The 2022 Volkswagen GTI and Golf R have earned top ratings from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. The GTI earned the Top Safety Pick award, while the Golf R received the higher Top Safety Pick Plus award.
To earn the Top Safety Pick award, a vehicle has to receive Good ratings in all of the Institute’s six crash tests, which includes the driver-side small overlap front, passenger-side small overlap front, moderate overlap front, original side, roof strength and head restraint tests. The vehicle must also be available with a front crash prevention system (automatic emergency braking) that earns either an Advanced or Superior rating in both the vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-pedestrian evaluations.
For the higher tier Top Safety Pick Plus award, all of the available headlights have to earn a Good rating.
Both the GTI and Golf R received the highest crash test ratings and the automatic emergency braking system earned a Superior rating. The reason the GTI did not receive the Top Safety Pick Plus award is because only the headlights on the Autobahn trim level received the Acceptable rating. The LED projectors on the SE trim earned a marginal rating and the LED reflectors on the base S trim level were rated as poor. In order to receive the top award, all the available headlights have to be rated as either Good or Acceptable. The Golf R’s LED projector headlights were rated as Acceptable