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Discussion Starter #1
Happy Monday!!

One of my coworkers who knew I was still doing my homework on the '5 Outback XT sent me this link about how relatively poorly the Legacy did in the side crash tests put on by the Insurance Institute.

Knowing that the Outback has the same frame as the Legacy but sits up higher, is there any reason to think the Outback would perform better than the Legacy?? (I checked thier website, and the Outback was not tested). The '03/'04 Forrester did quite well.

http://money.cnn.com/2004/07/26/pf/autos/iihs_rav4_legacy/index.htm?cnn=yes

Anybody else concerned??

Bob
 

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I do not like the sound of that... I am shopping 2 vehicles right now and the Outback is 1 of them. Safety is one of my main concerns:13:
 

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Formerly 04 Outback 3.0R VDC, now 2011 Mitsubishi Pajero GLS DiD
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Well after reading the CNN story it would seem the Outback would have to do better due to higher ride height. I don't know if the US versions are different in safety to the Japanese/ Australian versions, but that version rated extremely well for safety even without side airbags.ANCAP Crash test result They actually equalled the best cars in the world for passive safety with 5 star rating.
 

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02 OB sport, 2.5, 5MT, WRX seats/catback/rear bar, Hellas, Home Despot CAI and roof rack
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folks--

beware Volvo-owner-think*. passive safety is great, but ACTIVE safety (being able to avoid the wreck in 1st place) is what IIHS doesn't test for and where the AWD Subs really shine. if all you want to select for is ability to take a hit, there are used Hummers, BMW 7 series, and S-class Benzes out there....

IMHO, if you factor in both the active and passive safety issues, Subs still look pretty good. how controllable are the alternatives you're considering when they're sliding (intentionally or otherwise)??? try it on a test drive and see if salesperson freaks.

bw

*Volvo owners pls don't flame me; great cars, but 240-series owners esp seem to be archetypes of worrying abt safety while driving a car that falls into turns and can't do avoidance maneuvers. (850 T5s are another story)
 

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I may be talking out of another part of my body, but, not being aware of ratio of side versus frontal impact crashes, for shopping for vehicles the side impact results regarding air bags wouldn't influence me. I would however expect the side/curtain airbags to perform though!

Ya'll did notice the Legacy got "Best Pick" for frontal impacts!

My '90 Legacy is wonderful, however horrifying it may sound, non-ABS, no airbag, no side armor, and "passive restraint" shoulder belt. I do drive as defensive as possible, watching out for the other drivers, just as I do while driving my family in the Outback or now in our new Colorado w/ ABS, front and side/curtain airbags.

For all with Legacy's that have side airbags, I am sure Subaru will be improving the design and retrofitting.

Enjoy life.

Todd
 

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Discussion Starter #6
To all:

Thanks for all the responses. I hope that an independent test will be done on the Outback at some point.

I agree that we should not fall into "Volvo" think, but I look at car safety this way: Accidents to the front of your car are the ones you can most likely avoid, or at least have a chance to react to. I would say the combination of the strong frontal impact score and the Outback's ability to maneuver and avoid the accident altogether are a big asset and a big selling point. But I also view side collisions as ones you are not as able to avoid...some drunk idiot blowing through a red light and hitting you before you have a chance to take other intersection.

I do take hope in the Australian test another responder linked us to. Since I do not plan on buying until Winter or early next year, I hope the NHTSA tests the Outback before then.

Bob
 

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Yep, Subaru has a press release on their web site. They note that after the side bags were fixed and the car was retested, the side crash provided "good" head protection. They didn't mention the cracked ribs and such, nor the overall rating, except that it met all federal safety standards. Not real comforting. I hear enough of "spin" on both sides of this presidential election. I don't like hearing it from the company that I may buy a car from.
 

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Tokyo's between my toes
2001 Wintergreen Outback 5MT
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FWIW this is my 98 after a Lexus t-boned it. No one was in the passenger seat, which was deformed.

 

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falcon said:
I hear enough of "spin" on both sides of this presidential election. I don't like hearing it from the company that I may buy a car from.
Well no car company (or buisness at that) will openly admit its shortcomings. I'm not trying to cover for Subaru by any means, its just a fact. I'll still give them the benefit of the doubt about the curtain airbags recall, that shows the company's integrity ;) Still its good to know a car is safe and I'm sure Subaru will rectify this safety issue soon enough. Although it still gets me that my 2003 OB is more safe than the new 2005's, it does show one thing they haven't improved on :(
 

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I guess this is a case of the car being produced slightly differently in a different market. The EuroNCAP I thought was the most stringent crash test in the world due to higher speed offset collision, and the Aus/Japan MY04 Outback got 5 stars compared to 3 or 4 for the previous version. So the USDM MY05 should be significantly safer than any previous version.
 

