Well the marketers sure had a field day with this one. And I don’t even know who is more to blame, VW or the IIHS.
For the IIHS, as long as one trim with an optional extra meets their standards, they label the model as a Top Safety Pick+. The full report claims “This rating applies to vehicles other than the specific model and body style tested”, but does it? Does that mean that despite the fact that they only tested a 4-door Golf that the rating applies to the 2-door? The report does identify the trim level tested and does state that the front crash prevention rating is based on an optional package, but you have to do some digging to get the full story.
So about that safety rating for the 4-door supposedly applying to other vehicles, well the 2-door can’t receive that rating because the optional drivers assistance package isn’t available on the 2-door Golf. The same goes for the Jetta, according to VW’s website the full suite of driver assistance safety features are only avialable on the regular Jetta SEL trim, the front crash warning isn’t even available on the GLI or the $31k Hybrid. Between the 4 models that have been labeled Top Safety Pick+, there are 32 different trims(HOLY SHIT considering this number doesn’t include TDIs) and only 13 of those trims have the driver assistance package available. And of those 13, 5 are marked as “Order Only” on VW’s site.
I am sure that most Opponauts know a majority of car awards are bs, but when it comes to safety awards the institution giving out the award needs to be way more transparent with consumers. I also think VW needs to add a couple asterisks to that Facebook ad.
I am also sure other manufacturers are the same way with the way they state their safety awards, it was just easiest for me to pick on Vlolkswagen, so let’s just blame marketing.