Top Safety Pick

2013 Volkswagen Jetta

midsize car / 4-door sedan

2013 Volkswagen Jetta 4-door sedan

Crashworthiness

Rating overview
Small overlap front: driver-side
Moderate overlap front
Side
Roof strength
Head restraints & seats

Crash avoidance & mitigation

Front crash prevention
Not available

Other available safety features

  • Standard daytime running lights

Key

  • G
    Good
  • A
    Acceptable
  • M
    Marginal
  • P
    Poor
  • Superior
  • Advanced
  • Basic

Some ratings use a scale of Poor to Good. Others range from Basic to Superior.

Small overlap front: driver-side

Rating applies to 2013-14 models built after October 2012

Tested vehicle: 2012 Volkswagen Jetta S 4-door

The Volkswagen Jetta sedan was redesigned for the 2011 model year. Beginning with 2013 models built after October 2012, the side curtain airbags were reprogrammed to deploy in small overlap frontal crashes to improve occupant protection. (Information about when a specific vehicle was manufactured is on the certification label typically affixed to the car on the driver door or adjacent B-pillar.) The tested 2012 model car was retrofitted by Volkswagen engineers with a new airbag computer identical to that used in the modified production cars.

Note: The ratings do not apply to the station wagon version of the Jetta, known as the Jetta SportWagen, which is built on a platform designed earlier.

Overall evaluation
Structure and safety cage
Injury measures
Head/neck
Chest
Hip/thigh
Lower leg/foot
Restraints and dummy kinematics
The dummy’s head barely contacted the frontal airbag before sliding off the left side as the steering column moved 14 cm to the right, leaving the head vulnerable to contact with forward structure. The frontal airbag module also detached from the steering column, which didn't appear to affect the dummy's movement because it occurred relatively late in the crash. Still, such detachments shouldn't occur. The side curtain airbag deployed and had sufficient forward coverage to protect the head from contact with side structure and outside objects.

Action shot taken during the small overlap frontal crash test.

The dummy's position in relation to the door frame, steering wheel, and instrument panel after the crash test indicates that the driver's survival space was not maintained well.

During the crash, the dummy's head barely contacted the frontal airbag before sliding off to the left as the steering column moved to the right. The frontal airbag module detached from the steering column before the crash was finished.

The door hinge pillar and left footrest was pushed back by the wheel and tire (visible at lower left), and this intrusion contributed to a high risk of injury to the left lower leg.

Moderate overlap front

Rating applies to 2011-18 models

Tested vehicle: 2011 Volkswagen Jetta S 4-door

The Volkswagen Jetta sedan was redesigned for the 2011 model year. Two moderate overlap frontal tests of the Jetta were conducted, one by the Institute and the other by Volkswagen as part of frontal crash test verification. Ratings are based on both tests.

These ratings do not apply to the station wagon version of the Jetta, known as the Jetta SportWagen, which is built on a platform designed earlier.

Overall evaluation
Structure and safety cage
Injury measures
Head/neck
Chest
Leg/foot, left
Leg/foot, right
Restraints and dummy kinematics

Action shot taken during the Institute's moderate overlap frontal crash test.

The dummy's position in relation to the steering wheel and instrument panel after the crash test indicates that the driver's survival space was maintained well (Institute test car shown).

Smeared greasepaint indicates where the dummy's head hit the roof rail in the Institute's test.

Intrusion into the driver's space was minimal in both tests, and all leg and foot injury measures were low.

Side

Rating applies to 2011-18 models

Tested vehicle: 2011 Volkswagen Jetta TDI 4-door with standard front and rear head curtain airbags and standard front seat-mounted torso airbags

The Volkswagen Jetta sedan was redesigned for the 2011 model year. Side ratings are assigned by the Institute based on a test conducted by Volkswagen as part of side crash test verification.

Note: The ratings do not apply to the station wagon version of the Jetta, known as the Jetta SportWagen, which is built on a platform designed earlier.

Overall evaluation
Structure and safety cage
Driver injury measures
Head/neck
Torso
Pelvis/leg
Head protection
Rear passenger injury measures
Head/neck
Torso
Pelvis/leg
Head protection

Roof strength

Rating applies to 2011-18 models

Tested vehicle: 2011 Volkswagen Jetta S 4-door

Overall evaluation
Curb weight 2,963 lbs
Peak force 15,859 lbs
Strength-to-weight ratio 5.35

Head restraints & seats

Rating applies to 2011-18 models

Seat type: Manual cloth seat

Overall evaluation
Dynamic rating
Seat/head restraint geometry