The 2016 model year is here, and with it Volkswagen is offering a variety of driver assistance features for many of its most popular compact sedans and compact hatchbacks. The features include both new additions and carryovers from other models, with the people’s car company saying it wants to “democratize driver assistance.”

The new features include Forward Collision Warning and Autonomous Emergency Braking, Adaptive Cruise Control, Blind Spot Monitor with Rear Traffic Alert, Lane Departure Warning, Parking Steering Assistant, Park Distance Control and Automatic Post-Collision Braking.

Models slated to receive these features include the 2012-2015 Volkswagen Beetle, 2014-2015 Volkswagen CC, 2015 Volkswagen e-Golf, 2015 Volkswagen Golf, 2015 Volkswagen Golf GTI, 2016 Volkswagen Golf R, 2015 Volkswagen Golf SportWagen, 2015 Volkswagen Jetta and 2015 Volkswagen Touareg, with availability dependent on the model and trim line.

VW is already battling against quality concerns in the minds of U.S. consumers, so these features could do well to bolster VW’s premium image. However, for that to happen, the feature rollout will need to go smoothly, which isn’t always the case with the latest automated features (just ask Acura).

Read on for a full breakdown of each system and which models will get them as either a standard or optional feature.

Continue reading for the full story.

Adaptive Cruise Control

2016 Volkswagen Lineup Offers New Driver Assistance Systems
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Adaptive Cruise Control, or ACC, uses a radar system attached to the front of the vehicle to maintain a steady speed and distance in relation to the vehicle ahead. Settings are controlled via buttons on the multifunction steering wheel, with inputs for the throttle and braking deactivating the system. Messages regarding system functionality are displayed on the central multifunction screen.

If the road ahead is clear, the system simply maintains a preset speed. For Touareg, CC, Golf, Golf GTI and Golf SportWagen models equipped with an automatic transmission, the ACC system will automatically stop the car if the vehicle in front slows to a halt. The system will then resume operation if the driver presses the throttle or hits the “resume” button on the steering wheel. Golf R models with a DSG transmission will automatically resume driving within a set time period (or if the driver elects to continue), while the ACC will stop operating below 19 mph on Golf and Jetta models equipped with a manual transmission.

ACC standard models: CC V6 4Motion Executive, Touareg Executive

ACC optional models: Golf, Golf GTI, Golf R, Golf SportWagen, Jetta TSI/TDI, Touareg Lux/Sport with Tech

Forward Collision Warning and Autonomous Emergency Braking

2016 Volkswagen Lineup Offers New Driver Assistance Systems
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This system, also called Front Assist, can detect an impending frontal impact, warning the driver with an auditory tone and visual symbol in the instrument cluster. If the driver fails to brake, the system will automatically apply the binders for him. If the braking pressure is too light, a Braking Support system kicks in to slow the vehicle more quickly.

Front Assist standard models: CC V6 4Motion Executive, Touareg Executive

Front Assist optional models: e-Golf (late availability), Golf, Golf GTI, Golf R, Golf SportWagen, Jetta TSI/TDI, Touareg Lux/Sport with Tech

Blind Spot Monitor with Rear Traffic Alert

2016 Volkswagen Lineup Offers New Driver Assistance Systems
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Using two radar sensors in the rear of the car, Blind Spot Monitoring scans for the presence of vehicles in nearby lanes. If the driver indicates a lane change with the turn signals while an obstruction is present, a flashing LED icon will appear on the edge of the side mirror. Stationary objects and vehicles more than a lane away will not trigger the warning.

The Rear Traffic Alert system helps drivers back up safely by detecting objects directly behind the vehicle, as well as those approaching from the sides. Approximate range is between 65 and 80 feet, depending on the model. If an object is detected, an auditory and visual warning is issued, while the brakes will be applied automatically if an imminent collision is detected. This system is activated by selecting the reverse gear or via the Park Distance Control.

BSM with RTA standard models: CC V6 4Motion Executive, Beetle, Beetle Convertible (SEL), Jetta GLI and Hybrid (SEL), Touareg (excluding Sport)

BSM with RTA optional models: Golf, Golf GTI, Golf R, Golf SportWagen, Jetta TSI/TDI

Lane Departure Warning

Also known as Lane Assist, this system uses an onboard camera to recognize road markings, thus assessing if the vehicle is straying into an adjacent other lane. Only active at speeds above 40 mph, the system will steer the vehicle back into the lane if needed. If the driver takes his hands from the wheel for a certain period of time, or if the car crosses into an adjacent lane, an auditory and visual warning will be displayed.

