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Volvo is known for taking safety seriously, so it’s no surprise the IIHS recommends its XC60 on a list of safe vehicles for teens. But only one Volvo XC60 model year makes the list. It’s also the only luxury car in its segment to appear in the roundup. Here’s a look at why the 2017 Volvo XC60 is the luxury small SUV the IIHS deems safe for teen drivers.

Buying a car for a teen isn’t easy

A 2017 Volvo XC60 T6 AWD luxury compact SUV travels on a highway past snow-capped mountains
2017 Volvo XC60 T6 AWD | Volvo Car Corporation

Safety, purchase price, and reliability are three features many parents look for when shopping for a car for their teen. And according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, several vehicles check all those boxes.

These cars are safe, not just according to the IIHS but also other safety agencies such as the National Traffic Safety Administration. The IIHS also looked at factors like claim frequency to ensure a car is as safe as the crash tests showed. Not only that, but IIHS also said it looked at braking distance and emergency handling capabilities.

As for pricing, the IIHS narrowed the field to vehicles that cost between $6,000 and $20,000. This makes the car affordable for most families. And, these cars also must have good reliability ratings from Consumer Reports. If a car met all of those criteria, it made the list. And the 2017 Volvo XC60 is the only luxury small SUV to have achieved that feat.

Why is the 2017 Volvo XC60 a good SUV for teens?

Off the bat, the 2017 Volvo XC60 earned the highest safety honor from the IIHS. It garnered the Top Safety Pick+ award, meaning it performed well in every area of crash tests that the IIHS performed. And according to Consumer Reports, the NHTSA gave the 2017 XC60 great crash test scores. This model year also boasts plenty of standard and optional smart safety features.  

For example, Consumer Reports says automatic emergency braking, rear cross-traffic alert, and blind-spot warning are all standard. These safety features explain why this model is such a safe luxury SUV for teens.

Furthermore, the 2017 Volvo XC60 scored well in many categories, including reliability. Consumer Reports gave it a 5 out of 5 for reliability. But that’s not all. It also received good grades for its driving experience and comfort. 

That said, its value rating is a bit low, scoring only 52 out of 100. Unsurprisingly, the 2017 XC60 is the most expensive used small SUV on IIHS’s list. It barely made the list, too, because it costs about $19,200. However, that’s a small price to pay for the safety and luxury the XC60 provides.

2017 Volvo XC60 problems are few but noteworthy

But no car is perfect, and having a mediocre value isn’t the 2017 Volvo XC60’s only issue. Consumer Reports also gave it a pretty bad score for its fuel economy. It scored a 2 out of 5, and that’s because it gets only 20 mpg combined. This poor fuel economy should also make the 2017 XC60 a bit more expensive to own.

On top of that, the 2017 XC60 has been recalled four times, Consumer Reports shows. Coincidentally, all four recalls concern safety. However, some of those problems are minor, and others affected only a few hundred units. Volvo fixed many of these issues through a free replacement. So despite these flaws, Consumer Reports still recommends the 2017 XC60.


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