating, which applies to its base headlights as well as available curve-adaptive LEDs on models built after October 2019. IIHS says curve-adaptive lights on earlier models are rated only marginal.
In terms of competition, the Outback competes in the mid-size SUV class against the likes of the Hyundai Santa Fe, which earned the Top Safety Pick Plus award for the 2019 model year, and the Honda Passport, which is a Top Safety Pick. The Legacy goes up against the Honda Accord, a Top Safety Pick, and the Toyota Camry, a Top Safety Pick Plus model.