The 2015 Audi A3, a midsize luxury car, has won the IIHS Top Safety Pick+ award after scoring “good” in five crashworthiness tests and “advanced” for the car’s front crash prevention.
The A3, completely redesigned for 2015, is now a sedan instead of a wagon like its predecessor. The A3 is the first Audi model to earn either the 2014 Top Safety Pick award or Top Safety Pick+ award. It’s also the first ever to earn a “good” or “acceptable” rating in the challenging small overlap front crash test, IIHS said.
IIHS introduced the small overlap evaluation in 2012. This test is more challenging than either the head-on crashes conducted by the government or the IIHS moderate overlap test. Twenty-five percent of a vehicle's front end on the driver's side strikes a rigid barrier at 40 mph. The crash replicates what happens when the front corner of a vehicle collides with another vehicle or an object such as a tree or utility pole.
In the small overlap test of the A3, the structure held up well, with a minimal amount of intrusion into the driver's space, IIHS said. The dummy's movement was well controlled, and injury measures taken from the dummy indicated a low risk of injury.
The A3 is available with an optional front crash prevention system that qualifies for an “advanced” rating from IIHS. The system has automatic braking technology that avoided a crash in the IIHS 12 mph test.
To qualify for 2014 Top Safety Pick+, a vehicle must draw a “good” or “acceptable” rating for small overlap protection; a “good” rating in the IIHS moderate overlap front, side, roof strength and head restraint tests; and a rating of “basic,” “advanced” or “superior” for front crash prevention.
The Audi A3 sedan goes on sale in April and will be priced from a base MSRP of $29,900.
The vehicle will offer several advanced technology features, including a standard Audi pre sense basic system that helps detect when an emergency maneuver is being made and prepares the vehicle and its occupant restraint systems in advance of a possible collision. There is also an optional advanced technology package, which includes Audi active lane assist, Audi pre sense front and adaptive cruise control with stop and go.
Additionally, the A3 introduces secondary collision brake assist and is the only vehicle to offer this system as a standard feature, Audi said. The system automatically brakes the car after a collision in order to prevent a secondary collision with nearby or oncoming traffic.