Stellar performance in the small overlap front test earns the 2016 Audi A6 a Top Safety Pick+ award from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).
The large luxury car, which already had good ratings in the Institute's other crashworthiness tests and an advanced rating for its optional front crash prevention system, was modified to improve small overlap protection. The good small overlap rating applies to A6s built after January.
Introduced in 2012, the small overlap test replicates what happens when the front corner of a vehicle collides with another vehicle or an object such as a tree or a utility pole.
In the small overlap test, the driver's space was maintained well, with maximum intrusion of 4 inches at the foot rest. The dummy's movement was well-controlled. The head hit the front airbag and stayed there until rebound, and the side curtain airbag deployed with sufficient coverage to protect the head from contact with side structure and outside objects. Measures taken from the dummy indicate a low risk of any significant injuries in a crash of this severity.
In track tests of the A6's optional front crash prevention system, the automatic braking function reduced the vehicle's speed by an average of 10 mph in the Institute's lower-speed test. In the higher-speed test, it reduced impact speed by only 1 mph, not enough to earn credit. The system does get credit in the Institute's ratings for a warning component that meets the government's criteria for forward collision warning.
Vehicles that earn a good or acceptable rating for small overlap protection and good ratings in the moderate overlap front, side, roof strength and head restraint evaluations qualify for Top Safety Pick. To qualify for Top Safety Pick+, vehicles must also have an available front crash prevention system that earns an advanced or superior rating.