Safety

The 2010 Subaru Outback has been named a 2010 Top Safety Pick by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. To earn this award, a car must get the top score of Good in frontal-offset, side-impact, roof-strength and rear crash tests, as well as have standard electronic stability control. For 2010, the roof-strength crash test was added to IIHS' Top Safety Pick criteria, which greatly reduced the number of vehicles receiving this distinction.

Besides electronic stability control, the Outback also has standard antilock brakes with brake assist and traction control. It also comes with front- and side-impact airbags for the front row and side curtain airbags for both rows.

I have to give credit to my fellow MotherProof.com reviewer Sherrice Gilsbach for coining the term, "closed-curtain cover" when talking about flaps of fabric that cover some Latch connectors. The Outback has these covers, and they can really be infuriating. A flap of upholstery covers another and the Latch connector is behind them. While it's really nice looking if your kids no longer require Latch connectors, it's kind of a pain if they do.

The backseat works well with all types of child-safety seats; it's deep and not too bolstered, so there aren't any fit issues. The additional legroom in the second row means those pesky rear-facing car seats should fit without compromising on space in the front row.

FAMILY LIFESTAGE

In Diapers: There's lot of room for rear-facing child-safety seats as well as a double stroller in the cargo area.

In School: It's easy for school-age kids to get in and out of the car on their own, which means less whining.

Teens: The Outback is an IIHS Top Safety Pick for 2010, and that makes it a great car for an inexperienced teen driver.

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