Safest AWD Luxury Sedans: IIHS Top Safety Picks

All-wheel drive (AWD) is a popular feature among new luxury cars, crossovers, and SUVs. However, you don’t have to compromise on safety just to get that extra grip. In fact, several AWD luxury sedans earned Top Safety Pick+ ratings from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). Here are some of the IIHS’ top-scoring candidates for the safest AWD luxury sedans, like the Audi A6 and Genesis G70.

  • Audi A6
  • BMW 5 Series
  • Genesis G70
  • Mercedes-Benz E-Class
  • Volvo S90

Is the Audi A6 one of the safest AWD luxury sedans? 

The Audi A6 and its mountaineering cousin, the A6 allroad, are some of the safest AWD luxury sedans on the market. First, the Audi A6 earned a Top Safety Pick+ rating from the IIHS. That means the German sedan scored “Good” ratings in every major crashworthiness category and top marks in every crash avoidance criterion. While “Good” might seem underwhelming compared to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA’s) star system, the rating represents the IIHS’ top crashworthiness score. 

The Audi A6 is one of the safest AWD luxury sedans on the market.
Audi A6 | Audi

Moreover, Audi’s standard Quattro AWD system makes the A6 and A6 allroad formidable contenders for safety and sure-footedness.  

Is the BMW 5 Series safe?

The BMW 5 Series is a veritable multitool in the luxury sedan market. At the M-car level, the M5 will outrun bona fide supercars to 60 mph while brandishing sedan practicality. Moreover, the 5 Series is one of the safest AWD luxury sedans, with a Top Safety Pick+ from the IIHS. Also, AWD-equipped trims are plentiful; the 530i xDrive, 530e xDrive, 540i xDrive, and M550i offer power to all four wheels.  

However, the 5 Series doesn’t have a perfect report card; the BMW sedan earned “Acceptable” scores in the headlight section. That said, the luxury staple sails by with green in every other category except for the “latch ease of use” segment.   

The BMW 5 Series, like the Genesis G70, is one of the safest AWD luxury sedans.
BMW 5 Series | BMW

How safe is the Genesis G70?

The Genesis G70 is one of the safest AWD luxury sedans on sale today. Of course, to get Genesis’ entry-level luxury sedan with AWD, you’ll have to upgrade its two trims, the 2.0T or the more powerful 3.3T. Still, the G70 gets a Top Safety Pick+ rating from the IIHS, albeit with a caveat. The G70 earned a “Marginal” rating for headlights in every trim built before July 2021.   

Is the Mercedes E-Class AWD?

The Mercedes-Benz E-Class offers AWD for grippier handling in inclement weather than front-wheel drive (FWD) and rear-wheel drive (RWD) competitors. However, potential owners will have to opt for the 4Matic sedans to get the power-in-all-four-corners versions. Fortunately, the 4Matic options are available with every trim level, including a special AMG-tuned version in the AMG E 53. 

Moreover, the E-Class earned a Top Safety Pick+ rating from the IIHS, making it one of the safest AWD luxury sedan options. However, like the G70, the rating comes with an asterisk. Specifically, the IIHS award pertains only to the E-Class models with the optional front crash prevention package. Troublingly, vehicles without the package manage a “Basic” score in the front crash prevention category. 

The Mercedes-Benz E-Class, like the Audi A6, is one of the safest AWD luxury sedans on the market.
Mercedes-Benz E-Class | Mercedes-Benz

Is the Volvo S90 one of the safest AWD luxury sedans?

The Volvo S90 is unsurprisingly one of the safest luxury sedans on the market. The Volvo sedan continues the tradition of the marque’s safety credentials. Moreover, the S90 offers AWD for added grip in challenging climates. Better yet, the S90 Recharge is an EV with the same IIHS Top Safety Pick+ rating as its conventional cousin. 

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