July 10, 2002
The New Subaru Forester Is 'Best Pick' SUV in U.S. Crash Tests

�@Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd. (FHI), a global manufacturer of transportation and aerospace-related products and the maker of Subaru automobiles, today announced that the 2003 Subaru Forester earned the highest crashworthiness rating of "good" and was designated as a "best pick" in the category of small sports utility vehicles (SUVs) by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), a U.S. non-profit organization for vehicle safety, research, and evaluation. The Institute evaluated the crashworthiness of four small SUV models, and the results were made public on July 9. Receiving the top "good" in overall frontal offset crash test, the 2003 Forester was one of the two "best pick" small SUVs among the tested vehicles. IIHS had awarded no "best picks" in this category in any previous year for any models.

�@The Institute's crashworthiness evaluation is primarily based on a car's performance in a 40-mph (approx.64km/h) frontal offset crash test into a deformable barrier. Four ratings, good, acceptable, marginal and poor, are given based on how well the structure protects the occupant compartment, what the risk of injury is for an average-size male, and how well the restraint systems control occupant movement.

�@FHI has most recently improved on the structural design of the latest Forester model by adopting subframes in the frontal crushable zone. These subframes help effectively absorb and manage the crash energy. In addition to New Ring-Shaped Reinforcement Frames1 with reinforced subframes in the body structures, the enhanced front-end structural design of the new Forester reflects the commitment of FHI to making vehicles safer and reducing injuries and damage in collisions.

�@The Forester also earned "good" bumper rating in IIHS's recent low-speed crash test, which evaluated damage in 5-mph (approx.8km/h) frontal and rear-end impacts. IIHS called the Forester bumper systems "best performer" in announcing its test results of the four small SUVs on July 2, 2002. The Forester is the only vehicle to achieve IIHS's highest rating in both the 5-mph bumper and 40-mph frontal offset tests of the four.

�@In addition to the Forester, IIHS gave "best pick" designations to the Subaru Legacy (2000-2002 models) and to the Subaru Impreza (2002 model) in each category.

NOTE 1: New Ring-Shaped Reinforcement Frames are part of a structural body construction in which body side panels and the pillars around them are connected and reinforced to form rings. This is an ideal construction design with which to disperse the impact of a collision and provide even greater cabin safety in the event of an accident.



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