After modifications to its frame, the 2016 Audi A6 learned the top score of good in the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s small front overlap crash test. When added to the midsize luxury sedan’s other good scores, the A6 received IIHS’ Top Safety Pick Plus award.
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The small overlap crash test has proven to be a tough one for automakers, and it’s not unusual for cars to be modified to earn the top score. The small overlap test simulates a crash with the car’s front corner hitting a tree or utility pole.
The Top Safety Pick Plus award applies to A6 models built in January 2015 or later; in models built after January, the front passenger area’s structure was improved for better occupant protection.
The A6 also earned the top score of good in moderate overlap, side, head restraint and roof-strength tests. In front-crash prevention, the A6’s optional system earned an advanced rating; systems are awarded basic, advanced or superior ratings. The crash prevention system reduced the A6’s speed by an average of 10 mph in IIHS’ lower-speed test. In the higher-speed test, impact speed was reduced by only 1 mph, which wasn’t enough to earn the system any credit.
To qualify for a Top Safety Pick award, a vehicle must earn a rating of good or acceptable in the small overlap crash test and ratings of good in moderate overlap, side, roof-strength and head restraint tests. To receive Top Safety Pick Plus status, a car also must have an optional front-crash prevention system that earns an advanced or superior rating.