The 2016 VW Jetta gets good crash-test ratings from both agencies that judge vehicle safety. For 2016, advanced-safety items are now spread more widely across the lineup.
While the 2016 Jetta looks all but identical to earlier models on the outside, its understructure was beefed up two years ago in response to the tough new small-overlap frontal crash test from the IIHS. The agency now gives the Jetta its top rating of "Good" in every category, including small-overlap. Even better, with the added active-safety features, the Jetta has been dubbed an IIHS Top Safety Pick+.
Jetta sedans get a five-star overall rating from the NHTSA, placing them among the Honda Civic, Ford Focus, Chevrolet Cruze, Dodge Dart, and Toyota Corolla, among others. The Jetta earns four stars in rollover and frontal crash, as well as a five-star side-impact score.
Six airbags are standard on every Jetta, including dual front, side, and curtain airbags. So are stability control and anti-lock brakes; active headrests; and tire pressure monitors. And a notable advantage to the car's upright sedan profile is good outward visibility. The rear-seat headrests are low, the glass area is large, and the roof pillars are relatively tall—adding up to better rear and three-quarter visibility than in more elongated and heavily stylized compacts from other makers.
Last year, the Jetta offered several new radar-based safety systems. For 2016, all Jetta trim levels are equipped with an automatic post-collision braking system. The Driver Assistance Package offered on SEL and SEL Premium models has added adaptive cruise control, forward-collision warnings and automatic braking, and blind-spot monitors.
VW also offers available bi-xenon lights that can also steer through turns depending on where the driver points the wheels. A rearview camera is now included on every trim level except the base Jetta S.