While there are no shortage of cars that can handle the standard IIHS trial, the tough small overlap test needed to earn TSP+ has flummoxed more than a few vehicles from prestigious, safety minded manufacturers. In the A3's case, though, it handled the small-overlap tests well.
According to the IIHS, there wasn't much intrusion into the cabin from the impact, which simulates a 40-mile-per-hour impact on 25 percent of a car's front end. The crash test dummy was held in place, with just a low risk of injuries. You can view the crash test video below, as well as read a brief press release from the IIHS.
ARLINGTON, Va. - The 2015 Audi A3, a midsize luxury car, earns the IIHS TOP SAFETY PICK+ award, thanks to good performance in five crashworthiness tests and an advanced rating for front crash prevention.
The A3 was completely redesigned for 2015 and is now a sedan instead of a wagon like its predecessor. It's the first Audi model to earn either the 2014 TOP SAFETY PICK or TOP SAFETY PICK+ award and the first ever to earn a good or acceptable rating in the challenging small overlap front crash test.
The Institute introduced the small overlap evaluation in 2012. In the test, which is more challenging than either the head-on crashes conducted by the government or the IIHS moderate overlap test, 25 percent of a vehicle's front end on the driver's side strikes a rigid barrier at 40 mph. The crash replicates what happens when the front corner of a vehicle collides with another vehicle or an object such as a tree or utility pole.
In the small overlap test of the A3, the structure held up well, with a minimal amount of intrusion into the driver's space. The dummy's movement was well-controlled, and injury measures taken from the dummy indicated a low risk of injury.
The A3 is available with an optional front crash prevention system that qualifies for an advanced rating from IIHS. The system has automatic braking technology that avoided a crash in the Institute's 12 mph test.
To qualify for 2014 TOP SAFETY PICK+ a vehicle must earn a good or acceptable rating for small overlap protection, a good rating in the Institute's moderate overlap front, side, roof strength and head restraint tests, and a rating of basic, advanced or superior for front crash prevention.