The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) has reviewed the 2016 Volkswagen Passat and given it a 2016 TOP SAFETY PICK+ rating, following a series of tests conducted by the institute.
In an announcement, Volkswagen of America, Inc., said the 2016 Passat in particular aced the IIHS Small Overlap Front Crash test, receiving the highest possible rating of “good.” It also received “good” ratings in other crashworthiness tests conducted by the IIHS.
The Passat used in the tests was equipped with the available Forward Collision Warning and Autonomous Emergency Braking (Front Assist) system. This system employs a radar sensor to monitor the distance between the Passat and the vehicle ahead.
When the Passat is running above 19 mph, Front Assist -- as long as it is within the limits of the physical system -- illuminates a warning symbol instrument cluster to alert the driver of possible critical front-end collision. Should it be necessary, the system will initiate braking enough to slow down the vehicle, thereby giving the driver some time to implement the brakes.
If the driver fails to implement the brakes, Front Assist would autonomously apply them. Additionally, if the driver presses on the brake pedal too lightly, braking support will come in to increase the pressure. When the vehicle is running below 19 mph, Front Assist would simultaneously apply the brakes and provide warning to the driver.
Aside from these technologies, the 2016 Passat also features an array of passive and active systems designed to allow the model to pass or even top current crash regulations. As standard, the model comes with Automatic Post-Collision Braking System.
It is also offered with Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) and Forward Collision Warning and Autonomous Emergency Braking (Front Assist), as well as an active Lane Departure Warning system (Lane Assist). In addition, the model comes with the optional Rear Traffic Alert with braking as well as passive and active Blind Spot Monitor system, the availability of which depends on the trim level.
Forward Collision Warning and Autonomous Emergency Braking (Front Assist) come as standard on Passat SE models and above. On the other hand, Blind Spot Monitor (warning only) and Rear Traffic Alert with braking come as standard for SE w/ Technology models and higher trim levels. Active Lane Departure Warning (Lane Assist) system, meanwhile, comes as standard on SEL Premium models equipped with the Active Blind Spot Monitoring system with corrective steering.
Mark McNabb, chief operating officer at Volkswagen of America, Inc., remarked that the IIHS Top Safety Pick+ award received by the Passat demonstrates the carmaker's commitment to vehicle safety as well as to the development of innovative technologies.
He noted that certain features found in the Passat like Active Blind Spot Monitor and perpendicular Park Assist are usually exclusive for luxury vehicles. IIHS grants its TOP SAFETY PICK+ award to vehicles that managed to get an advanced or superior rating for front crash prevention system performance as well as meet TOP SAFETY PICK criteria like "good" ratings in the moderate overlap front, small overlap front, side, roof strength, and head restraint tests.
In 2013, the institute introduced the front crash prevention rating program to help consumers determine which among the available safety systems are the most effective. IIHS uses a three-tier rating system -- superior, advanced or basic – to be determined by whether the vehicles feature available front crash prevention systems and how they perform in 12 mph and 25 mph autonomous emergency braking and forward collision warning tests.
Points are then awarded according to their performance on the tests. Vehicles featuring a warning system get a basic rating, provided it meets the criteria set by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Other VW models earning 2016 TOP SAFETY PICK+ ratings from the IIHS are the MY2016 Golf 4-door, Golf SportWagen, Golf GTI 4-door, and Jetta models -- when equipped with the optional Front Assist system. Interested buyers can acquire their own 2016 Passat from Volkswagen dealerships across the United States.