'Passive' safety advances that also benefit pedestrians
While a robust structure can form the foundation for a truly safe car, Subaru has also ensured that the Subaru Outback is comprehensively kitted out with a full range of both 'passive' and 'active' safety equipment - as the best way to prevent occupant injury is to overcome the hazards of daily motoring and avoid any accident in the first place.
The new front seats have significantly-stiffer frames and inner-structures to provide protection against whiplash injuries without having to fit 'active' head restraints. New-design, energy-absorbing head restraints offer greater protection by reducing head impact forces.
Front, side and curtain airbags are fitted as standard. The side and curtain airbags are enlarged for enhanced performance, and the airbag impact sensors have been upgraded to improve responses.
To protect the driver's knee and lower leg, the steering column's structure has been redesigned with an impact-absorption space, and a knee protector is fitted. All the foot pedals and the driver's footrest have a collapsible function (above a pre-set g-force) to reduce the likelihood of foot injuries.
The issue of pedestrian protection has also been addressed. New, impact-absorbing materials and an optimised structure around the front bumper have made it possible for the new Outback to clear the next-generation European pedestrian protection standards, which are the most stringent in the world.
Although steel is used for the hood (to maximise protection of the car's occupants), the impact-absorbing space beneath the hood and above the low boxer engine is enlarged, and the structure is improved around the body cowl to reduce possible injury to a pedestrian.