Subaru’s Outback has received the AA/Driven New Zealand Car of the Year 2021 Safest Car award today.
The sixth generation of Subaru’s much-loved SUV – known as the GOOAT – becomes not only the greatest, but also now the safest, Outback Of All Time.
Subaru NZ is a strategic partner of Federated Farmers of New Zealand and because Feds wanted their provincial sales and engagement officers out on dusty backblock roads in all weathers in safe and reliable vehicles, the organisation chose the Outback (and also some Foresters) for them to drive.
The 2021 AA/Driven New Zealand Car of the Year class categories and overall winners were decided by an expert judging panel comprising Driven journalists Dean Evans, David Linklater and Andrew Sluys, plus Ian Green and Cade Wilson, from the AA.
They selected the Subaru Outback for the AA/Driven Safety award based on the specific formula carefully calculated by the Australasian New Car Assessment Program (ANCAP) to give a list of the highest (weighted) scores for vehicles in the New Zealand market today. Part of the criteria for eligibility is that the score is generated from a five-star rating published by ANCAP throughout the year, starting from January 1, 2021 through to November 22, 2021.
In September, when ANCAP awarded the Subaru Outback with the maximum 5-star safety rating, it also achieved record scores.
Subaru of New Zealand’s Managing Director Wallis Dumper says safety is one of the categories which impacts car-buyers’ decision-making the most.
“Our GOOAT’s recognition courtesy of AA/Driven’s Car of the Year Safest Car award and also its out of the ballpark scores with ANCAP a few months earlier, cement the Subaru Outback as a supremely safe option for those looking for a new SUV.”
“Outback absolutely has safety covered via its eight airbags, which are augmented by Subaru’s fourth generation, clever, crash avoidance technology EyeSight, and coupled with a Driver Monitoring System that can detect distraction or drowsiness. It is the safest Outback ever made.”
“Like all our All-Wheel Drive New Zealand-new Subarus, Outback is powered by a Boxer engine that sits low in the engine bay. This positioning helps reduce the risk of injury to occupants by sliding below the cabin – not into it – in the event of a severe frontal collision,” Mr Dumper continues.
“Whilst Outback is classified as an SUV, it is perceived by Kiwis as a wagon that’s ideal for Subaru Country.”
The Subaru Outback SUV achieved the highest scores to date across three of the four key safety assessment areas. The calculated overall score achieved in the test is 89.4 per cent.
Maximum points were scored by the Outback in Lane Keep Assist (LKA) and Emergency Lane Keeping (ELK) test scenarios, and close to full points in the Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB) car-to-car scenarios.
Maximum points were scored for its protection of pedestrians in upper and lower leg impacts. It also scored full points for its ability to actively avoid forward collisions with pedestrians through Autonomous Emergency Braking.
A Driver Monitoring System is fitted as standard – making the Outback one of the first production cars to directly monitor the driver’s state of alertness through eye movement, as well as indirectly monitoring through steering inputs.
Every GOOAT also features a rear view, ultra-wide angle, reverse camera as standard to help reduce the risk of collisions with surrounding objects.
Mr Dumper concludes: “This award reinforces why the Subaru Outback is an excellent choice for Kiwis who wish to explore their backyard on road trips, or simply want to keep the kids safe on the school run. Winning AA/Driven’s safety award, along with receiving ANCAP’s record high-scoring, 5-star endorsement, is a testament to Subaru Corporation’s vision to create cars that give our owners peace of mind when driving on New Zealand roads.”