The 2022 Volkswagen Golf GTI and Golf R, both small cars, qualify for awards from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.
The Golf R earns the higher-tier TOP SAFETY PICK+ award, while the Golf GTI qualifies for the lower-tier TOP SAFETY PICK.
To earn either of the Institute’s two awards in 2022, vehicles must garner good ratings in six IIHS crashworthiness evaluations, including the driver-side small overlap front, passenger-side small overlap front, moderate overlap front, original side, roof strength and head restraint tests. They must also be available with a front crash prevention system that earns advanced or superior ratings in both the vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-pedestrian evaluations.
For TOP SAFETY PICK, at least one good or acceptable headlight system must be available. For a vehicle to earn the “plus,” good or acceptable headlights must be standard across all trims.
Both vehicles come with a standard front crash prevention system that earns a superior rating in the vehicle-to-vehicle evaluation and an advanced rating in the vehicle-to-pedestrian test.
All Golf R vehicles come with acceptable-rated LED projector headlights with high beam assist.
The TOP SAFETY PICK award applies to Golf GTI vehicles of the Autobahn trim, which also come with that headlight system. The LED projectors supplied with the SE trim earn a marginal rating, and the LED reflectors supplied with the base level S trim are rated poor.