More good news for Volkswagen, as its new small hatchback, the seventh-generation Golf and its sporty brother, the GTI, have both been named to the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety's prestigious Top Safety Pick+ list.

Both cars scored "Good" ratings across the board, including on the troublesome small overlap test. According to IIHS, the Golf's "driver space" managed the small overlap well, and that there was a low risk of serious injury.

IIHS also cited the Golf and GTI's optional forward collision warning, which it called "basic" as a part of the car's TSP+ ranking.

Take a look below for the official press release and a video of the crash test.
Show full PR text
Two small cars from Volkswagen earn TOP SAFETY PICK+

ARLINGTON, Va. - The Volkswagen Golf and its twin, the Volkswagen GTI, earn the IIHS TOP SAFETY PICK+ award for good performance in each of the Institute's crashworthiness evaluations, including the small overlap test, and available front crash prevention. The two small cars, redesigned for 2015, offer an optional forward collision warning system that earns a basic rating.

In the small overlap test, the driver's space was maintained well and injury measures recorded on the dummy indicate a low risk of any significant injuries in a crash of this severity. While the dummy's head nearly slid off the left side of the airbag, the side curtain airbag deployed to protect the head from contacting side structure and outside objects.

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.

The Golf and GTI are the latest Volkswagen models to earn a 2014 safety award from IIHS after the Passat qualified for TOP SAFETY PICK. To qualify for TOP SAFETY PICK, a vehicle must earn a good or acceptable rating for small overlap protection and a good rating in the other four tests. The "plus" is awarded to vehicles that meet those criteria and also earn a rating of basic or higher for front crash prevention.


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  • 26 Comments
      Christopher Anderson
      • 6 Months Ago
      I was already planning on buying one as a new daily for my wife to cart around our three-month-old daughter, and this makes me feel even better about that choice.
      starryknight936
      • 6 Months Ago
      I find the '15 Golf and the GTi to be QUITE interesting, so much so that I would consider either one for purchase when the time comes, but I'm still concerned with is VW's reliability/dependability issues plus dealership indifference. Now these are the rubs which make yours truly think twice before pulling the trigger, so to speak, with these vehicles. Those reasons and VW reducing their free maintenance period make going for a VW uneasy. Peace... AladdinSane<-
        disngaj
        • 6 Months Ago
        @starryknight936
        Me too. I've wanted a Golf or GTI for years, but have avoided VW for the same concerns about long-term reliability (and their consideration of expensive, manual cleaning of intake valves as "normal maintenance"). Even the owner of the local German car repair service advised me to stay with Toyotas. I hope VW will invest a proper amount of money on improving in this area.
        djrroar1
        • 6 Months Ago
        @starryknight936
        Take some time and review the improvements that VW has made in reliability and dealership guest handling, VW ranks quite high among non luxury brands.
        ekypaz
        • 6 Months Ago
        @starryknight936
        VW has improved a lot over the past 10 years since the intro of MK5. I don't think reliability is an issue anymore. My family currently owns 5 VWAG products ranging from year 2006 to 2013. None of them have any problems/repairs aside from regular maintenance.
        Barry Hubris
        • 6 Months Ago
        @starryknight936
        Yeah our experiences with VW/Audi have been outrageously awful. My 4 BMWs have been pretty shoddy too but the dealers are fantastic. Not so VW/Audi where the quality is bad and the dealers are just evil. Still haven't had any euro brands as bullet proof as our toyotas and mazdas. Maybe a cliche but you pay for fun.
      leo
      • 6 Months Ago
      too bad they forgot to pull the car form the early 1990s.. it looks like utter crap, and i think their sales will slide even more
      hokkaido76
      • 6 Months Ago
      Won't help. Sales will continue to slide regardless.....
      Master Austin
      • 6 Months Ago
      Might be good, but that collapse of the side door crunching as far rearward as it did, and the tire coming into what would be the footwell space, is much more than what I have seen on other tests and
        lrx301
        • 6 Months Ago
        @Master Austin
        This crash will probably cost the driver a leg, maybe two.
          atc98092
          • 6 Months Ago
          @lrx301
          It wouldn't have received such a high rating if that was true. You can't judge by the video. External displacement means nothing. The article says the driver space was handled well, with a low risk of serious injury.
      lrx301
      • 6 Months Ago
      Funny, the whole battery was thrown out of the car. But I don't understand why the engine cover was thrown out too, considering the cover is just a piece of plastic with at least three bolts to hold it.
      djrroar1
      • 6 Months Ago
      The U.S. gets 40,000 total Golfs including GTI for the model year, no more. Get them while you can!
      Barry Hubris
      • 6 Months Ago
      Like the new GTI on paper. Don't understand the need for a collision warning system...
        Denster
        • 6 Months Ago
        @Barry Hubris
        That's to get your attention while you're texting.
        Jamie Houk
        • 6 Months Ago
        @Barry Hubris
        Required by law in the EU, I believe, plus a vehicle cannot earn the top safety ratings from any of the rating organizations without it.
        Card13
        • 6 Months Ago
        @Barry Hubris
        People glance over their shoulder to change lanes, get distracted by sun glare, adjust the climate controls, etc. It would be great if we lived in a utopia where this didn't happen (no training can eliminate it), but unfortunately it's the reality of being on the road. Just be happy that someone with one of these systems is less likely to rear-end your car.
      Jamie Houk
      • 6 Months Ago
      I have noticed a trend in these small overlap crash tests. The drivers head always manages to go between the steering wheel air bag and the side curtain airbag. Does anyone know if a solution for this is being investigated?
        mawhalen53
        • 6 Months Ago
        @Jamie Houk
        It's one of the fundamental challenges of the test. Different manufacturers deal with it in different ways.
        • 6 Months Ago
        @Jamie Houk
        If you look at the over the top shot. You will notice that he head doesn't "Slip Through". The side curtain and steering wheel bags combine together to protect the drive.
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