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    Safer Sex and Safer Cars Both Often Rely on Affordable Prevention Strategies

    autoAs with sexual health, preventative safety is becoming a big deal in the auto industry, and we see that with two recent test cars, the Subaru Forester 2.5i Premium and the Honda Civic 1.5T Touring.

    Steve Gibson, Magnet’s director, notes that the center has a “team of navigators” to guide prospects through the system, and that most of their clients pay nothing out of pocket for it.

    That approach to taking an expensive product and making it accessible to the masses–my Truvada was listed at $1,505 per month, before Healthy San Francisco covered all but the last five dollars–is reflected in the Forester and Civic.

    While the preventative efforts of Truvada focus on its blocking of HIV from attaching to healthy cells, the automotive safety analogy involves accident prevention. Active braking, whether tripped by radar or laser sensors, stops the car from rear-ending the one in front, which is a common crash scenario.

    Many carmakers still reserve this helpful technology to vehicles costing more than $30,000, but Subaru and Honda offer it on their more affordable models. They deserve a look if you prioritize safety, but want to limit your outlay.

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    Subaru still wants you to spend a bit, though. Its EyeSight is available only with the $1,000 CVT automatic transmission, which is fair, as the safety system would likely stall a manual when it stopped the car. Buyers might then specify the 2.5i Premium, which runs $2,900 more than the base 2.5i, and could also tick the box for the $1,295
    EyeSight package, for a total of $27,940.

    Honda, on the other hand, gives the Civic’s lowest trim access to active braking. If you choose the $18,640 Civic LX and add the $800 CVT, along with the $1,000 Honda Sensing package and $835 destination charge, the cost would be $21,275.

    Both systems worked well, though they seemed a little paranoid in San Francisco traffic, with the Forester taking issue with cars in front that were also cresting the steep hill during the climb. The red alerts on the instrument panels were unmistakable, and the panic-button feel these systems initially imparted faded into the background. It was nice to know they were there.

    Otherwise, the Subaru Forester had a clear advantage over the zoomier-for-2016 Civic in terms of visibility. The boxy structure that has defined the Forester for generations puts the driver in the visual catbird seat, while it was easy to feel bunkered-in by the Civic’s severe angles.

    Just as PrEP has been proven effective, the Forester or Civic are solid choices, whether or not you get their primo safety gear. For PrEP, also check out, an SF-based service that helps you get set up.

    Philip Ruth is a Castro-based automotive photojournalist and consultant at Check out his automotive staging service at