Subaru BRZ and Scion FR-S Earns IIHS 2014 Top Safety Pick
The IIHS (Insurance Institute of Highway Safety) has just recently awarded the Subaru BRZ and Scion FR-S its coveted “Top Safety Pick" designation. It scored a “good” in the front moderate overlap, side impact, rear impact and roof crush, and an "Acceptable" in the small overlap test. The real surprise there is the small overlap, as that’s a very difficult crash to survive. This makes the BRZ the seventh Subaru model to earn the Top Safety Pick award and Scion’s second. This isn’t that surprising though; Subaru has always been a symbol of safety.
Also rear-wheel drive makes it easier to implement good impact and crumple zones in the front, due to the lack of drivetrain equipment up there. This is very good news, as the BRZ and FR-S are two of just a few true, rear-wheel drive sports cars out there and they are arguably the best ones at their price point. With their accurate steering and nimble chassis, the BRZ and FR-S are tail happy hooligans at any speed. Add the Top Safety Pick on top of that and you’ve got an excellent little car.
Click past the jump to read more about the Subaru BRZ and Scion FR-S.
Crash Test Videos
Small Overlap Test
Moderate Overlap Test
Side Crash Test
Why It Matters
Ask any parent how they would feel about their child driving a sports car, or ask a new mother how she feels about her husband buying one. The answer is almost unanimously going to be “No, it’s not safe.” Well what if it was safe, and proven to be so? I’m sure that would help the teenager sway their parents into buying a BRZ or FR-S. “Look Mom, it got a Top Safety Pick!” is what the kids will say.
The BRZ and FR-S no longer need to be looked at as compromises. Sure they’re still small, but that size doesn’t have an impact on safety. High safety ratings have been helping Volvo owners get over buyer’s remorse for years, it’s nice to see it applied to a RWD sports car now. Hopefully this trend will continue and more fun cars will become safer. It also comes at a good time, because the Top Safety Rating doesn’t only apply to the BRZ, it applies to the Scion FR-S as well and with Toyota recently having some bad luck in the safety department — remember unintended acceleration, anyone? — Toyota execs can sleep a little easier now.
Competition’s IIHS Results
Subaru and Toyota deserve some recognition for its award, especially being that the car’s main competition, the Ford Mustang, scored worse and didn’t get a top safety pick. However Suby and Toyota still have some work to do, because while the BRZ/FRS scored a Top Safety Pick, the VW GTI scored a Top Safety Pick+. And considering the GTI starts at about $1,000 less and is more practical, it starts to look like the better buy.
To the defense of the BRZ and FR-S though, the GTI is the only car in the same performance category to best it. The GTI’s higher ranking doesn’t negate the fact that the BRZ and FR-S make a great case for an affordable, fun and safe sports car, and one that should be considered by anyone looking for a car in that price range.