A 2018 survey showed that drivers are more interested in advanced safety than automation. Specifically, 51% of respondents wanted a rearview camera or backup warning, and 45% wanted a blind-spot warning system. Meanwhile, only 11% sought driverless technology. As we make our way through 2020, it’s clear that sentiment continues to ring true. After all, the 2021 Subaru Ascent has earned the highest Insurance Institute of Highway Safety (IIHS) award — the Top Safety Pick Plus — and its advanced headlight system has a lot to do with it. 

What makes these headlights so special?

The 2021 Subaru Ascent is the latest installment of a three-row SUV that’s perfect for families, so the fact that it comes with advanced headlights only sweetens the deal for safety-concerned drivers.

As of the upcoming model year, this SUV features steering responsive LED headlights.

From gradual to sharp turns, these headlight beams move with you as you steer. This drastically improves visibility at night and in inclement weather. And it works on both low and high beams.

In addition, these headlights come with high beam assist, or headlights that automatically dim to regular brightness when the vehicle senses an oncoming car. Once the car passes, you’re back up to high beams without lifting a finger.

Last year, the Subaru Ascent released with less impressive headlight functionality. The vehicle’s halogen projector headlights (no curve-adaptive technology nor high beam assist included) didn’t impress IIHS enough to earn the Top Safety Pick Plus award. In fact, the IIHS gave them a rating of poor. Clearly, Subaru has done some work on themselves.

New headlights on the 2021 Subaru Ascent are standard across the board

In my opinion, the coolest part about these nifty new headlights that helped the 2021 Subaru Ascent earn the highest IIHS award is not the headlights themselves. Rather, it’s the fact that Subaru took a leap and made them standard across all trims — no exceptions.

For Subaru, fresh advanced safety features are more than a luxury. They’re a necessity, and the auto manufacturer’s willingness to offer them up without tacking on to the MSRP is a meaningful move.

Other changes in the 2021 Subaru Ascent

Steering responsive LED headlights aren’t the only changes in the 2021 Subaru Ascent. Other upgrades include:

  • For the Touring trim, drivers get an additional option for leather upholstery, this time in the form of Slate Black with contrast silver stitching. Talk about snazzy!
  • Since the Ascent is a family vehicle, this safety change makes sense. Second- and third-row passengers now get a beep to notify them when they need to put their seatbelts on.
  • Now, the standard EyeSight Driver Assist Technology system includes a few new features: Advanced Adaptive Cruise Control, Lane Centering and Lane Keep Assist. Even when your cruise control tool is switched off, Lane Keep Assist turns on automatically to keep you within the lines.

All of these novel changes are in addition to a range of niceties already present in the Ascent, not the least of which are the turbocharged 260-horsepower Boxer engine, a 5000-pound towing capacity, available 4G LTE Wi-Fi and — of course — that quintessential Subaru symmetrical all-wheel drive. 

Rachel Curry
"Hey! My name's Rachel Curry and I'm a full-time writer who loves telling the world's stories as much as hanging with my dogs (and that's saying a lot). A University of Delaware graduate, I've traveled extensively, living everywhere from Ireland to Thailand. Bylines include Matador Network and Delaware Today."

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    1 Comment

    1. Better headlights improve driver visibility, which is always a good thing.

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