The Golf achieved five stars when Euro NCAP allowed a re-run of the pole impact test after VW modified the curtain airbag’s packaging.
The restraint systems and air bags protected the occupants and kept the driver’s chest and head away from the steering wheel. Side impact protection was very impressive and the child restraints gave good levels of protection.
Pedestrian protection matched that of the Touran, which is the best achieved by a European designed car.
The restraint system worked well, although loads acting on the occupants’ chests were a little high. But the driver risked knee injuries from striking hard points beneath the fascia.
The Golf’s body showed minimal distortion around the sill and screen pillar and minor intrusion into the footwell.
The side impact performance was very impressive. The seat mounted thorax airbag and head curtain airbags worked efficiently; the latter also providing protection for rear seated occupants.
The restraint used by the 3 year old was forward-facing VW-branded Britax Romer Duo Plus fitted to the car using the ISOFix anchorages and top tethers. That used by the 18 month old was rear facing VW-branded Britax Romer BabySafe fitted to the car using the adult belts.
The children’s heads were well protected. However in the frontal impact, chest loads were a little high as was that for the younger child’s head. Labelling on the restraints was clear and permanent.
A pictogram was fitted on the passenger’s end of the fascia and a three language text label was fixed to the screen. Neither was permanent, nor did they warn against placing a rear facing restraint on the front passenger’s seat. An on/off switch for the passenger airbag was located in the glove box and operated using the ignition key. But any user must first refer to the owner’s manual to understand how it works.
This was above average. The bumper and bonnet’s front edge neared compliance. Child and adult heads were protected, but the wings and bonnet sides posed risks.