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What do the 5 stars on Subaru mean?

How To Read The Stars

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How To Read The Stars

Euro NCAP has created the five-star safety rating system to help consumers, their families and businesses compare vehicles more easily and to help them identify the safest choice for their needs.

The safety rating is determined from a series of vehicle tests, designed and carried out by Euro NCAP. These tests represent, in a simplified way, important real-life accident scenarios that could result in injured or killed car occupants or other road users.


While a safety rating can never fully capture the complexity of the real world, the vehicle improvements and the technology brought the past years about by the application of high safety standards have been shown to deliver a true benefit to consumers in Europe and to society as a whole.

The More Stars, The Better

The number of stars reflects how well the car performs in Euro NCAP tests, but it is also influenced by what safety equipment the vehicle manufacturer is offering in each market. So a high number of stars shows not only that the test result was good, but also that safety equipment on the tested model is readily available to all consumers in Europe. The star rating goes beyond the legal requirements and not all new vehicles need to undergo Euro NCAP tests. A car that just meets the minimum legal demands would not be eligible for any stars. This also means that a car which is rated poorly is not necessarily unsafe, but it is not as safe as its competitors that were rated better.

Look Out For The Latest Results

The five-star safety rating system continuously evolves as older technology matures and new innovations become available. This means that tests are updated regularly, new tests are added to the system and star levels adjusted. For this reason the year of test is vital for a correct interpretation of the car result.


The latest star rating is always the most relevant and comparing results over different years is only valid if the updates to the rating scheme were small. Recently, the inclusion of emerging crash avoidance and driver assist technology has significantly altered the meaning of the stars.

Because of this evolution of the rating scheme, cars’ ratings expire when their date stamp (i.e. the year the car was rated, indicated on the rating) is more than six years old. An expired rating does not necessarily mean that the car has changed in any way; simply that the rating scheme has moved on so much since the car was rated that its assessment is largely irrelevant in comparison with cars tested more recently.

During the six years or so until the rating expires, Euro NCAP performs reviews to ensure that it remains valid for cars currently on sale. Manufacturers are asked each year to confirm that the car has the same safety equipment it had when it was assessed, and that no other changes have been made which might affect the validity of the rating. Additionally, when a car is updated (‘facelifted’), which typically happens about mid-way through its life cycle, manufacturers must submit details of the changes made and the influence these might have on safety performance. In-house data is often provided to demonstrate that the changes have only a minor influence on the relevant aspect of safety performance. The ‘Annual Reviews & Facelifts’ table indicates whether or not the original star rating remains valid, although performance in one of the areas of assessment may have changed slightly.

Cars with Dual Ratings?

From 2016, some cars have two star ratings. One rating is based on a car fitted only with safety equipment which is standard on every variant in the model range throughout EU28. This rating reflects the minimum level of safety you can normally expect from any car sold anywhere in the European Union. All cars assessed by Euro NCAP have this basic safety rating.
The second rating is based on a car with an additional ‘safety pack’, that may be offered as an add-on option to consumers. The additional safety equipment included in a safety pack will boost the car’s safety rating and, therefore, the second star rating demonstrates the safety level that the car can achieve if this additional equipment is included. Not every car has this second star rating, but when available, it helps consumers to easily understand the benefit of additional equipment expressed in extra stars. The additional safety equipment that is allowed as an option in the pack changes over time . When a technology is well-established, it can no longer be an option and must be standard equipment if it is to be included in the rating. New technologies are added to the list that can form part of the option pack. Finally, Euro NCAP only gives an optional rating if the pack is offered on all variants and in all European markets.

The following provides some general guidance as to what safety performance the stars refer to in today’s system:

5 Euro NCAP stars

5 star safety: Overall excellent performance in crash protection and w ell equipped with comprehensive and robust crash avoidance technology

4 Euro NCAP stars

4 star safety: Overall good performance in crash protection and all round ; additional crash avoidance technology may be present

3 Euro NCAP stars

3 star safety: At least average occupant protection but not always equipped with the latest crash avoidance feat ures

2 Euro NCAP stars

2 star safety: Nominal crash protection but lacking crash avoidance technology

1 Euro NCAP stars

1 star safety: Marginal crash protection and little in the way of crash avoidance technology

0 Euro NCAP stars

0 star safety: Meeting type-approval standards so can legally be sold but lacking critical modern safety technology

Ever Notice The Real Constellation in Your Subaru Logo?

Subaru is one of the world’s leading outdoors brands. So it may not surprise you that the cluster of stars on your Subaru’s logo actually represents one of the night sky’s most recognizable constellations: the Pleiades. What might surprise you is that the automaker went all-in on its Pleiades symbolism and “Subaru” is actually the Japanese name for this constellation. But the word has a double meaning as well.

What is the Subaru logo called?

The Subaru logo is a cluster of stars on a dark blue background. It represents the Pleiades, also called the “Seven Sisters.” But in Japan, this constellation is named Subaru.

Back in 1953, five major Japanese companies merged to form Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd. (FHI). The conglomerate included a coachbuilder, an engine manufacturer, and even a popular scooter company. The new company brass decided to add an automaker, and so it founded Subaru.

Using the word Subaru was clever branding because it has two meanings in Japanese. Its literal translation is “unity.” It’s a spot-on name for the product of a high-profile merger. Subaru is also the Japanese name for the Pleiades constellation.

Two of the Pleiades’ “Seven Sisters” stars are so close that they look like one bright star to the naked eye. So FHI adopted a Subaru logo with one bright star and five smaller stars: the perfect symbol for the merger between its five companies.

