Volkswagen has always put a top priority on providing the maximum level of safety technology possible in all vehicles. Over the last few years, they’ve gone over the top, and it has paid off. Recently, the 2016 VW Golf, Golf GTI, Golf SportWagen, 2016 Passat, and Jetta were all awarded Top Safety Pick+ ratings from the International Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), making them some of the safest new cars available to the public. With seven current Driver Assistance technologies and more in development, Volkswagen is actively working to retain their top-notch safety ratings. Let’s explore how Volkswagen has obtained their Top Safety Pick + rating across five models.
Volkswagen Passive Safety Technology
Most people immediately think of seat belts and airbags when they hear “passive safety technology,” but Volkswagen has taken a far wider view on what defines passive safety technology. Volkswagen vehicles are built structural features designed to lessen the force of impact, which is what makes these passive rather than active technologies. (Active technologies work to prevent an accident from occurring.) While all Volkswagens sport three-point safety belts, they also have more interesting passive technologies that work together to protect the driver. Integral structural aspects like the front end, and even the pedal controls, have been crash-optimized to protect drivers in a standard collision. Systems like the reinforced safety cage construction, in combination with traditional seat belts and safety-optimized front head restraints, protect drivers in case of rollovers.
Even the roof and windows of Volkswagens have been designed with safety in mind. Since 1993, Volkswagen has stayed ahead of the curve by using laser welding as opposed to traditional welding techniques found in most vehicles. Laser seam welding, ever more common in car-making, allows for extremely narrow and precise joints to create a significantly stronger joint, and provide new design possibilities than traditional tack welding. For more than 20 years, this has ensured that Volkswagen roofs are strong enough to handle virtually anything thrown at them, including rust, as there are fewer areas for rust to form. Even the windows are built with safety in mind. Each is produced at 4mm, a full millimeter thicker than the industry average, providing more security from road debris. Volkswagen even paid special attention to the doors. Few car doors are stronger, or can take more of a beating, than those of a Volkswagen. Capable of holding 250 lbs, Volkswagen doors are no joke.
Volkswagen Active Safety Technology
If there’s passive safety technology, you’d better believe there’s active safety technology as well. If a system intervenes to avoid a collision, or lessens the negative outcome of that collision, it is considered an active safety system. Active safety technology featured by modern Volkswagens include the relatively standard anti-lock braking system and anti-slip regulation, and, over the last few years, mechanisms like the brake override system, electronic stability control, and electronic differential locks. Still, what separates VW from other car makers is the focus on Driver Assistance systems. There are currently seven available Driver Assistance systems that provide unparalleled safety to Volkswagen owners. Let’s take a look at each.
Volkswagen Driver Assistance
Forward Collision Warning & Autonomous Emergency Braking: Abbreviated to just Front Assist, this system uses several sensors in the front of the car to help monitor traffic and alert you in the event of a critical situation ahead. If the system believes there is no way to avoid a collision, the Autonomous Emergency Braking system kicks on and helps bring the car to a stop.
Adaptive Cruise Control: One of the best ways to avoid an accident on the highway is to maintain a healthy distance from others, which is exactly what the Adaptive Cruise Control system does. When engaged, this system helps to keep a preset distance from the car in front of you. By using sensors on the front of the car, the Adaptive Cruise Control system speeds and slows your car automatically, maintaining the preset distance between you and the next vehicle.
Parking Steering Assistance: Commonly shortened to just “Park Assist,” this system eliminates the thought “Can I fit in that spot?” Park Assist automatically detects if a spot is large enough for your Volkswagen; once prompted, it then steers the vehicle directly into the space. Simply operate the accelerator, brakes, and shifter, then bam! You’re parallel parked!
Lane Departure Warning: Frequently referred to as “Lane Assist,” the real genius of this system is what it doesn’t let you do. If equipped, sensors around the car continuously stay alert to see if you are drifting into another lane without using your turn signal. If you are, the system kicks into gear and steers you back into the correct lane.
Blind Spot Monitoring: The VW Blind Spot Monitoring system keeps your VW on the lookout for what you may miss. The system is continuously engaged and alerts you to other vehicles that may be in your blind spot. This system is particularly useful when changing lanes on busy highways.
Rear Traffic Alert: The available Rear Traffic Alert system is one of the most useful tools a driver could have when leaving a busy parking garage. With sensors in the back, the Rear Traffic Alert system alerts you when there are vehicles or other large objects in your path as you reverse. More impressively, the rear traffic alert system is capable of braking for you in case of emergency.
Park Distance Control: Commonly referred to as “Park Pilot,” this available system helps you back out of or drive into any parking spot. Complete with audible signals and a visual display, Park Pilot shows you exactly how much space you have behind, and on specially equipped vehicles, in front of you when parking. If you get a little too close, the system sounds a warning alert. Finally, the display provides additional support for drivers by showing the exact position of obstacles.
While most of the 2017 VW lineup has access to Driver Assistance, not everything is available on all models. We put together this helpful table to show you which cars have access to what technology.
Schedule a test drive with White Rock VW in Surrey, BC
From Active & Passive safety technology to an array of Driver Assistance features, Volkswagen devotes more resources toward creating a safer lineup than almost any other manufacturer. The combined focus on providing safety innovation and a luxurious driving experience has led to an incredible, reliable lineup of new vehicles from Volkswagen.
Come to White Rock VW in Surrey, BC, to test drive any 2016 vehicle! Our sales experts are here to answer any questions and even demonstrate some of the driver assistance features discussed in this post. Contact us today at 778-736-0338 to schedule your free test drive!