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.

Press Release

Subaru of America, Inc. today announced that the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety (IIHS) has awarded the 2014 Subaru BRZ (* models manufactured after December 2013) an IIHS 2014 TOP SAFETY PICK award. The Subaru BRZ achieved a ‘good’ status in the Institute’s crashworthiness evaluations of front moderate overlap, side impact, roof crush and rear impact. The model also received an ‘acceptable’ rating in the institute’s front small overlap test. This is the first time the IIHS has rated the BRZ in the small overlap test since it was launched in 2012.

Subaru BRZ and Scion FR-S Earns IIHS 2014 Top Safety Pick
- image 562924

With the addition to the 2014 BRZ, Subaru now has seven models that have earned 2014 safety awards from IIHS – four with TOP SAFETY PICK and three with TOP SAFETY PICK+ including its Forester, Legacy sedan and Outback models with optional EyeSight ®. Subaru has more 2014 IIHS Top Safety Picks than any other brand.

Powered by Subaru’s new-generation, naturally aspirated 200-horsepower BOXER engine, the BRZ is a sports car that does not sacrifice everyday comfort and practicality, including up to EPA-estimated 34-mpg highway fuel economy (with 6-speed automatic transmission). Combined with the Subaru brand’s renowned safety and quality, the BRZ is a sports car with practicality, as well as performance and is priced at $25,595. In addition to the standard model, the BRZ is also offered as a special edition called Series.Blue for 2015.

"We are very pleased that BRZ has joined our other Top Safety Pick models" said Thomas J. Doll, president and chief operating officer, Subaru of America, Inc. “BRZ proves that it is possible to engineer a car that provides both driving enjoyment and safety.”

View the full press release Hide press release
Press release
What do you think?
Show Comments
Car Finder: