Which Car : Small Car Safety Edition : Volkswagen Golf/GTI versus Nissan Leaf


With 1.2 million fatal motor vehicle accidents (MVA) a year, worldwide and 40,000 in the US alone, car safety is something that should be high on everyone’s priority list. Fortunately, the industry has recognized and embraced this and along with the IIHS have made judging how safe a vehicle is both for the driver, the passenger, and even others involved in potential MVAs a lot easier. This is because cars are given a specific rating on crash tests, as well as now including more and more tech to ensure increased safety.  So, with that in mind read on to get the lowdown on two small cars with big safety rating to see which one will be the best buy for you.

2015 Volkswagen Golf/GTI

The Volkswagen Golf/GTI was an IIHS top safety pick plus. Meaning it’s done particularly well in the crash tests. In fact, on the 2015 model, you will find that the Volkswagen Golf/GTI gets no poor or even marginal ratings. There are all good across the board, apart from restraints and dummy kinematics and driver pelvis/leg categories, that are rated as acceptable. No wonder it rates as safety plus!

You will also find that Volkswagen has included lots of high tech safety features such as air bags in the front, side, and overhead positions. Meaning if there is an MVA the driver and passengers are protected, and the likelihood of serious injury is reduced. Of course, even in incident where injuries are reduced, it’s always best to enlist the help of an MVA lawyer, as all injuries can leave you out of pocket with medical bills. Something you shouldn’t have to pay for out of your own pocket if the MVA wasn’t your fault.

The Volkswagen also includes anti lock brakes know as ABS. These work to allow the driver a greater range of control over the car, even if they have to break suddenly. Something that can change a head on crash into a near miss! It’s all of these factors work together to make it one of the best in its class at keeping its occupants safe on the road.

Nissan Leaf

The Nissan Leaf is a plug in electric car, that is hugely appealing to the more eco-friendly driver. It also has plenty of good IIHS good ratings including protection of the head and neck, and the leg and foot areas.  However, the Leaf isn’t an IIHS safety plus pick, and it’s easy to see why if we look at the rest of the data. It’s because it also has three poor ratings and two marginals. The most concerning of which is probably the poor ratings awarded for the small overlap front, the structure and safety cage, and the lower leg and foot categories.

In particular, a car without a safe structure is often one not seen as a good investment. While, the Leaf’s performance on the small overlap test, is also worrisome. As for the Nissan Leaf to do so badly in this, the driver and passenger are not well protected at all in this sort of corner crash incidents at all. Something that may make potential customer pause for thought before investing in the Leaf, over another vehicle.

Meaning, if safety is the most prominent factor when making your car purchase, the VW definitely comes out on top. Making it the clear front runner in this case.



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