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There are some fun and practical compact cars this 2021 model year. But the Volkswagen Golf still seems to outpace its competitors with its peppy enthusiasm. This car is enjoyable at every level, and the hatchback design makes getting groceries easy and kind of a blast.

Handling is crisp, and the fuel economy can’t be beaten with the manual transmission. But before you buy a 2021 Volkswagen Golf, you probably also want to know if it’s safe to drive. We dove in to explore further.

What safety features come standard on the 2021 Volkswagen Golf?

The 2021 Volkswagen Golf, like most cars these days, comes with a menu of standard safety equipment, including a family of airbags to protect the vehicle occupants.

Any version of the Golf you choose will have those and a pretty hefty menu of extras, including some of the other basics like auto emergency braking, rain-sensing wipers, and LATCH connectors for proper car seat installation.

But there’s more, including advanced driver aids like post-collision braking, pedestrian detection, and blind-spot monitoring. You’ll also enjoy a rearview camera, forward collision warning, and rear cross-traffic alert. And that LATCH system of connectors we mentioned earned IIHS’s second-highest rating for ease of use, according to the latest from U.S. News.

A few optional safety features 

The 2021 Volkswagen Golf only comes in one trim level and will look and feel much like last year’s model. There isn’t much else to add to the Golf outside of the standard roster of equipment.

However, CarBuzz says there is a Combination Assistant Kit available. This kit is a roadside first-aid bundle and has booster cables, a warning triangle, and work gloves.

Also included are necessities for addressing minor injuries, a flashlight, a poncho, a whistle, and PVC tape. If you find yourself on the side of the road, this handy kit is full of roadside safety must-haves.

What the crash tests say about the Volkswagen Golf

To really know if a vehicle is safe, it’s often best to rely on the findings of the non-profits that put these rides in crash scenarios. The National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (NHTSA) determined that the 2021 Volkswagen Golf earned a five out of five-star crash test ratings. Frontal crashes and rollover tests earned the Golf four stars.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) came to similar conclusions about the Golf, giving it the highest rating in five different crash tests. Ranking its scores on a Poor, Acceptable, Good, and Superior rating scale, the Golf earned a Superior for its front crash prevention system. The only Poor rating came when the IIHS evaluated the headlights.

So, is the 2021 Volkswagen Golf safe?

Based on what other compact cars offer in terms of safety features, the Volkswagen Golf is right in the mix with its offerings. And there are other amenities that may not qualify as safety features but certainly make driving the Golf safer.

For example, Android Auto connectivity and Apple CarPlay connectivity are both standard. Hands-free calling means drivers aren’t being distracted by handling their devices, and that makes everyone a little safer. And Volkswagen includes two years of regularly scheduled maintenance as part of its warranty offerings, according to Car and Driver.

Keeping your Golf running right will mean less risky time spent on the side of the road with a breakdown. It might not be the safest car on the road, but it will likely keep its driver and occupants safe.

The 2021 Volkswagen Golf has a lot to offer. And if you have your eye on one, you should probably buy up quickly. VW plans to switch to the GTI and Golf-R lineups, ending the regular variation of the Golf this year in the U.S. 


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