The 2012 Audi A6 and 2012 Volkswagen Passat sedans have now been named to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s list of Top Safety Picks. The A6 is the fourth Audi to do so, and the Passat is Volkswagen’s eighth.
The 2012 models qualify as Top Picks, thanks largely in part to their performance during the roof strength test procedure. The IIHS favors cars whose roofs withstand forces measuring at least four times the car’s weight. In the case of the A6, the 2012 model held up to 4.9 times its own weight — an improvement from last year, seeing as the 2011 model earned an “acceptable” rating after it withheld only 3.8 times its weight. The 2009-2010 Passat was previously to withstand forces measuring up to 4.8 times its weight, but the new 2012 Passat stood up to forces nearly 6.3 times the sedan’s curb weight.
Other Audi models that are IIHS Top Safety Picks are the A3 compact hatchback, A4 sedan, and Q5 crossover. On the Volkswagen side, the Golf, GTI, Jetta, Jetta Sportwagen, CC, Tiguan, and Touareg are also rated as Top Picks.