If you're in the market for a small car and vehicle safety is a priority for you, then the 2012 Audi A3 should be high on your list of cars to test drive. It comes generously equipped with most of the latest safety gear as standard, including stability control, anti-lock brakes, front-seat side-impact, full-length head-curtain airbags, and rear side-thorax bags.
There are also three-point safety belts with pretensioners, a hill hold assist to prevent your vehicle from rolling backwards when you left of the brakes, and even pinch protection for passenger compartment windows.
We recommend opting for the added traction of the quattro all-wheel drive system if you live in an area where winter driving requires you to change your tires.
The federal government's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) hasn't tested the 2012 A3 though the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) has, finding it to score the highest rating of 'good' in its frontal offset, side, and roof impact crash tests.