1998 - Audi A3 - Audi A3 1.6
Adult occupant
Adult occupant
****
25
Child occupant
Child occupant
0
Pedestrian
Pedestrian
**
12


Adult occupant protection
Frontal impact driver
Frontal impact driver
Frontal impact passenger
Frontal impact passenger
Side impact driver
Side impact driver
Pedestrian protection
Pedestrian protection
Legend

Safety equipment
Front seatbelt pretensioners
Pretensioners
Front seatbelt load limiters
seatbelt
Driver frontal airbag
Driver frontal airbag
Front passenger frontal airbag
Front passenger frontal airbag
Side body airbags
Side body airbags
Side head airbags
Side head airbags
Driver knee airbag
Driver knee airbag
Car details
Hand of drive
Tested model
Audi A3 1.6
Body type
3-door hatchback
Year of publication
1998
Kerb weight
1095
VIN from which rating applies
Details
The Audi A3 came as standard with side airbags and its structure performed well in the frontal and side impacts. In the frontal impact, further protection for the legs was the greatest priority, second only to reducing the forces acting on the chest from the seat belts. Pedestrian performance was patchy, though the A3 still merited a two-star rating. Attention had clearly been paid to providing protection for child and adult head impacts, but this was marred by its very rigid front at pedestrian leg-level.

Front impact
The driver's door gave support to its aperture, which helped keep the body shell structurally sound. After the impact, the cabin remained stable and intrusion levels were relatively low. Both airbags provided stable support for the front occupants' heads. Seat belt loading on the chest could usefully be reduced, particularly for the passenger. The column lock, adjuster lever and bracket presented hazards in the knee impact area for the driver. These could cause high loads on his upper legs and damage to his knees.

Side impact
The door is fitted with an aluminium beam that interlocks with the sill, extending its effective height while the door's profile against the occupant remains approximately vertical. The seat-mounted side airbags providing padding for the driver's chest and abdomen. After the impact, a gap of about 70mm remained between the door and the airbag module. The pelvis was loaded by the door bin behind which foam padding was fitted in the door.

Child occupant
The rear seat belts have automatic locks for use with child restraints, but no instruction label was provided on the belts. The adult's belt buckle marginally interfered with the guide slot on the recommended child restraint and prevented the belt from being properly tightened. There was a pictogram on the centre door pillar to warn against using a rearward facing child restraint where a front passenger airbag is fitted. There was also a text label on the windscreen but this gave no warning of the risk of serious injury or death, and the label itself was easily removed.

Pedestrian
Audi does not appear to have taken any steps to design the bumper or bonnet leading edge to protect the legs of pedestrians. All test sites performed poorly. Protection was better for the head where only four of the 12 sites gave poor protection.

New details
Audi's mid-range, which are the new chassis with VW Golf and Touran shares, has a body that seems indestructible. Only the footwell is slightly smaller. Seat belt pre-tensioners and force limiters work well, but the pressure on the chest that they cause to the high side. And unfortunately they do not prevent the knees of the driver with hard parts behind the dashboard in contact. For the side crash A3 gets the maximum points, thanks to the main and side airbags. Pedestrians will be minimized, because only the hood offers some protection.
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