2011 Toyota Highlander, VW Jetta Receive NHTSA’s Four-Star Safety Rating
The 2011 Toyota Highlander, Toyota Venza and Volkswagen Jetta received an overall rating of four stars in the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s new crash-test rating system, the safety agency announced yesterday.
The overall composite score for the Jetta and Highlander are the same: four-star frontal, four-star rollover and a five-star rating for the combined side pole and barrier tests. The side barrier test is an area where other vehicles have shown weakness with the safety agency’s new testing format. The side pole test simulates a 20-mph side-impact crash into a 10-inch-diameter pole or tree at a 75-degree angle just behind the driver’s side A-pillar.
The Venza receives nearly the same composite score as the Toyota SUV and VW, but in the frontal test, it receives only a three-star rating.
In Insurance Institute for Highway Safety testing, the Jetta, Venza and Highlander were Top Safety Picks, which means they received a top score of Good in all testing areas.
Out of the more than 50 models NHTSA has tested so far, only 12 have earned a five-star rating under the revamped system: Acura MDX, BMW 5 Series, Buick Enclave, Chevrolet Cruze, Chevrolet Silverado, Chevy Traverse, GMC Acadia, GMC Sierra, Honda Accord, Hyundai Sonata, Volvo XC60 and Honda Odyssey. NHTSA still has a handful of models left to test for the 2011 model year.