The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) pitted 74 mid-sized cars and SUVs against each other in a test designed to determine the effectiveness of their forward collision warning systems.
The vehicles’ crash avoidance systems were tested at 12mph (19km/h) and 25mph (40km/h), with seven – Cadillac ATS and SRX, Mercedes-Benz C-Class, Subaru Legacy (Liberty in Australia) and Outback, and the Volvo S60 and XC60 – earning the top ‘superior’ rating.
Subaru’s EyeSight system was the best performer, with the Liberty and Outback the only models tested to come to a complete stop without hitting the dummy vehicle in front.
Despite earning the top rating, the Mercedes-Benz C-Class – equipped with Distronic Plus and Pre-Safe Brake – hit the dummy car at both speeds, making it the only one of the seven to do so.
The Volvo XC60 – fitted with City Safety and Collision Warning with Full Auto Brake and Pedestrian Detection – was the worst performer of the top seven in the higher-speed test, still travelling at 14mph (23km/h) when it hit the car in front.
IIHS chief research officer David Zuby said the new test provided motorists with independent information about the effectiveness of crash avoidance systems that was previously unavailable.
“Front crash prevention systems can add $1000 or more to the cost of a new car,” Zuby said.
“Our new ratings let consumers know which systems offer the most promise for the extra expense.”
Subaru’s EyeSight became the first system to exclusively use stereo camera technology to detect objects in its path when it debuted in 2008. The technology is available in the Liberty, Outback and Forester models in Australia.
Read: Subaru EyeSight Review