The system will work at night and in the fog, but will not activate if it cannot accurately read lane markings. If the driver indicates a lane change with the turn signals, the system will not activate. The driver can also “override” the system by applying “minimal force” to the steering wheel. VW also notes that the driver is still responsible for actually steering the car.

On the Touareg, the system will not actively countersteer back into the lane, but will rather vibrate the steering wheel while highlighting the crossed lane markings in the multifunction display.

Lane Assist standard models: CC V6 4Motion Executive, Touareg (excluding Sport)

Lane Assist optional models: Golf, Golf GTI, Golf R, Golf SportWagen

Park Assist

Park Assist will automatically steer a vehicle into both parallel and perpendicular spaces. Drivers simply put the car into reverse gear, depress the Park Assist button (once for parallel parking and twice for perpendicular parking), and control the throttle and brakes while the system handles the steering.

The system can be deactivated at any time by either manually turning the steering wheel, disengaging reverse gear or pressing the Park Assist button. At speeds below 25 mph, the system will actively scan both sides of the road for available parking spaces, with the driver confirming either left- or right-side parking by activating the turn signal.

Park Assist optional models: e-Golf (late availability), Golf, Golf GTI, Golf SportWagen

Park Distance Control

This system uses ultrasonic sensors in the front and rear bumpers to gauge distances up to five feet ahead and behind the vehicle, which is particularly useful when maneuvering around tight spaces (such as in an urban setting). The system is activated when reversing and when traveling at speeds below 9 mph.

The system also feeds information to the camera screen when reversing to further help the driver assess distances, issuing an auditory and visual warning when approaching stationary objects like a parked car.

PDC standard models: CC V6 4Motion Executive, e-Golf (SEL Premium), Jetta Hybrid, Jetta GLI, Touareg Lux/Executive

PDC optional models: Golf, Golf GTI, Golf R, Golf SportWagen, Touareg Sport with Tech

Automatic Post-Collision Braking System

Analysis of vehicular crash data in Germany showed that roughly 14 percent of accidents involved some kind of secondary collision after the initial impact. This system was designed to prevent that by applying the brakes after the airbag sensors detected a collision, reducing the chance of additional damage.

APCBS standard models: Beetle, Beetle Convertible, all Golfs, Jetta, Touareg

2016 Volkswagen Golf R

2016 Volkswagen Golf R High Resolution Exterior
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Read our full review here.

Press Release

For the 2016 model year, Volkswagen is offering a host of driver assistance features that were only previously available on the premium Touareg SUV—and adding some new ones that truly democratize driver assistance for the compact sedan and compact hatchback classes. These available features include: Forward Collision Warning and Autonomous Emergency Braking (Front Assist); Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC); the Parking Steering Assistant (Park Assist); and an active Lane Departure Warning (Lane Assist) system.

The Beetle, CC, e-Golf, Golf, Golf GTI, Golf R, Golf SportWagen, and Jetta offer these available features, depending on model and trim line. In addition, all Beetle, Beetle Convertible and Jetta models add the Automatic Post-Collision Braking System, which was already fitted to Touareg and Golf family models, as standard. This safety system uses information from the airbag sensors to help prevent secondary collisions. Analysis of crash data in Germany ascertained that around 14 percent of accidents involved a secondary collision after an initial impact so Volkswagen engineers designed the system to help avoid them.

With a re-alignment of trim lines throughout the MY16 lineup, rearview cameras are now fitted as standard to more than 85 % of Volkswagen models.

Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC)

Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) uses forward facing radar to maintain a set speed while helping maintain a set distance to the vehicle in front. The driver sets the speed and the desired spacing via buttons on the multifunction steering wheel and can use the accelerator, brake pedal, or steering wheel to cancel or override the ACC function. All system messages appear in the central multifunction display.

When the roadway ahead of the vehicle is empty, the system maintains the set speed. Touareg, CC, and Golf, Golf GTI, and Golf SportWagen models fitted with automatic transmissions and ACC can match a vehicle in front and come to a stop, as well as resume ACC control after the driver presses the accelerator pedal or the “resume” button on the steering wheel. Golf R models fitted with DSG transmission automatically resume driving within a defined time period or if the driver chooses to do so. On manual transmission Golf and all Jetta models, the ACC ceases to operate below 19 mph.

Standard on: CC V6 4Motion Executive and Touareg Executive

Available on: Golf, Golf GTI, Golf R, Golf SportWagen, Jetta TSI/TDI, Touareg Lux/Sport with Tech

Forward Collision Warning and Autonomous Emergency Braking (Front Assist)

Within physical system limits, Forward Collision Warning helps warn the driver of critical front-end collision situations, both acoustically and visually by a warning symbol in the instrument cluster, and, if necessary, Autonomous Emergency Braking is activated to slow the vehicle if the driver fails to brake. If the brake pedal is applied but the driver brakes too lightly, the brake pressure is increased by the system (Braking Support).

