PhotoBy offering good protection in a small overlap front crash and a superior-rated, standard front crash prevention system, the redesigned Audi A4 has earned a TOP SAFETY PICK+ award from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).

The luxury midsize car rated poor in the small overlap evaluation in its previous generation. In that test, the structure didn't hold up, with intrusion into the driver's space reaching 11 inches at the footwell and the instrument panel.

Additionally, the steering column moved toward the driver and to the right, and the dummy's head slipped off the left side of the airbag. The driver door opened, which would put the driver at risk of ejection in a real crash.

Changes make the difference

On the other hand, the 2017 A4 had maximum intrusion of only 3 inches at the footrest. The dummy's head hit the front airbag and stayed there until rebound.

Like its predecessor, the 2017 model earns good ratings in the moderate overlap front, side, roof strength, and head restraint tests.

The redesigned model has a superior-rated, standard front crash prevention system -- a step up from the advanced-rated system that was only available as an option on earlier models. In the 12 mph IIHS track test, the vehicle avoided a collision. In the 25 mph track test, impact speed was reduced by an average of 22 mph. The system also has a forward collision warning component that meets National Highway Traffic Safety Administration criteria.

A different, optional front crash prevention system available on the A4 also earns a superior rating.

To qualify for TOP SAFETY PICK+, a vehicle must have good ratings in all five crashworthiness tests and an available front crash prevention system that earns an advanced or superior rating.

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