A-pillars and door sills strengthened for 2015, improving small-overlap crash rating.

Volkswagen's refreshed Jetta has earned top crashworthiness honors from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.Alongside a few aesthetic tweaks for the 2015 model year, VW engineers made a few structural upgrades invisible from the exterior. Both the A-pillars and door sills were strengthened to better cope with the forces of a small-overlap collision.

The design changes appear to have successfully optimized the midsize sedan for the small-overlap test, improving its rating from 'marginal' to 'good.' Measurements point to a much lower risk of serious injuries from such impacts, though the IIHS dummy's head and torso did move a bit too far forward.

The 2015 Jetta also earned 'good' ratings in the moderate overlap front, side, roof strength and head-restraint tests.

To qualify for the Top Safety Pick+ designation, the model also must provide an optional forward-collision warning system to help prevent crashes. The feature is optional in the new Jetta.