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The Volkswagen Golf is a favorite among many. From its charming looks to its many tech-centric features, the 2020 Golf is for those in need of a small car that’s eager to please. 

Good looks and sought after features arent everything, though. For many new car shoppers, choosing to buy a specific car comes down to its safety features and overall safety ratings. When it comes to the Volkswagen Golf, it’s certainly not lacking in safety features, but it could have fared better when put to the test.

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Volkswagen logo as seen on a parked car | Cezary Kowalski/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

2020 Volkswagen Golf standard safety features

While this year’s Volkswagen Golf is available in only one trim level, that doesn’t mean Volkswagen skimped on safety features. This year’s model comes standard with a slew of active safety features, including electronic stability control, anti-slip regulation, an anti-lock braking system, and more.

The 2020 Golf also comes standardly equipped with the usual airbags, safety belts with pre-tensioners and load limiters, and a crash-optimized front end. Of course, those aren’t the only safety features the 2020 Golf has to offer.

What’s most enticing about the 2020 Golf are standard safety features like forward collision warning and autonomous emergency braking, a blind spot monitoring system, pedestrian detection, and rear traffic alerts. And if you’re ever in need of assistance? Subscribe to VW Car-Net Safe & Secure and get connected with a customer specialist who can get you the help you need.

Safety ratings

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) rated the 2020 Golf and gave it mostly ‘Good’ crashworthiness ratings. It did earn an ‘Acceptable’ rating in the passenger-side small overlap front category. During the test, the IIHS said that although the side curtain airbag deployed and protected the test dummy’s head, the frontal airbag wasn’t as protective.

The IIHS also gave the Volkswagen Golf’s headlights a ‘Poor’ rating. According to the IIHS, both its high and low beams provided inadequate visibility. The Golf also took hits for an ‘Acceptable’ safety rating on its child seat anchors.

This year’s Golf did earn a 5-star safety rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA.) In frontal crash tests, it scored four out of five stars. In side crash tests, this year’s model earned five out of five stars. And in rollover tests, it scored four out of five stars with a 13.40% rollover risk.

Is the Volkswagen Golf a good car to buy?

Are Bigger Cars Safer Than Smaller Cars?

According to U.S. News & World Report, the 2020 Golf ranks near the top when it comes to compact cars. Sitting in the fourth spot on its list, the Golf also ranks well among its fellow hatchbacks and other small cars. Overall, U.S. News & World Report gave it an 8.3 out of 10, which is impressive.

Is the Volkswagen Golf a good car to buy, though? While it certainly does come decked out with safety features, it is bested by some of its competitors when it comes to safety. Though it isn’t a hatchback like the Golf is, the 2020 Kia Forte is of similar size was tapped by the IIHS as a Top Safety Pick.

Another formidable foe to the Volkswagen Golf is the 2020 Mazda3. Recognized by the IIHS as a Top Safety Pick+, the Mazda3 bested the Volkswagen Golf in the crashworthiness category. It’s also cheaper than the Volkswagen Golf, making it an even more attractive prospect.

That’s not to say you shouldn’t buy the Volkswagen Golf. While other vehicles earned better safety ratings than this year’s model, the 2020 Golf is a reasonable choice if you’re on the hunt for a small, reasonably priced car that isn’t lacking in standard safety features.