Standard on: CC V6 4Motion Executive and Touareg Executive

Available on: e-Golf (late availability), Golf, Golf GTI, Golf R, Golf SportWagen, Jetta TSI/TDI and Touareg Lux/Sport with Tech

Blind Spot Monitor with Rear Traffic Alert

Blind Spot Monitor uses two radar sensors at the rear of the vehicle to scan the approaching traffic and help warn drivers of potential danger in adjacent lanes. If the driver uses the turn signal to indicate a lane change while a vehicle is detected in a blind spot, the system utilizes a flashing LED symbol in the outer area of the side mirrors.

The system is designed to help alert drivers in specific situations; stationary objects or oncoming vehicles do not trigger warnings, nor will vehicles more than one lane across.

The Rear Traffic Alert system not only helps alert the driver to stationary and moving vehicles directly behind, but also helps detect vehicles approaching from the side that may be difficult for the driver to see while reversing. It offers a sizable range of about 65 to 80 feet, depending on model, and will present a visual and an acoustic warning, before applying the brakes if a potential impending collision is detected. The system is activated either by selecting reverse gear or by the optional Park Distance Control when starting off.

Standard on: CC V6 4Motion Executive, Beetle and Beetle Convertible (SEL), Jetta GLI and Hybrid (SEL), and Touareg (except Sport)

Available on: Golf, Golf GTI, Golf R, Golf SportWagen, and Jetta TSI/TDI.

Lane Departure Warning (Lane Assist)

If there is an indication that the vehicle is unintentionally straying from its lane, the Lane Departure Warning system actively countersteers to keep the vehicle in the lane above 40mph. The system’s camera recognizes visible lane markings (one side suffices) and, using a special algorithm, calculates the risk of the car leaving the lane. If the driver takes their hands off the wheel for a defined period of time, or the vehicle crosses a lane marking, the system provides an audible warning and a visual signal in the instrument cluster, asking the driver to take over.

The system works in the dark and/or in fog, but will not engage if it cannot properly detect lane markings. If the turn signal has been set before crossing a lane marking, the Lane Departure Warning system will not engage or give a warning. The driver can “override” the system at any time by applying minimal force, and is not relieved of responsibility to make conscious driving decisions.

As fitted to the Touareg, the system incorporates all the functionality except there is no active steering intervention. Instead, the system causes the steering wheel to vibrate, while the lane markings that the car has crossed are highlighted on the appropriate multifunction display view in the instrument panel.

Standard on: CC V6 4Motion Executive, Touareg (except on Sport)

Available on: Golf, Golf GTI, Golf R, and Golf SportWagen

Parking Steering Assistant (Park Assist)

The Parking Steering Assistant automatically steers the car into parallel and perpendicular parking spaces in reverse. After pressing the Park Assist button—once for parallel and twice for perpendicular—the driver only needs to activate the accelerator pedal and brake once a gear is selected, as Park Assist automatically steers the vehicle into the parking space.

The driver can override or deactivate the steering assistance at any time by turning the steering wheel, disengaging reverse gear or pressing the button. Below 25 mph, the system scans both the left-hand and right-hand sides of the road, for example in a one-way street, for any parking spaces as it drives past. By activating the turn signal, the driver stipulates which side of the road they wish to park on.

Available on: e-Golf (late availability), Golf, Golf GTI, Golf SportWagen

Park Distance Control

Park Distance Control uses ultrasonic sensors located in the front and rear bumpers to monitor a range of up to five feet in front or behind the vehicle. The system is activated when reverse gear is engaged or below a speed of 9 mph and helps provide guidance when parking or in tight situations.

The system provides static and dynamic guidance lines in the camera screen when reversing to assist the driver in assessing distances for parallel and perpendicular parking. It also has optical and visual warnings when the car starts to approach parked cars or static objects from the front or rear.

Standard on: CC V6 4Motion Executive, e-Golf (SEL Premium), Jetta Hybrid, Jetta GLI, Touareg (Lux, Executive)

Available on: Golf, Golf GTI, Golf R, Golf SportWagen, Touareg (Sport with Tech)

Automatic Post-Collision Braking System
The Automatic Post-Collision Braking system builds on the premise that a collision is rarely a single, instantaneous action, but rather a series of events that follow the initial impact—which can cause additional collisions. The Automatic Post-Collision Braking system helps address this by applying the brakes after a primary collision is detected by the airbag sensors, thus helping to reduce residual kinetic energy and, in turn, reduce the chance of additional damage.

Standard on: Beetle, Beetle Convertible, all Golf family models, Jetta, Touareg

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