One of the less publicised virtues of modern vehicle platforms that can accommodate electrified powertrains is their enhanced rigidity, due to the need to isolate and shield the high voltage battery pack in the event of a crash. So yes, modern cars are largely safer in the unfortunate event of a crash, even if the drivers aren’t.
It should also come as no surprise that the Mk8-generation Volkswagen Golf just scored 5 stars in its maiden Euro NCAP test. The MQB-based Mk7 Golf having already achieved the result back in 2012, hence it’s only logical given that the Mk8 Golf, also based on the MQB platform (but updated) passed with flying colours, though NCAP testing criteria have become stricter over time.
In the key areas of safety involving Adult Occupant, Child Occupant, Vulnerable Road Users (or Pedestrian) and Safety Assist, the Mk8 Golf scored 95% (AO), 89% (CO), 76% (VRS) and 78% (SA), whereas the Mk7 scored 94% (AO), 89% (CO), 65% (VRS) and 71% (SA).
The breakdown does make for interesting reading in that the passive safety scores for Adult Occupant and Child Occupant between the two generations of Golfs are nearly identical, expectedly so, but the Mk8 is superior in Safety Assist systems such as Autonomous Emergency Braking and Lane Assists and notably safer for pedestrians in a collision.
Maybe that’s why the Mk8 Golf’s front end is droopier and lower than the Mk7’s, apart from just being more aerodynamic.