What Car? Car of the Year awards 2009 - Security

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  • 16 categories of awards
  • All the winning models featured here
  • What Car? Car of the Year 2009 revealed
The What Car? Awards are not just about individual models, but also some of the most important issues in their manufacture and design – such as security.

The winner is…

An Audi is probably about as close as it’s possible to get to Fort Knox on four wheels

Audi won the inaugural What Car?/Thatcham Security Award last year, and it has taken the prize again in 2009. Whether you’re concerned about theft of the car or someone smashing their way into it to see what they can nab, the verdict from motor industry research centre Thatcham is clear: Audi does most to protect owners from the worst intentions of criminals.

The A8 receives the highest score of all in Thatcham’s detailed New Vehicle Security Assessment, which is used as the basis for this award. The assessment pores over every aspect of a car’s security and puts each through attack tests to see how well they can hold out. Marks are awarded for the car’s resistance to the attacks and for the number and quality of the security features fitted — from lock shielding and laminated glazing to the marking of components and secure stereos.

Thatcham says that the A8 luxury car is close to perfect. In fact, it drops only a few points, for lacking etched glazing. The really good news, though, is that you don’t have to be a luxury car buyer to benefit from Audi’s approach. Eight of the company’s model ranges – including the most affordable, entry-level A3 hatchback – came out of the security trials with flying colours.

It’s this even-handed approach to security that impresses us most and this is the reason why Audi has triumphed here over other manufacturers that may have individual models with higher scores.

You may think that we don’t need to worry so much about car security these days, but the sad fact is that the number of theft attempts on cars is likely to increase as we continue through the economic recession. So now is the perfect time for car manufacturers to take a leaf out of Audi’s book and improve the security of their cars.

Mazda, Volkswagen and Volvo have already taken up the challenge and are snapping at Audi’s heels with excellent results for their cars. However, a lot more car manufacturers need to make a lot more effort to improve vehicle security.


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