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Old 10-20-2010, 01:18 PM   #1
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Jetta/Passat old model vs new model safety ratings

Experts- my 2002 Jetta VW was just totalled in a head-on. It handled well in the crash and I trust how well these cars are built for handeling and safety. Thankfully, no major injuries, but total loss. I am shopping to replace the car, and as one can imagine, safety is my top priority, and I want a VW. It's difficult for me to compare one model year to another - where both Passat and Jetta cars recieve top picks - one year may have a four star on one test and five star on another; and the other model vice versa.

My main question is this: I noticed that the car I was driving, a 2002 Jetta, had a HIC (Head Injury Criterion) of 373 for years - until the new model year 2005-2011 where it was redesigned. It now gets a HIC in the 540s, which from my understanding, the newer model has a higher risk of head injury than the 2002 model. Is it possible they changed the testing criteria and all cars are graded differently after 2005- or, are the newer models not as safe as the 2002 models? Am I comparing apples to oranges, or getting too obsessed with crash test ratings? Does anyone have any insight as to do these scores really translate into a less safe vehilce? One would think a newer model would translate into better safety features, but....any thoughts? Thanks!
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