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Which 2017 Audi Received IIHS’ Top Safety Pick + Rating? A3 Was The One

The Audi A3 notched another Top Safety Pick + award from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. The 2017 A3 which features improved HID lighting on the standard model received the honor from the safety group.
Posted: January 21, 2017 - 10:31PM
Author: Marc Stern

Sometimes it takes a bit of work to retain a top-quality safety rating, but it is worth it. Audi has been willing to do the heavy-lifting to keep the safety ratings it attained on the 2016 A3. Last year, the Audi A3 qualified for the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s (IIHS) prestigious Top Safety Pick + award. However, the insurance safety group had some reservations.

The issues seemed to be amplified by the improvements that insurance organization made to the program. The improvements – tightened quarter testing standards, among others – meant that despite the fact a vehicle qualified in 2016 for a Top Safety Pick + award, it might not qualify in 2017.

That was the predicament Audi found itself in. Though its A3, compact luxury sedan, received the coveted safety honor in 2016, it was by no means a lock for the award in 2017. The reason was the tightened standards. The test crew had some reservations about new front end design specs that would have knocked the A3 out of the program.

Audi’s engineering staff did the heavy-lifting, making the improvements needed to keep its spot in the program. As noted, the award-winning A3 needed some work on its headlights to qualify for consideration as a Top Safety Pick +. Audi’s engineers did the work. However, the development team improved only the standard HID (high-intensity discharge) headlights.The brand’s optional LED headlights, available with the Premium Plus and Prestige trim packages, did not receive the nod fro IIHS.

The insurance safety group also cautioned that buyers must look at the options lists when ordering the A3. Consumers must be sure to include automatic emergency braking – bundled in the Technology Package – to qualify for the Top Safety Pick + award. Doubtless, most buyers will opt for this package because it offers emergency braking, active lane assist, blind spot monitoring and adaptive cruise control.