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VW Golf gets Australian five-star safety too

Full frontal: The VW Golf VI is pounded into a crash barrier in Euro NCAP tests.

ANCAP gives tick to VW Golf’s top safety performance in Euro tests

Volkswagen logo5 Mar 2009

By RON HAMMERTON

VOLKSWAGEN’S new Golf has been formally awarded a five-star safety rating from the Australian New Car Assessment Program (ANCAP), based on its European crash test performance.

The sixth-generation VW small car, which has just gone on sale in Australia after being launched at the Melbourne motor show, passed the Euro NCAP tests with flying colours last year, scoring some of the best results ever seen in some of the tests.

In the tough side-impact crash test, for example, the Golf earned 15.99 points out of a possible 16.

Volkswagen Group Australia managing director Jutta Dierks said at the show that VW Australia had been advised by ANCAP that the VW Golf had fulfilled the criteria for a five-star rating, based on the European tests.

Under Euro NCAP’s new rating system, the five-door 1.4-litre Golf Trendline hatch was awarded a near-perfect 97 per cent for adult occupant protection – equal with the much larger new Volvo XC60 SUV and better by one percentage point than the highly rated Audi A4.

Apart from losing only a fraction of a point for chest protection in the side impact test, the Golf scored maximum points in the optional pole test.

Euro NCAP praised the effectiveness of the Golf’s new driver knee airbag, which E-NCAP experts judged would protect the knees and femurs of occupants of all sizes.

The knee airbag is now standard equipment on the Golf for Australia, in an array of seven airbags to protect front and rear seat occupants.

3 center imageThe Golf scored a high 84 per cent for child safety, only losing points because of a “non-permanent, pictogram-only label” warning of the dangers of placing a rearward-facing child restraint in the front passenger seat without first disabling the airbag.

In pedestrian protection, the Golf scored a high 61 per cent, compared with the Audi A4’s 39 per cent and the Volvo XC60’s 48 per cent.

The Golf’s bumper scored maximum points for the protection pedestrian’s legs, while the the front edge of the bonnet was rated as “good in some areas”. The protection offered by the bonnet to the head of a struck child was rated as predominantly good but that offered to an adult pedestrian was mostly poor.

The Golf VI is the second generation of the venerable small car to win the five-star rating in Europe.

Although the Golf was originally rated under Euro NCAP’s previous testing regime, it has been re-rated under the four-part new system, again scoring five stars with an overall adult protection score of 97 per cent.

Another car that has been re-rated under the new criteria is the latest Honda Accord Euro, which again was given five stars but with an overall performance of 86 per cent.

Pedestrian protection was rated at 54 per cent, compared with the Golf’s 61 per cent, while child protection was rated at 79 per cent, compared with the Golf’s 84 per cent.

ANCAP was established to independently rate the safety of new vehicles. The program is supported by Australian and New Zealand automobile clubs, road and transport authorities of NSW, Victoria, South Australia, Queensland, Tasmania and Western Australia, the New Zealand Government, the Victorian TAC, NRMA Insurance and the FIA Foundation.

Read more:

First Oz drive: Volkswagen Golf remastered

Read GoAuto's drive impressions of the all-new Volkswagen Golf range

Golf VI upholds safety tradition with five-star safety

Small cars are safety stars - for now


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