Why does Subaru use the Pleiades?

Originally, the Pleiades constellation in the Subaru logo was used to represent the unification of five small companies into Fuji Heavy Industries (FHI). The logo’s so recognizable FHI changed its name to Subaru and adopted the stars across its portfolio.

A good car logo must also be memorable. The Pleiades is one of the most recognizable constellations in the night sky. It is part of the Taurus sign in the zodiac. Because the sun blocks Taurus during the springtime, Taurus and the Pleiades are most visible to North Americans during the fall.

The Pleiades is actually so recognizable that it may have been among the first constellations ever depicted by humankind. Archaeologists estimate that the famous cave paintings in Lascoux, France are over 15,000 years old. In a 1997 paper, astronomer Michael A. Rappenglück proposed that a cluster of stars painted next to a running bull depicted Pleiades–next to Taurus.

What does Pleiades mean?

Pleiades is the Ancient Greek name for the “Seven Sisters” constellation. It literally translates to “daughters of Pleione.”

In Greek mythology, the Pleiades sisters were seven nymphs who were the daughters of Atlas. While their dad had to hold up the world, the hunter Orion took the opportunity to pursue the seven nymphs. Zeus’ brilliant solution to their pleas for help was to transform them into stars and toss them into the night sky.

Plein also means “to sail” in Ancient Greek. So linguists suspect that the Pleiades got its name because its arrival marked the beginning of the safe sailing season on the Mediterranean.

Next, learn about the forgotten Subaru named after Bruce Willis or see CNBC dive into the future of Subaru in the video below:

The unique History of Subaru’s Car Logo

Fuji heavy industries started in the early 1950s when a group of Japanese companies came together, hence the name Subaru (which means united in Japanese). The stars within the logo and emblem represent the Pleiades constellation or the stars that are coming ‘together’. Fuji heavy industries were the first company to use the term Subaru for their vehicles and their brand. Subaru in western countries became increasingly popular, expanding out of its original niche market space. If you were looking to find more info about Subaru’s logo and its origin, you found the right page!

Subaru’s Popularity

The one example that comes to mind to put the popularity of the company into perspective is the boxer layout engine, which has been very popular since its introduction in 1966. Subaru’s marketing mostly targets individuals who wish to own the company’s signature engine. The latter is well-known for its raw power, and even with earlier models hosting the beast, it was capable of traversing rough terrains, while the car itself was a high-quality and affordable sports car. That’s not all, almost every Subaru comes with an AWD or commonly known as an all-wheel-drive which allows one to drive in dangerous conditions (4 wheels engine). Some might wonder, how did this iconic automobile manufacturer come up with such a memorable emblem? Discover this interesting and surprising story just below.

The History and Meaning of Subaru

Fuji Heavy Industries came to be when five companies came together to make investments in 1953. Afterward, the five companies merged and formed FHI, through this merger came the inception of Subaru. As mentioned in our intro, Subaru means “united” or “come together” which the Japanese used to describe the Pleiades constellation. The constellation is also known as the Messier 45 or the Seven Sisters in which the meaning derives from Greek mythology. The seven stars were daughters of Atlas, these sisters’ names were Asterope, Maia, Taygeta, Celaeno, Alcyone, Electra, and Europe. You must be wondering why there are only six stars in Subaru’s logo while the number of sisters is seven? The reason is simple, the seventh star cannot be seen by our naked eyes. Indeed, this is due to the cluster of stars appearing to have only six stars. Since two of the stars are so close together, they are perceived as one giant star.

The Meaning of the Stars

Another interpretation of the logo is that Subaru’s logo’s largest star embodies Fuji Heavy Industries while the other five small stars embody the five companies that invested and merged with FHI. The blue background of the emblem was chosen because the colors of the Pleiades stars are a shining blue. The stars and blue background embodies the company’s ethos, which is united in delivering a product that consumers would trust, use and love to own.

Iterations of the logo

Since the 1950s, Subaru has made many iterations of its logo. Some iterations had different color backgrounds and the disposition of the stars changed multiple times throughout the years. Early iterations of the logo had the stars interconnected, but as time moved on, the designers started to think about the overall organization of the logo. Some versions would present a gold star-speckled background, or a red background followed by slight changes to the oval shape of the logo. Thereafter, the logo became simpler, or in other words, was not trying to mimic the disposition of the Pleiades stars anymore.

This evolution slowly led us to the current logo, where the designers took the liberty to take out one of the stars, enlarge it and place it in the upper left corner of the oval. They then placed the five other stars together in a line in the bottom right corner of the oval logo. The background has changed to a lighter and gradient color background of blue. The oval of the logo has also changed to become flattered. Nowadays, whoever sees this logo instantly recognizes Subarus cars, without forgetting their nice AWD or All-Wheel Drive feature.

Growth and Future of the Brand

Since 1958 Subarus Brand has continuously grown, by building a good reputation, brand image, and trust from their customers. Subaru has consistently used the logo in every area they serve around the world. Their commitment to the brand emphasizes the brand’s ongoing global unity. The giant of the car industry has currently no plans of deploying a new logo, which has been used for many years now.

Subaru continues to be an extremely popular brand with legions of followers who wish to get one of the newest models or who already own a Subaru vehicle. The Company has seen dramatic sales increases over the years, a testament to their dedication. This could also be attributed to the high-quality representation of their brand image. A wise man once said, a picture is worth a thousand words, and that couldn’t be more true for Subaru’s emblem and logo, which continues to aid in the growth of Subaru’s brand image around the world.

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