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SAFETY | 8 out of 10
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Not yet rated
The cut-down side window opening, however, means that outward visibility isn't as good as before.
Because the 2012 Volkswagen Beetle is a brand-new model, it has not yet been tested by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) or by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
Volkswagen's strong history of crash safety will have to carry the Beetle for now, but we'll revise these ratings once scores are made public.
Every Beetle will have the requisite standard front, side and curtain airbags; anti-lock brakes and stability control; and active head rests. VW fits fairly large rearview mirrors to the Beetle, and though there's a bit less visibility to the rear than before, it's not difficult to get a good view of the driving environment from the driver's seat.
Bluetooth, which we consider a safety device, is available or standard on all Beetles.
That said, Volkswagen does not yet fit the Beetle with features like parking sensors, rearview camera, or blind-spot monitors--tech options we've come to expect on vehicles in the $30,000 price range, and more and more, the $20,000 price range.
Our tentative safety rating for the 2012 Beetle figures in VW's strong safety reputation--but factors out unavailable features like rearview cameras and parking sensors.