Five euro NCAP stars, four innovation awards and lower UK insurance groups announced for new Volkswagen Golf


The new Golf, which goes on sale in the UK in January, has received a top five star rating from the European consumer protection organisation Euro NCAP.  It also won the award for innovations in the area of integral safety at the highly esteemed Euro NCAP Advanced Awards.  Along with Lane Assist and Front Assist, proactive occupant protection and the standardmultiple impact brake activation system were recognised as pioneering safety innovations.  This is further confirmation of the excellent competitive position of the Golf in its class.

The overall safety package of the new Golf − consisting of occupant protection, child protection, pedestrian protection and driver assistance systems − was recognised by the European consumer protection organisation Euro NCAP for its top results.  Once again, in its seventh generation, the Golf is confirming its top position, which it has held in Europe for decades now.

Dr. Ulrich Hackenberg, Member of the Board of Management for Research and Development for the Volkswagen Brand, said: ‘We are very pleased that our new Golf was once again successful in fulfilling the challenging requirements of the Euro NCAP and earned its top rating.  We are especially proud of the no less than four Euro NCAP awards for excellent safety innovations with which the new Golf was recognised.  But this success is not just coincidental, because it reflects our corporate philosophy: safety must be made affordable for everyone.  Right from the start, we worked intensively with our engineers to develop a safety package whose scope is so far unique in the compact class.’  He continues: ‘These results once again confirm that we are on the right path.  We will systematically continue this development work into the future with the best interests of our customers in mind.’

The new Golf was awarded top ratings for its occupant protection.  Evaluated here were frontal and side impact tests, a pole side impact test and what is known as the whiplash test, in which loads to the cervical spine are measured in a rear end collision.  Not only adults, but children too can feel safe in the new Golf.  This was verified in tests, some of which utilised dummies sized to represent 18 month old and three year old children.  The new Golf also impressed testers with its pedestrian protection capabilities.

In addition to a high level of occupant protection, the seventh generation Golf also offers a broad array of driver assistance systems.  In addition to the standard multiple impact brake activation system and the optional proactive occupant protection system, the safety package can be further customised and extended with the optional adaptive cruise control, Front Assist with City Emergency Braking, fatigue detection and the Lane Assist lane-keeping assistant.  A total of seven driver assistance systems are offered in the new Golf which significantly improve vehicle safety.

The multiple impact brake activation system, which ADAC has already recognised with the Yellow Angel innovation award, automatically brakes the vehicle after a severe collision to reduce residual kinetic energy.  The goal here is to either prevent a secondary collision altogether or at least significantly reduce the speed at impact.  Accident statistics show that around a quarter of all accidents involve secondary collisions, and these are especially hazardous, because occupants no longer have the protective effects of airbags and seatbelt tensioners.  As is the case in all assistance systems from Volkswagen, the driver can choose to override the multiple impact brake activation system at any time.

Other features which were traditionally the reserve of vehicles in higher classes are also now widely available on the new Golf.  The Driver Alert fatigue detection and proactive occupant protection systems are standard on SE and GT models in the UK (optional on S).  The latter detects, in combination with other vehicle dynamic parameters, critical driving situations and reacts with either ESC interventions or full braking.  In case of a subsequent collision, it automatically pretensions the safety belts of the driver and front passenger to ensure the best possible occupant protection by the airbag and belt system.  In case of impending skidding accidents, the system closes the side windows to just small openings and closes the sliding sunroof so that safety systems such as the head and side airbags can offer optimal support and the best possible effectiveness.  As soon as the hazardous situation has ended, the safety belt is untensioned.  

In the UK, the new car’s excellent safety and security features contribute to Thatcham insurance group ratings that are up to 13 groups lower than those of the models they replace.  The entry-level Golf S 1.2-litre TSI 85 PS is in Group 7 – four groups lower than the same specification Golf Mk VI – while the current top of the range model, the Golf GT 2.0-litre TDI 150 PS, qualifies for group 19 insurance.  The previous-generation Golf GT 2.0-litre TDI 140 PS was in group 24.  All Golf models also have the insurance group suffix ‘E’, which means that they exceed the required standard for vehicle security set by the Association of British Insurers.  On the whole, lower insurance groups translate into lower insurance costs; another reason why the new Golf, although better than ever, is also better value than ever.

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