There's some good news for Audi today, as the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has named the all-new A3 one of its Top Safety Pick+, the institute's highest award for safety.

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.
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Redesigned Audi A3 earns TOP SAFETY PICK+

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.


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  • 39 Comments
      LW
      • 8 Months Ago
      Looks like the newer cars figured out the trick to pass these tests, which is to have some lateral structural members in order to redirect the force sideways, thus minimizing the impact on the firewall. Some of the earlier ones with super strong firewall and A pillar still had lower scores because those parts still took the full impact.
      Koenigsegg
      • 8 Months Ago
      smart with no front end has a better front crash test than that lol and this car looks cheap, do not like.
        Haelphadreous
        • 8 Months Ago
        @Koenigsegg
        You mean this test http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Iojv3oXu88k which is another simulated small offset test where the smart scored poor and failed to protect it's occupants?
        in2dwww
        • 8 Months Ago
        @Koenigsegg
        WOW. You already looked at this car. Tell us, please, what is it like in person? Do you like it less than the Chevy Dolt?
      Danial Sheikh
      • 8 Months Ago
      overrated Passat
      dollarbill
      • 8 Months Ago
      Nice Passat !! lol
        Lachmund
        • 8 Months Ago
        @dollarbill
        blind? it's also way smaller
        Joe Liebig
        • 8 Months Ago
        @dollarbill
        and also a different platform (MQB). The next passat (for EU at least) will be MQB later, the US passat is a crapped down version for the cheap consumers.
      juggernaut
      • 8 Months Ago
      They should do the crashes with the dummies holding cell phones.
      yo
      • 8 Months Ago
      AUDI is making some EPIC FAILS lately in design. The A3 Above looks WAYYYYYY to close to a VW. Hasnt VW / AUDI learned from history about badge engineering? Hello its MErcury / Ford circa 1981 all over again.
      Abhinav
      • 8 Months Ago
      You can get a Volvo S60 or an Acura TL for the same price as this car, but get more HP, more Torque, a larger trunk, bette seats, more technology, arguably better reliability (except for the Acura, which is better certainly), and much better looks. I feel sorry for these CLA and Audi A3 buyers. Whenever I see a CLA I think "tryhard, wants to look rich, show off." Seriously, if anything, I'm sure even a Chrysler 200, the new one; is a better car than these badge engineered trash bags.
        Joe Liebig
        • 8 Months Ago
        @Abhinav
        If you want to stay happy: always stick to your crap cars, and never drive an Audi. Because if you do, you will know what you have been missing. And your wallet may take a hit. Also: never dine in a starred restaurant, it will save you many. If you don't know what you are missing, you don't desire it.
          GR
          • 8 Months Ago
          @Joe Liebig
          I forgot to add: I've driven an Audi A4. It was a glorified VW Jetta. My dad drives a top trim Jetta. Hardly a rewarding experience superior to "crap" cars, despite your claims. Honestly, sorry to break it to you, but a low-rung Audi is a glorified VW. Audi has nice cars like the A7, A8, the S and RS models, but the A3 and arguably the A4 are volume-sellers for brand wh0res who want to feel special driving an entry-level car from a lux brand.
          GR
          • 8 Months Ago
          @Joe Liebig
          "Crap car" huh? Audi can't even make something reliable that runs for over 15 years. How many 15 year old Audis do you see on the road? Now compare to "crap" Camrys or Accords. Please. Enjoy your lease-mobile. It wasn't designed to run much longer than a lease term.
          NeoReaper
          • 8 Months Ago
          @Joe Liebig
          @GR In my opinion, a Jetta drives nicer than an Acura TL which is just a "glorified" Accord anyway by your outlook I guess. Just because you can't tell the difference between a Jetta and an A4 doesn't mean the difference doesn't exist. (FWD vs, AWD is huge) Since more Camrys and Accords exist, probability would dictate that there are a larger number of "crap" cars on the road. I still regularly see B5 A4s on the road which are notoriously "unreliable" but I guess you just live in a nice neighborhood where the "rich" ppl just keep buying new cars. Why hold on to an old car if you don't have to? I certainly don't. Anyway, keep supporting restaurants like Olive Garden and car companies like Toyota, living your life with your head in the sand is wonderful.
        GR
        • 8 Months Ago
        @Abhinav
        I wouldn't call them "badge engineered" as they are products of their brand company. However, I agree with your overall point. You can get a better car from a rival whose brand image is not as luxurious. Smart people shop by model. Not-so-smart people shop by brand.
        in2dwww
        • 8 Months Ago
        @Abhinav
        The Volvo S60 is superb, but you're kidding when you think the A3 meets up in price. There's a $10k disparity in price when optioned out the same and the Volvo is bigger. However, the S60 has very comfortable seats. I cannot judge the A3 because I have not driven or touched one yet. But for $36k, you can get the A4 quattro sans haldex. So I don't see the point of the A3/S60 comparo when the A4 is a better match for the S60. The A3 quattro 2.0 will have a transverse mount engine which entails a haldex awd system whereas the A4 is a logitudinal setup with a ZF8-speed transmission vs the A3's dual-clutch 6-speed. I want to like the S3, but an A4 Prestige sport might be better. If size matters, then the S60 would be good if you need the space, and the A3 would be good if you don't want to take office mates to lunch.
          NeoReaper
          • 8 Months Ago
          @in2dwww
          Stop trying to make sense here, Haters love to hate.
      sixspeedclutchhh
      • 8 Months Ago
      actually very impressive. should be a good buy for a lot of people. i actually like the look a lot. i think it's attractive and clean. id imagine in understeers to an annoying extent, which would be my big turn off.
        Lachmund
        • 8 Months Ago
        @sixspeedclutchhh
        Early test drives say it actually doesn't. I can confirm after my test drives that all the MQB models seem pretty agile actually.
