Volkswagen’s Golf and Jetta are the latest additions to a short list of small vehicles to earn the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s (IIHS) Top Safety Pick+ rating.
The award goes to 2016 models, which add an optional front collision avoidance system with autonomous emergency braking; it’s this addition that boosted the cars’ Top Safety Pick ranking in 2015.
As in 2015, the Golf and Jetta (which includes GTI, GLI and station wagon versions) gets ‘good’ ratings across the board, including one for the IIHS’ challenging small overlap frontal crash test. The IIHS’ post-test analysis indicates that in the small overlap test, the driver’s survival space is maintained well, and structural intrusion into the driver’s space was minimal, creating little risk for leg and foot injuries.
Among the few demerits in the small overlap test was a driver’s seatbelt that allowed the test dummy to move too far forward, and the driver’s head nearly slid off the left side of the airbag during the test. In the moderate overlap test, measurements suggested a risk of right leg or foot injury to the driver. And while the new crash avoidance system earned points for reducing the severity of a low-speed (20 km/h) collision, it did little to slow the car in a high-speed (40 km/h) auto-brake test.