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Subaru Impreza First and Only Small Car to Earn IIHS 'Top Safety Pick' Award

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- 2008 Subaru Impreza receives highest possible safety rating from IIHS for frontal, side and rear-impact crash tests -

CHERRY HILL, N.J., Nov. 16 -- Subaru of America, Inc. today announced that the 2008 Subaru Impreza is the only small car to earn the highest rating in the most recent Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) crash tests that now require side head protection and electronic stability control.

The 2008 Subaru Impreza received "GOOD" ratings in the frontal, side and rear-impact crash tests for both the driver and passenger seating positions. Based on this performance and standard side curtains for side impact head protection, the 2008 Impreza 2.5i with VDC was the first small car to receive the coveted IIHS "Top Safety Pick" award.

"Customers' safety is our top priority," said Thomas J. Doll, executive vice president, Subaru of America, Inc. "Subaru makes industry leading safety affordable with the IIHS award-winning 2008 Subaru Impreza starting at just $16,995. It speaks to the tireless efforts of our engineers to build vehicles with uncompromising active and passive safety features -- starting with all- wheel drive, standard."

In its report, the IIHS highlighted the reinforced pillar behind the rear passenger door and standard side airbags of the 2008 Subaru Impreza. It also said the Impreza 2.5i active head restraints "do a better job" than those in other small cars.

The IIHS provides consumers with vehicle safety information in a simple rating system -- poor, marginal, acceptable and good, with good being the highest. The IIHS crash tests are conducted at speeds higher than required by the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards for both side impacts, at 31 miles per hour, and frontal offset barrier impacts, at 40 miles per hour. The rear crash test simulates a collision in which a stationary vehicle is struck at 20 miles per hour, and is a measure of the effectiveness of the head restraint.

The Subaru Impreza has been redesigned for 2008. Now available in two new body styles -- four-door sedan and five-door -- Impreza provides not only increased safety, but increased comfort and utility. The Impreza's 2.5-liter normally aspirated Boxer engine has been modified for 2008 to improve performance, drivability, and economy. The engine delivers 170 horsepower @ 6,000 rpm and 170 lb-ft. of torque @ 4,400 rpm, among the highest ratings in the segment. For more information about the Subaru Impreza visit

The 2008 Impreza with VDC joins the 2008 Subaru Tribeca, Forester, and Legacy with VDC as "Top Safety Pick" award winners. The Tribeca and Outback continue the Subaru tradition for outstanding safety as evidenced by the NHTSA 5-star crash test rating in frontal and side impact protection for both driver and passenger. For more information on the safety ratings of Subaru vehicles visit and

Subaru Making Safety Standard

Subaru vehicles have set an outstanding safety standard in their respective segments, many achieving the highest marks in crash tests conducted both by government and private agencies. To Subaru, safety means far more than protecting a car's occupants in the event of a collision. Ideally, a passenger vehicle should provide the driver with the means to avoid hazardous situations. Subaru calls the concept Active Driving/Active Safety. Designing a vehicle for active safety gives a driver a strong sense of control, maneuverability and security.

Active Safety

Subaru Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive forms the core of the Subaru Active Driving/Active Safety concept. Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive gives a Subaru a significant traction advantage over two-wheel drive cars (front- and/or rear- wheel drive) on all road surfaces. On all Impreza models, the standard 4- channel / 4-sensor Anti-lock Brake System (ABS) incorporates Electronic Brake- force Distribution (EBD). This system enhances braking performance and stability by actively optimizing braking force between the front and rear wheels according to how the vehicle is loaded with passengers and cargo.

The 2008 Subaru Impreza also offers available Subaru Vehicle Dynamics Control (VDC). VDC electronic stability control utilizes sensors which constantly monitor wheel speed, steering angle, brake pressure, vehicle yaw rate and lateral g-forces. If VDC detects a difference between the driver's intended path and the one the vehicle is actually taking, VDC applies braking power and/or reduces engine torque to help correct vehicle path.

Passive Safety

The compact Subaru Boxer engine helps enhance safety, because it allows more crush room in front and on the sides. Subaru vehicles are designed to allow the entire powertrain to slide under the car along the floor tunnel in a severe collision, helping to prevent intrusion into the passenger compartment. All Subaru models are built around a Ring Frame Reinforced body structure design that incorporates front and rear crumple-zone construction to absorb the energy of an impact and help protect the reinforced passenger compartment. Essentially, the Ring Frame Reinforced structure forms a series of "rings" around the passenger compartment, providing excellent protection in a variety of collision types. This structure increases cabin rigidity and can absorb impact energy from any direction.

Other Impreza safety features include 3-point seatbelts for all five seating positions, with electrically triggered pre-tensioners and force limiters in front. Active front seat head restraints in the Impreza are designed to help reduce whiplash injury in a rear collision. All 2008 Impreza models have standard dual-stage deployment, Subaru Advanced Frontal Airbag system and front seat head/chest side-impact air bags. The driver's side front air bag deploys according to the driver's proximity to the steering wheel, as measured by a sensor on the seat track. In the passenger side front seat, a sensor module detects weight on the seat -- first determining if it's occupied, and if so whether by a child or adult -- to control air bag deployment.

Impreza sedan models have integrated headrests for the rear seats, and the wagon models use removable headrests to enable rear seatback folding. All Impreza models are equipped with the LATCH child restraint anchorage system (Lower Anchors and Tethers for CHildren) for use with compatible child safety seats. The safety brake pedal system in all Impreza models is designed to yield during a serious frontal impact in order to help reduce injury to the driver's lower limbs.

About Subaru of America, Inc.

Subaru of America, Inc. is a wholly owned subsidiary of Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd. of Japan. Headquartered in Cherry Hill, N.J., the company markets and distributes Subaru Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive vehicles, parts and accessories through a network of 600 dealers across the United States. Subaru makes the best-selling All-Wheel Drive car sold in America based on R.L. Polk & Co. new vehicle retail registration statistics. For additional information visit