Tokyo, October 16, 2009 – Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd. (FHI), the manufacturer of Subaru automobiles, today announced that Subaru of America, Inc.* released the Subaru Outback (US specifications model) was named MOTOR TREND’s 2010 Sport/Utility of the year. The Subaru Outback’s victory follows the Subaru Forester’s win for the 2009 award, making Subaru the first automaker to win two consecutive MOTOR TREND Sport/Utility of the Year awards.
Living up to Subaru’s legendary safety record, the Outback offers cutting-edge safety technology, including Subaru’s ring reinforcement safety system, front, seat-mounted side, and side-curtain airbags and ABS. Subaru Vehicle Dynamics Control (VDC) system, which incorporates stability and traction control systems with a roll-over sensor, is also standard equipment. The Subaru Outback was recently named a Top Safety Pick by the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety (IIHS).
To judge contenders for the award, MOTOR TREND‘s editorial staff conducted an exhaustive three-phase testing process. Phase one of the process includes a full tech check and weigh-in, then full track testing to establish baseline data for acceleration, braking, and handling. Phase two involves three days of road loops offering a range of road surfaces and traffic conditions to evaluate ride and handling, engine and transmission smoothness and responsiveness, wind and road noise, and ergonomics. A dirt-track section tests traction, stability, and braking control systems. In phase three the judges debate and deliberate.
This year, the editors updated and expanded the judging criteria to six new categories: Design Advancement, Engineering Excellence, Intended Function, Efficiency, Safety and Value.
MOTOR TREND’s Sport/Utility of the Year® is not a comparison test and is only open to all-new or substantially upgraded vehicles that have gone on sale in the 12 months from November 1 of the previous year. MOTOR TREND looks for the pick of each year’s crop of new SUV’s, and does not revisit vehicles that have been on sale for the past few years.