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THE FORCE IS WITH THE NEW JETTA

This article is from our archives and has not been updated and integrated with our "new" site yet... Even so, it's still awesome - so keep reading!

Published on Thu, Sep 22, 2005

By: The LACar Editorial Staff

JETTA ACES THE IIHS SIDE IMPACT TEST Volkswagen has been getting its feathers ruffled over the look of the new Jetta. More than one car magazine has commented on its striking resemblance to the Toyota Corolla - a car that itself borrowed heavily from Volkswagen's Phaeton and the old Jetta school of design. Volkswagen tried to do the same with the new Jettta. Not surprisingly, then, it shares much of the profile of the less expensive Corolla. That's not the image that Volkswagen wants to portray with the new Jetta. On the contrary, the new Jetta wants to be known as a pocket luxury sedan. VW got some help from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) to further the latter image. The 2005 Volkswagen Jetta earned good ratings in both frontal offset and side impact crash tests conducted by the IIHS. Plus the Jetta is the first vehicle to earn the top rating of good in every individual measurement category (injury measures, head protection, and structural design) of the Institute's side impact test. "This car is designated a "best pick" for side crash protection, and it's a good performer for frontal crash protection. The performance of the Jetta in these tests plus its acceptable rating for seat/head restraint design in rear impact tests make it the top-rated car overall in the inexpensive midsize class," says Institute president Brian O'Neil. "The Jetta was the first vehicle to ace our side impact test," says O'Neill. "It's the best performer among midsize inexpensive cars. Its structural performance was better than the second- and third-best models, the Toyota Camry and Honda Accord. This new Jetta design shows what manufacturers can do to improve occupant protection in serious side impacts when cars are hit by taller and heavier SUVs and pickup trucks." The Jetta's results "show you don't have to spend a lot of money to get a vehicle that offers good protection in front and side crashes," O'Neill adds. "The strength of the side structure of a vehicle also is important in this test. The Jetta's structure is rated good because intrusion or collapse was reduced by the good structural design around the pillar between the doors. This is only the second car to earn a good rating for structure in the Institute's side impact test program." A summary of results for all midsize inexpensive cars tested by the Institute is at www.iihs.org. - Roy Nakano This piece comes courtesy of our LA Car Blog.

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