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SAFETY | 8 out of 10
The VW Golf hasn't been rated completely by the two major crash-test agencies, but the results so far are encouraging.
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) reports that the 2012 Golf is one of its Top Safety Picks, which means it's earned "good" scores in front, side and roof impact tests. However, the IIHS applies those results only to the five-door hatchback, with the three-door left in limbo.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) hasn't rated either model. The federal agency changes its test procedures for the 2011 model year and hasn't yet re-tested the Golf.
Standard features include six airbags, anti-lock brakes, stability and traction control, and brake assist. Rear side airbags are an option in the five-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.
Some crash-test scores are in, and the Golf's safety performance is encouraging.