The Passat achieved a five star adult occupant safety rating. Euro NCAP allowed a re-run of the pole test following changes to the car’s curtain airbag and roof lining to optimize its functionality. Its body proved to be extremely strong, suffering minimal deformation in the frontal impact and protecting its adult occupants well. The car’s ability to protect child occupants was a little mixed, with high chest loads recorded by the instrumentation in the older child in the frontal impact. Overall, the protection offered to pedestrians and other vulnerable road users was judged to be reasonably good with 17 points out of 36 being scored.
The body suffered minimal deformation and, with dual stage frontal airbags, belt pre-tensioners and load limiters, helped control and limit the forward movement of adult occupants. These devices, and the stable structure worked well, keeping the loads on the driver’s and passenger’s chest and legs low. However, the driver risked leg injuries from contact with the steering column. The footwell suffered little deformation or intrusion and control of the foot pedals was good.
An impressive side impact protection system included seat mounted thorax airbags and a head curtain airbag, which also protects those seated in the rear. The Passat gained a maximum score in this section of the tests.
The passenger frontal airbag has an on/off inside the glove box. A permanent text label is next to it, while the airbag’s status is shown on the centre console’s info screen. The older child sat in a forward facing VW branded Britax Romer Duo Plus, which was installed in the car using the ISOFIX anchorages and top tether. The older child dummy’s chest instrumentation recorded high loads in the frontal impact. The younger child used a rear facing VW branded Britax Romer Baby Safe Plus fitted using ISOFIX anchorages and a support leg. This protected well throughout.
Protection was reasonable. The bumper met test requirements and the bonnet top cushioned where a child’s head might strike it. It also protected adult heads, though not so well. However the bonnet’s front edge gave no measurable protection.