The 2015 Audi A3 earned the IIHS TOP SAFETY PICK+ award, due to good performance in five crashworthiness tests and an advanced rating for front crash prevention.
The A3 was completely redesigned for 2015 and is now a sedan instead of a wagon like its predecessor. It’s the first Audi model to earn either the 2014 TOP SAFETY PICK or TOP SAFETY PICK+ award and the first ever to earn a good or acceptable rating in the challenging small overlap front crash test.
The Institute introduced the small overlap evaluation in 2012. In the test, which is more challenging than either the head-on crashes conducted by the government or the IIHS moderate overlap test, 25% of a vehicle’s front end on the driver’s side strikes a rigid barrier at 40 mph. The crash replicates what happens when the front corner of a vehicle collides with another vehicle or an object such as a tree or utility pole.
In the small overlap test of the A3, the structure held up well, with a minimal amount of intrusion into the driver’s space. The dummy’s movement was well-controlled, and injury measures taken from the dummy indicated a low risk of injury.
The A3 is available with an optional front crash prevention system that qualifies for an advanced rating from IIHS. The system has automatic braking technology that avoided a crash in the Institute’s 12 mph test.
To qualify for 2014 TOP SAFETY PICK+ (TSP+) a vehicle must earn a good or acceptable rating for small overlap protection, a good rating in the Institute’s moderate overlap front, side, roof strength and head restraint tests, and a rating of basic, advanced or superior for front crash prevention.
Other current TSP+ winners so far in the midsize luxury/near luxury segment include the 2014 Infiniti Q50 (applies only to optional front crash prevention models); 2014 Lincoln MKZ (applies only to optional front crash prevention models); and 2014 Volvo S60.