      funguy6713
      • 8 Months Ago
      The Jetta GLI is a better value than this overpriced Audi version...
        ravenosa
        • 8 Months Ago
        @funguy6713
        I thought the above pics of the blue commuter car were of a Jetta. From last decade. Cheapest looking Audi I've seen in a while. Hopefully the status/compensation buyers won't be too upset at the dilution of their brand.
      Master Austin
      • 8 Months Ago
      Wow, total death and devestation, a carnival of carnage actually. Looks like the wheel would have popped off but it threw it into the passenger cabin, wonder what condition the foot well was in though. Oh well at least this will help someone in an accident, one positive note for Audi, since reliability is still abysmally at the end back with their VW roots. Reminds me of the friend that purposely got into an accident to just to dump her VW because she was having so many issues...her problem was, she hit a Crown Vic. What NOT to hit.
        Carlos Cruz
        • 8 Months Ago
        @Master Austin
        Dis VW because it isn't as reliable as a Japanese car.... sure, got it. haha. we all laugh now, someone made fun of the complexity and somewhat lower reliability of German engineering vs. the uncomplicated but simple Japanese methods of designing a car. ha ha ha. Dis VW (or any other German/Swedish automaker) because they aren't safe.... That's kind of the whole point of them, that plus performance. My GTI gets to go over 100mph in the German Autobahn legally, while automakers in the US and Japan design their cars with the extremely low limits in the US. Needless to say, safety is their thing.
          RLC
          • 8 Months Ago
          @Carlos Cruz
          "German engineering" is a myth cooked up by VW's marketing department. I leased a GTI, and it completely fell apart within six months. Engine, transmission, electrical system - everything took a crap. VW service was useless. An unmitigated disaster. I'll never touch VW again.
      GR
      • 8 Months Ago
      Impressive crash test. It seems like the trend among German luxury makers is to offer cheaper, smaller cars with the brand badge. Hence, the CLA, 2 Series, and this A3. These are said to bring in many new customers to the brand who would otherwise buy a non-luxury vehicle for the same budget. I personally know someone who was infatuated with the CLA after I introduced it to her. However, I was able to convince her to go for a used C Class instead when it came time to buy. It was a no-brainer for a car person: a brand new base CLA or a loaded cert. pre-owned C300. Honestly, these cars are cool and all, but you are buying a budget car with a fancy brand label for the price of a better car of a non-lux brand. I'd personally rather have an Accord than a CLA of the same price. Buying a budget lux car will also come as an unpleasant surprise when owners have to take them in for service and pay for it themselves once any service promo is done. Oh, let's not forget the repair costs for these German cars which have less than stellar reliability. If they have to pay more money to fix a less reliable car, these less-than-prime luxury brand buyers will eventually come back to Honda, Toyota, Ford, etc. having learned their lesson in not being a brand wh0re when it comes to cars, especially those of the lowest rung.
        Joe Liebig
        • 8 Months Ago
        @GR
        Some inaccuracy here: Mercedes is doing very well in terms of reliability and customer satisfaction. Audi may not do as well, which I attribute to their dealer network. There are just too many Audi dealers that are run like low-end dealers. Some even say 'regular is fine' when the engine is clearly premium only. No wonder this causes trouble. The real weirdness with premium compacts comes from the brand management: The hatchback A-class is EUR5000 less than the CLA in the EU. The true entry level CLA is the CLA 180 where it is EUR 25k (before tax) and the CLA 250 is EUR 33k. So the US entry model is EUR 7000 above the EU entry model! A basebase Passat is EUR 21k before tax. So the CLA is just a 4k premium. And Audi A3 hatch is maybe a EUR 2-3k premium over a Golf.
          GR
          • 8 Months Ago
          @Joe Liebig
          You must be European. In America, we actually care about quality and reliability. You may think Mercedes are reliable. In the US, they are mediocre at best in terms of reliability. "Reliable" to me is a Toyota 4Runner, Land Cruiser, Subaru Legacy, etc. You know, cars that actually run with over 250,000 miles and didn't cost the owner a fortune to get there. German lease-mobiles can't even touch these Japanese cars in reliability and there is a mountain worth of data to show this. Heck, domestic trucks like the F-150 and Silverado do far better than Mercs, Audi, VW, and other Euro cars. The only Mercedes I would consider as reliable and durable are the diesel models from the 70's and 80's. I see more of them on the road than 90's gas Mercs.
          J
          • 8 Months Ago
          @Joe Liebig
          @GR: In America, we actually care about quality and reliability I call BS on that one. You must be smoking some serious crack. Based on direct observations during my daily commutes over the years, Americans only care about image and the number of electronic gadgets they can fiddle with while the car is in motion. Important matters such as driving or proper automotive maintenance are nothing but afterthoughts.
          NeoReaper
          • 8 Months Ago
          @Joe Liebig
          @GR You're one of those people who love cherry picking data to support your non-factual belief. Just like there is a "mountain" of data you can find in the US stating ppl's opinions that Japanese cars are reliable, there is also an equally large "mountain" of data all over Europe that surely states ppl's opinions that German cars are reliable. All manufacturers make cars that are both reliable and unreliable, it just depends on whose opinion you want to believe in.
          FIDTRO
          • 8 Months Ago
          @Joe Liebig
          @GR Porsche is one of the most reliable brands on the road, and guess what, it's GERMAN. Americans care about quality? Lol, please, tell me how many American and Japanese cars have been recalled in the last several years? I've lost count.
      in2dwww
      • 8 Months Ago
      If IIHS buys cars off dealer's lots to test, I find it interesting that IIHS got a hold of this car. It's not even released for sale yet, but IIHS already had it?
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