Nowadays, it seems like every single automaker is vying for its vehicles to earn the top safety pick classification from the IIHS. And the latest vehicle to earn the coveted 2014 Top Safety Pick+ rating is Volkswagen’s all-new seventh-generation Golf and Golf GTI models… but there’s a catch. The new Golfs only receive the rating when equipped with the forward collision warning system, which is optional.
Of course, VW makes it known that the new Golfs have been engineered to meet or exceed all current crash regulations. The compact hatches offer a variety of both — passive and active safety systems, as well as a number of electronic and mechanical Driver Assistance systems, such as Automatic Post-Collision Braking System. The feature applies the brakes when a primary collision is detected by the airbag sensors, thereby helping reduce residual kinetic energy and, in turn, the chance of additional damage. In addition, all Golf and Golf GTI models are equipped with standard Electronic Stability Control (ESC) and six airbags, while the SE and SEL trim levels are also available with a Driver Assistance Package that includes Forward Collision Warning along with front and rear Park Distance Control systems.
“To have IIHS recognize both the Volkswagen Golf and Golf GTI as a Top Safety Pick+ is a great statement for the brand“ said Mark McNabb, chief operating officer, Volkswagen of America, Inc. “The seventh-generation Golf and GTI models are the ideal combination of Volkswagen design, performance, innovative safety and world-class engineering.”
In order to qualify as a 2014 IIHS TOP SAFETY PICK, vehicles must earn a “good” rating in the Institute’s moderate overlap front, side, roof strength and head restraint tests, as well as a “good” or “acceptable” rating in the small overlap front test. And in order qualify for 2014 Top Safety Pick+, a vehicle must meet the Top Safety Pick criteria, plus earn a “basic,” “advanced” or “superior” rating for front crash prevention.
Built in VW’s plant in Mexico, the Golf GTI went on sale in the United States over the Memorial Day weekend, while the Golf will hit U.S. showrooms in August.