The well-known Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) in the USA has now also awarded the sporty, compact Audi A3 its highest rating of “Top Safety Pick”. This makes Audi the only German manufacturer to have three awardwinning models in its ranks: the Audi A4 and A6 have already been honoured with this top safety rating in the past.
The IIHS regularly carries out crash tests on behalf of the US insurance industry on passenger vehicles of all kinds to establish their safety standard. Experts and car buyers alike, both within and outside the USA, pay close attention to the results.The latest outstanding result for the Audi A3 is the outcome of a frontal, rear and side crash test which the A3, like the A4 and A6 before it, completed in the USA. The side impact test is a particularly challenging part of the IIHS crash test series. In this test, vehicles are struck from the side by a moving barrier at a speed of 31 mph (50 km/h). The barrier is shaped to resemble the front end of a pick-up or SUV.
Structural deformation as well as the kinematics and stresses to which passengers are subjected are then evaluated. The outstandingly low loads measured are thanks to the car’s rigid body and standard restraint systems, including the sideguard head airbag. The IIHS also evaluates the risk of neck injuries in a rear impact.
Thanks to the optimised design of the seat structure, seat components and above all the geometry and position of the head restraints, Audi models score top marks in this discipline. Having an electronic stabilisation program (ESP) as standard also has a positive effect on the rating – and this is indeed the case for all Audi vehicles.