Quick! In 3 seconds, tell me a Subaru that first comes into your mind. Done? I bet your answers were the Subaru WRX STI, Subaru WRX, or Subaru BRZ, but Subaru wants everyone to instantly remember its more mainstream models too, such as the Forester, XV, Outback, among others. To achieve this, Subaru is pivoting its marketing strategies to highlight it’s current strength: safety.
Subaru’s latest marketing campaigns feature a mosaic of over 100 safety features to visually form the word “SAFE.” Even the new song, which was made in collaboration with Michael Bolton, is all about keeping you safe. After all, we all have someone to go home to, right?
To highlight this, Motor Image sent the media to its “Safety Park” as a way for us to experience the latest safety features the Japanese brand has to offer. While not exactly the sexiest topic other there, Subaru’s renewed commitment to safety has tangible real-world benefits that everyone can experience whenever they drive their Subaru. You don’t have to crash your Forester to experience its safety, though. The brand’s world-renowned EyeSight driver-assist technology has proven to be a hit for Filipino consumers, with most Subaru buyers opting for variants fitted with the high-tech safety feature.
The primary driver for EyeSight’s popularity among Filipinos is its full-speed adaptive cruise control feature. As we always mention in our reviews, this feature is such a boon in Manila’s congested roads. With your eyes on the road, hands on the wheel, and your feet doing much less work during stop-and-go traffic, EyeSight’s adaptive cruise control ultimately and tangibly reduces driver fatigue when driving in one of the world’s most congested cities.
Of course, EyeSight was primarily designed to prevent collisions from happening in the first place, and that’s why EyeSight is equipped with the obligatory automatic emergency braking feature (marketed as Pre-Collision Braking or PCB). With its stereo camera set-up, EyeSight is able to perceive the world in a three-dimensional manner without the need for a costly radar and lidar set-up. The cost-effective solution works effectively in preventing collisions, often much better than radar-based systems as there are fewer false warnings whenever I drive an EyeSight-equipped Subaru.
With most manufacturers concentrating on front-based emergency braking features, you might think that no car manufacturer ever considers the prevention of accidents when reversing. Well, that’s not the case with Subaru. Equipped in a select number of Subarus is rear automatic emergency braking (marketed as Rear Automatic Braking or RAB), which is basically automatic emergency braking when reversing. In the case of the Forester e-Boxer hybrid we were in, the system is so smart, it even considers the stopping distance of the vehicle in relation to the obstacle so that it will still be possible for the powered tailgate to open fully.
While not part of EyeSight, Subaru has also added an innovative set of 360-degree surround-view cameras for its 2020 model-year vehicles. Mind you, it’s not just any other surround-view camera system wherein each video feed has an unsightly border for each of the vehicle’s cameras. No, this is about as good as what many of BMW’s models offer nowadays. The resulting video feed is clear and there are no unsightly borders around. Because of its clarity, you can even “look around” a virtual mock-up of your vehicle from the infotainment screen without having to go down of the vehicle. What was once a feature exclusive to high-end cars has eventually trickled down to more mainstream vehicles. Amazing stuff!
With Subaru’s renewed commitment to safety, the brand is not exactly straying away from the sporty cars that the brand was known for. After all, all-new models of the Subaru WRX STI, Levorg, and BRZ are coming in the next few years. What Subaru wants you to know is that, it is considering occupant protection and driver convenience not just an afterthought for the sake of regulatory compliance, but as a feature that you will desire.