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VW Golf Cabrio Disappoints in ADAC Rollover Crash Tests

Despite visible progress in safety technology, there are still some car niches where crashing is still quite dangerous. One is really small A-segment models and, according to the ADAC, compact convertibles are also problematic.
ADAC Rollover Convertible Test 4 photos
ADAC Rollover Convertible TestADAC Rollover Convertible TestADAC Rollover Convertible Test
Germany’s ADAC is the biggest car club in Europe, with millions of members. As summer, the season of fun in the sun, approaches, the decided it was a good time to test the four best selling compact convertible cars in the country – Opel Cascada, Renault Megane CC, Peugeot 308 CC and the Volkswagen Golf Cabriolet.

All four were subjected to a rollover test with the help of experts from the Technical University of Dresden, with surprising results. Both the Opel Cascada and Renault Megane CC received a rating of “good”. The front row of seats showed good protection and the second row showed an even higher level of protection in the Cascada. Dummy readings in the French car did show some stress values though.

The 308 CC showed mixed results. Because the seatbelt tensioner failed to activate quickly enough, dummy heads had significant contact with the road. The rear-seat occupants, however, had satisfactory values for head contact. ADAC did, however, praise the 308, this being the car which best retained its structural integrity.

ADAC chose to give the Golf Cabriolet a low rating of “sufficient”, after the A pillar suffered heavy deformation and the safety belt pretensioning system activated “sluggishly”. Fitted to all modern cars, this is supposed to tighten the seatbelt when it senses a crash, pushing the occupant into the seat for an optimal position in the event of a crash.

What does that mean for Volkswagen? Not much, since the company has three different convertibles in the same class (Golf, Beetle and Eos), none of which are doing particularly well.

If you read between the lines of this test, dummies hit their head in 3 out of the 4 cars, so generally speaking, convertibles are unsafe in a rollover crash. Whichever model you chose to buy, the ADAC recommends bringing your seat as low as possible, without impeding your visibility, of course.

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