2010 Volkswagen GTI: Safe Bet in its Segment
December 28, 2010
The GTI isn't just a fun ride; it's also one of the safest small cars you can buy. That's the word from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), which named the GTI a Top Safety Pick in the small-car segment.
So what exactly does a car have to do to get the Top Safety Pick designation?
Here's what the IIHS has to say: "[The] Top Safety Pick [designation] recognizes vehicles that do the best job of protecting people in front, side, rollover, and rear crashes based on good ratings in Institute tests. Winners also must have available electronic stability control, a crash avoidance feature that significantly reduces crash risk. The ratings help consumers pick vehicles that offer a higher level of protection than federal safety standards require."
A complete list of all 66 IIHS Top Safety picks is available here. The IIHS groups its winners according to vehicle type and size, since size and weight influence crashworthiness -- larger vehicles tend to offer better crash protection than smaller ones, even even if you're talking about a smaller vehicle that's a Top Safety Pick like the GTI.
So the GTI is safe, but a larger vehicle would very likely be safer still. Is the relationship between vehicle size and crashworthiness something that you consider when shopping for a vehicle?
Warren Clarke, Automotive Content Editor