In an announcement that caught absolutely no one off-guard, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) has named the 2016 Volvo XC90 to its list of vehicles earning the organization’s Top Safety Pick+ (TSP) designation.
Historically, the Swedish is known for a reputation built around a focus on crashworthiness, and more recently, collision prevention.
That rating goes to vehicles that not only pass the IIHS’ crash safety tests, but whose collision prevention systems work as advertised. The XC90 comes with Volvo’s ‘City Safety” system, and it earned a ‘superior’ rating in the IIHS’ track test by avoiding collisions at speeds of 20 and 40 km/h.
The IIHS says the XC90 also performed well in the small overlap frontal crash test, with the structure around the passenger compartment allowing only minimal intrusion into the driver’s space; the XC90 earned ‘good’ ratings in that test, the moderate overlap frontal and side impact crash tests, and evaluations of roof strength and head restraints.
Two Toyota products were added to the Top Safety Pick+ list, too. Lexus modified its ES 350 for 2016 to improve small overlap crash performance, and those updates mean it now gets ‘good’ ratings in all of the IIHS’ crash tests. An optional forward crash avoidance system is also improved for 2016, and now earns a ‘superior’ rating, up from last year’s ‘advanced’ designation; the ES avoided a collision at 20 and 40 km/h.
Scion’s new iA subcompact sedan (a mechanical clone of the forthcoming Mazda2) is Toyota’s other TSP+ winner, earning ‘good’ crash test ratings, and an ‘advanced’ collision avoidance rating; the iA’s forward crash prevention system worked as intended at 20 km/h, but isn’t designed for operation at higher speeds. Of these three vehicles, the iA is the only not available in Canada; the Mazda-engineered car will be badged as the Toyota Yaris sedan when it goes on sale here later this fall.
Toyota and Volvo are among the 10 automakers that have committed to making forward collision avoidance standard across their vehicle lineups.