The 2020 Volvo XC90 Is a Truly Safe Luxury SUV

While you may want a luxury SUV for its massaging seats or huge touchscreen, safety will likely also be on the “must-have” list. Luckily, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) helps buyers out by providing awards to the safest vehicles in each category. In the midsize luxury SUV category, the 2020 Volvo XC90 is one of the award winners, earning a Top Safety Pick+.

A Top Safety Pick+ rating for the 2020 Volvo XC90

The IIHS selects its award winners by evaluating vehicles’ safety from a particular model year and size category. The IIHS has given out the Top Safety Pick award since the 2006 model year and has added the Top Safety Pick+ award since the 2013 model year. While the safety awards are given out by class, the IIHS also points out that in general, bigger and heavier vehicles tend to be safer than smaller and lighter ones regardless of which ones are the award winners.

For 2020, the Volvo XC90 was one of six midsize luxury SUVs that earned the IIHS’s highest award of Top Safety Pick+. Two other SUVs received Top Safety Pick awards. In the years since the award originated, the Volvo XC90 earned at least a Top Safety Pick every year since 2007, except for in 2015 and 2018. It has earned the Top Safety Pick+ several times before, receiving it in 2012–13 and 2016.

The 2020 Volvo XC90’s evaluation by the IIHS

To earn an IIHS Top Safety Pick+, the 2020 Volvo XC90 had to perform really well in the IIHS’s various evaluations. The tests were done on the 2016 XC90, which was when the SUV was last redesigned. All Top Safety Pick+ award winners must have a Good rating in the crash tests, an Advanced or Superior rating for front crash prevention, and standard Acceptable or Good headlights. Top Safety Pick award winners have the same requirements, although the Acceptable or Good headlights can be available rather than standard.

The Volvo XC90 earned the top rating of Good from the IIHS in all of the crashworthiness categories. It was evaluated for small overlap front: driver-side, small overlap front: passenger-side, moderate overlap front, side, roof strength, and head restraints and seats.

The SUV rated well in crash avoidance and mitigation as well, although not with perfect scores. For headlights, it received the second rating of Acceptable. For front crash prevention: vehicle-to-vehicle, it received the top rating of Superior, and for front crash prevention: vehicle-to-pedestrian, it received the second rating of Advanced. It also received an Advanced rating for the ease of use of its child seat anchors.

The safety features of the 2020 Volvo XC90


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Safety is enhanced on all trim levels because the 2020 Volvo XC90 comes standard with a number of important driver-assist safety features. These include daytime running lights, forward-collision warning, automated emergency braking, blind-spot detection with rear cross-traffic alert, lane departure warning, and lane departure prevention. All trims come with Pilot Assist, a semi-autonomous driving system, as well as the Intelligent Driver Information System, which helps drivers avoid distractions.

Other safety features include a rearview camera, rear parking sensors, adaptive cruise control, a driver drowsiness monitor, and road sign recognition. U.S. News mentions that the 2020 XC90 does have additional optional safety features too, including front parking sensors, adaptive pivoting headlights, a surround-view parking camera system, plus hand-free parking assist. In addition to the Top Safety Pick+, the 2020 XC90 was also awarded five out of five stars for overall safety by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

The Volvo brand is known for safety, so it’s no surprise that the 2020 Volvo XC90 is a truly safe luxury SUV. It even has a 2020 Top Safety Pick+ award to prove it.