The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety recently recognized vehicles from two automakers with safety awards.
The 2022 Jeep Compass, a small SUV, rolled away with a Top Safety Pick award when it is outfitted with specific headlights, while two small cars from Volkswagen — the 2022 Golf R and the 2022 Golf GTI — captured a Top Safety Pick+ and a Top Safety Pick award, respectively.
All three vehicles were put through the paces, undergoing a series of six crashworthiness tests — and garnering good scores across the board. These included the driver-side small overlap front, passenger-side small overlap front, moderate overlap front, original side, roof strength, and head restraint tests.
But to earn either award, vehicles must also be available with a front crash prevention system that earns advanced or superior ratings in both the vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-pedestrian evaluations.
IIHS engineers are demanding when it comes to headlights, too. For the lower-tier award, at least one good or acceptable headlight system must be available. However, to capture “plus” status good or acceptable headlights must be standard across all trims.
The Compass offers a standard front crash prevention system that earns a superior rating in the vehicle-to-vehicle evaluation and an advanced rating in the vehicle-to-pedestrian test — meeting all the requirements for a Top Safety Pick.
The vehicle’s automatic emergency braking technology — Full-Speed Forward Collision Warning with Active Braking — are designed to detect imminent collisions and, in certain conditions, automatically apply the vehicle’s brakes.
These are among more than 75 available safety and security features. Others include Active Lane Management and Rear Cross Path detection, according to the manufacturer.
However, the Compass falls short when it comes to IIHS headlight criteria. Its base headlights earn a marginal rating, preventing the SUV from qualifying for “plus” status.
In the case of the Golf R and the Golf GTI, the two VW vehicles met the measure for crash prevention. Both vehicles come with a standard front crash prevention system that earns a superior rating in the vehicle-to-vehicle evaluation and an advanced rating in the vehicle-to-pedestrian test. New for 2022, the system can now detect cyclists or pedestrians traveling parallel to the vehicle and alert the driver if they turn into the vehicle’s path, according to the automaker.
All Golf R vehicles come with acceptable-rated LED projector headlights with high beam assist, giving the small car the final element needed to roll away with Top Safety Pick+ accolades.
Golf GTI vehicles of the Autobahn trim, which also come with that same headlight system, earn the Top Safety Pick. However, the LED projectors supplied with the SE trim earn only a marginal rating, and the LED reflectors supplied with the base level S trim are rated poor, limiting the small car from earning the higher tier award.