5 of the Safest 2021 Midsize Luxury SUVs, According to the IIHS

Safety and luxury don’t have to be mutually exclusive. These 5 safest midsize luxury SUVs for 2021 prove that a blend of comfort and safety is possible. Prioritizing safety can still go hand in hand with extravagant design.

Each SUV was tested by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, which rates vehicles across a spectrum of safety standards. Safety ratings for crashworthiness can be good, acceptable, marginal and poor. The crash avoidance and mitigation scores are superior, advanced, and basic. These are five of the safest midsize luxury SUVs out there.

One of the safest midsize luxury SUVs, a Volvo XC90 on a display showroom floor.
A Volvo XC90 | Wang Gang/VCG via Getty Images

2021 Acura RDX

An Acura RDX, one of the safest midsize luxury SUVs, driving down a city street.
An Acura RDX | Acura

It’s easy to see why the 2021 Acura RDX is considered one of the safest midsize luxury SUVs. It received good marks in all of the crashworthiness categories, including all of the overlap tests and the side crash test. Overlap testing measures how well a car does when part of the front of the car strikes a barrier. The IIHS gave the Acura RDX a superior score in its front crash prevention: vehicle to vehicle category, and an advanced mark in front crash prevention: vehicle to pedestrian.

The IIHS gave the 2021 Acura RDX a G+ for its child seat anchors. In addition to the crash testing, the 2021 Acura RDX has additional available safety features such as blind spot detection and lane departure warning.

2021 Audi Q5

One of the safest midsize luxury SUVs, an Audi Q5 on display in a dealership showroom.
An Audi Q5 | Manfred Schmid via Getty Images

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The 2021 Audi Q5 received similar overall good marks across the crashworthiness board. Delving into those ratings, there are acceptable ratings in the structure and safety cage and driver head protection categories.

The 2021 Audi Q5 headlights varied from acceptable to good, depending on the trim. The IIHS gave both the standard and optional front crash prevention: vehicle to vehicle marks superior marks, and the standard system’s front crash prevention: vehicle to pedestrian advanced marks. The child seat anchors got good marks.

2021 Cadillac XT6

The 2021 Cadillac XT6 is structurally the same as the GMC Acadia. Recent changes to both vehicles make the SUVs safer in passenger-side small overlap frontal crashes. The Cadillac XT6 has good ratings in all of its overall crashworthiness marks, though the IIHS gave it an acceptable safety rating for its structure and safety cage. Both the standard and optional front crash prevention: vehicle to vehicle and vehicle to pedestrian marks were superior.

It’s worth noting that the 2021 Cadillac XT6 child seat anchors received an acceptable score, partly because of issues in locating or using the lower anchors.

2021 Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class

A Mercedes-Benz symbol on the front of one of the safest midsize luxury SUVs, a Mercedes-Benz GLE.
Mercedes symbol | Sebastian Gollnow/picture alliance via Getty Images

The 2021 Mercedes-Benz scored well in its crashworthiness categories, though the IIHS gave it an acceptable score in the passenger injury measures category for the lower leg/foot. The standard and optional front crash prevention: vehicle to vehicle score was superior, though the standard and optional front crash prevention: vehicle to vehicle score was just basic. Test results show that the 2021 Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class failed to slow in several instances of crossing pedestrians. 

The headlights range from acceptable to good, depending on the trim, while the child seat anchors received a good score.

2021 Volvo XC90

The 2021 Volvo XC90 is no different from its competitors in that it scored well in crashworthiness. There is an acceptable rating in the driver injury measures for the torso. The Volvo XC90 did well in the front crash prevention: vehicle to vehicle, but its vehicle to pedestrian score was lower, though still advanced.

The headlights were found to be acceptable. The child anchors in the 2021 Volvo XC90 were also only acceptable, with the IIHS finding the lower anchors either absent or difficult to locate. 

Each of the safest midsize luxury SUVs are structurally sound and have good additional safety features. Safety options may vary based on trim, but you can’t go wrong with any of these SUVs.