The new VW Golf has been given five stars out of five for its ability to protect occupants in a crash.
Euro NCap, the safety body that crash-tests cars sold in Europe, awarded the sixth-generation Golf 36 points out of a possible 37 for driver and passenger protection.
VW’s family-friendly Golf was also given four stars for child safety and three stars for pedestrian safety.
Other cars that have scored five stars for occupant protection include the Renault Koleos 4×4, the Ford Focus and the Fiat Bravo.
A VW spokesperson said: ‘The new Golf will be among the safest vehicles currently on sale, thanks to the fitment of seven airbags, including a knee airbag, as standard across the range.’
The car, which goes on sale in January 2009, also comes with electronic stability control, ABS and active head restraints as standard and, VW claims, ‘a stronger chassis structure than ever before’.
Buyers can choose to pay extra for rear side airbags, and seatbelt sensors for the rear of the car are also available.
Orders are already being taken for the new Golf, with prices starting at £13,150. The entry-level 1.4-litre petrol model is in insurance group four, while the top-end 2.0-litre TDI sits in group 12.
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