Top Ratings for Safety For Audi A4 and Q5
29th June, 2009
Two of Audi’s newest models have earned top marks for
safety in the latest testing programmes in the US and Germany.
The Audi A4 sedan and Q5 models have achieved a top five-star rating in the new and more
stringent Euro New Car Assessment Programme (NCAP) safety tests.
This result was backed up by the U.S. National Highway Safety Administration (NHTSA) which gave
both cars a five-star rating in all test categories. In addition, the Insurance Institute for
Highway Safety (IIHS), a U.S. consumer protection organisation, proclaimed the Audi Q5 its “Top
Safety Pick” – the best buy when it comes to safety.
Following the tradition of the Audi A3, A4, A6 and Audi Q7, the Audi Q5 has now also achieved
top ratings from the renowned Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) in the United States.
This makes Audi the first car maker in the world to earn the coveted honour of “Top Safety Pick”
for the fifth time.
The IIHS determines the safety standards for cars on behalf of the U.S. insurance industry,
conducting one front and one side impact test in each case, and also simulates a rear-end
collision. The “Top Safety Pick” certificate is only awarded when top ratings are achieved in all
three disciplines, and when the electronic stabilisation programme (ESP) is offered as standard
equipment as well.
The side impact test included in the IIHS crash test is particularly demanding, with the car
being tested experiencing a 50 km/h side impact with a moving barrier that simulates a typical
American SUV. The resulting structural deformations are then evaluated, along with passenger
kinematics and impact. The Audi Q5 stood out for its outstandingly low impact ratings – its
high-strength and super-high-strength steel components ensure an extremely stable car body. The
risk of injury is further reduced by the networked controls for the restraint systems, which
adapt to each specific crash situation, along with up to eight airbags.
In the rear-end collision simulation, the IIHS evaluates impact on the neck and spine. In the
Audi Q5, the integrated head restraint system and the optimised seat design helps counter the
risk of whiplash injuries. The IIHS does not test performance in high-speed rear-end collisions.
In these cases, the rear side rails, rear wheels, and body sills of the Audi Q5 are designed
specifically to reduce the energy of impact. The fuel tank lies in the protected zone in front
of the rear-axle support – and the fuel pump switches off when a crash is detected.
The Audi Q5 and A4 both achieved a top five-star rating in the Euro NCAP safety test, for
which a new and expanded evaluation system was used. The Euro NCAP consortium is made up of
international representatives of European transport ministries, automobile associations,
insurers and consumer protection organisations. It examines the crash performance of new
Since February 2009, Euro NCAP has added even more stringent standards: along with
protecting adult passengers, the overall ratings also include standards for passenger
protection for children and pedestrians, as well as the level of active safety.
The A4 and Q5 scored 93 and 92 per cent, respectively, in protecting adult passengers in
the frontal, side and simulated rear-end collisions. Both cars also achieved outstanding
scores in child safety, with 84 per cent out of 100 – impressive proof of the success of the
comprehensive Audi “Modular Longitudinal Platform” safety concept, which serves as the basis
of the A4 mid-size sedan and the Q5 SUV.
Ensuring partner protection for pedestrians and cyclists is also an important concern for
Audi. The specially designed front of the Audi A4 helps minimise the consequences of a
collision, with foam cushioning in front of the transverse bumper beams, a generous crumple
zone, panels with defined deformation zones, and special, deformable attachment of the front
mudguard. This makes the Audi A4 one of the first cars to fulfill all of the new legal
regulations for passenger protection in Japan and Europe.
Audi offers an extensive active safety package to help prevent accidents before they
happen. The Audi A4 and Q5 rated highly in the Euro NCAP tests thanks to their efficient ESP
and seatbelt reminders, both standard equipment. Customers can also select numerous optional
intelligent driver assistance systems. These include radar-supported adaptive cruise control
with Audi braking guard, which actively warns the driver in multiple stages in imminent
collision situations, the Audi lane assist lane departure warning system, and the Audi side
assist lane-change assistant. The improved illumination of the road provided by adaptive
cornering light also contributes significantly to greater safety.
The high safety standards of the Audi A4 and Audi Q5 were also resoundingly confirmed by
the test methods applied by the U.S. National Highway Safety Administration (NHTSA). Both
cars received the top five-star rating from the U.S. traffic safety agency in a total of
four categories for the front impact test at 56 km/h and the side impact test with a barrier
travelling at 62.5 km/h.
The A4 sedan also offered a top five-star performance in the
additional category for protection against rollover; due to the higher centre of gravity of
SUVs, the Audi Q5 was certified with four stars in this category.
The results clearly demonstrate that both American and European safety experts agree
that the Audi A4 and Audi Q5 are among the safest cars in their classes.