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>> Anybody else concerned??

You bet. My wife and I currently own a 99 Legacy GT 2.5 wagon and were in the final stages of buying *two* Outback XT Ltds when I ran across the crash test information on the IIHS website - www.IIHS.org. I had been wondering why Subaru wasn't mentioning any crash test results in their advertising; now I know why.

The IIHS and NHTSA crash tests are different, and just because a vehicle does well on NHTSA (or any other testing) doesn't mean it will do well with IIHS. The NHTSA test represents a side impact from an equal size and height vehicle whereas IIHS uses a worst case scenario of a heavier, higher profile pickup or SUV hitting you. And there are a lot of pickups and large SUV's on the road today, especially where we live.

There's no excuse for these newly-designed Subarus to have failed the side impact test this way - true, the head was protected (at least on the second trial with the re-packaged airbags) but the torso had poor results with indications of probable broken ribs and internal organ injuries per IIHS.

In all fairness this Subaru probably faired better than most older vehicles on the road today and probably did as well as most of the current competition, but I was honestly hoping for top scores given the fact that Subaru started with a clean slate for this vehicle. To my eye the B pillar is simply too small to prevent excessive deformation of the passenger compartment during an IIHS-class side impact. And that's not something that's going to be easily remedied, at least not without a structural re-design.

I personally witnessed a side impact collision a couple of years back where a small Chevy S-10 pickup (a delivery truck for a nationally-known auto parts chain) ran a red light and plowed into the side of the Acura sedan right in front of us ... these accidents happen all too often. Now that the performance bar for frontal protection has been significantly raised it's time to do the same for side impact.

If anyone from Subaru is reading this, I vote with my wallet and you just lost a $64000 sale.
 

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First off SW23664, I agree with you that IIHS crash tests represent a far more realistic sense of testing vehicles. The worst case scenario is the ONLY way, IMO, that vehicles could be tested. Thats not to say that you should have a semi run into every car at 90 MPH, but IIHS's tests are by far the best I've seen.

Although I wouldn't completely rule out the Outback for now, it was the Legacy in the tests not the Outback. The OB does have about 3 more inches of ground clearance so that will most likely make some bit of difference. Best thing is to just hold off until IIHS tests he Outback and then make your choice, in all fairness :)

You never know... the Outback could score well and that could drive more people into buying it instead of a Legacy ;)
 

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Well I've been checking out the EuroNCAP tests and seriously I can't see a difference in the basics, 40MPH offset frontal, 30 MPH side impact EuroNCAP side impact they even give you the full protocols which IIHS don't. Side impact has the bottom of the deformable barrier at 12in above the ground, which sounds about the same as the bottom of a standard large SUV's bumper. I checked Ford's Expedition and given 8.9 inch clearance at the axle the lower bumper would be at about that height. The Outback / Legacy scored absolutely maximum points in the ANCAP side impact test.

The Outback also scored full points on the Pole test which is the same as hitting a rigid pole right into the centre of the drivers door at 18MPH.

Since the tests are very close to the same, perhaps the design has been changed slightly for the US market. I am not trying to offend anyone, just find it hard to understand how a car rated "equal safest on the market" here and Japan and Europe can rate marginal somewhere else.
 

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My '94 Legacy after getting T-Boned by an 85 year old lady in a Ford Taurus.

I was driving...I was completely unhurt.
Ever since then I have had the utmost confidence in Subaru and the safety of their vehicles, and the '05s are no different. Crash test results don't worry me.

*sigh* I miss that car. I LOVE my Outback, but that Legacy was my first Scooby...RIP. It had some weird-ass pneumatic suspension thing where I could push a button and the car would raise or lower a few inches. So strange! So cool!
 

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so expensive to replace struts on! :- o :- )
 

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All the white snow fools the camera's automatic exposure feature, so it cranks the aperture down and the car is underexposed. I adjusted the gamma and the brightness so now the snow is overexposed (well, it's white anyway) and you can more easily see what the side of the car looks like.

I still like to tease him that it looks like he beat the crap out of the car while shoveling the driveway....
 

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While I understand the technical reasons for what you did, my original picture still seems more detailed and the damage easier to identify.

And, I would NEVER beat a Scooby with a shovel! I am not a Scooby-Beater!

OK...better get back to the crash test discussion before Hero gets angry!
 
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