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SAFETY | 8 out of 10
The scores aren't all in, but the 2011 Volkswagen Golf shows every sign of being one of the safest compacts on the road.
The three- and five-door Golf has one set of ratings in hand. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) says the Golf is one of its Top Safety Pick winners, thanks to "good" scores in front, side and roof impact tests.
However, the revision of the ratings system by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) means that the agency must re-evaluate every car for new star ratings--and the Golf hasn't made the cut yet.
Along with its IIHS recognition, the Golf gets a good safety score here because of its extensive safety equipment. Standard features include six airbags, anti-lock brakes, stability and traction control, and brake assist. Rear side airbags are an option in the four-door Golf, but it lacks parking sensors or a rearview camera, features that are becoming more common in the segment.
We'll revisit these ratings once the NHTSA issues its findings.
A strong performer in IIHS tests, the 2011 Volkswagen Golf hasn't been tested by the Feds just yet.