The Volvo S60 was best in show for all 2012 vehicles tested in the small overlap, moderate overlap, and full frontal impact tests. Although all vehicles tested performed similarly on the moderate overlap test, of the eleven 2012 midsize luxury and near-luxury cars evaluated in the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s (IIHS) small overlap frontal crash test, only two (including the Volvo S60) earned the highest rating of “good.” In the test, 25 percent of a car’s front end on the driver side strikes a five-foot-tall, rigid barrier at 40 mph replicating what happens when a front corner of a car collides with another vehicle or an object like a tree or utility pole.
These crashes primarily affect a car’s outer edges, which aren’t well protected by front-end crush-zone structures, and account for nearly one quarter of the frontal crashes involving serious or fatal injury to front seat passengers.
The key to protection in any crash is a strong safety cage that resists deformation, prevents occupant compartment intrusion and allows the vehicle restraint systems to do their job to cushion and protect passengers. Structurally, the Volvo S60 was the best with only a few inches of intrusion. Since the 1980s, Volvo has performed similar small overlap tests as part of its vehicle safety development process, incorporating test results into its future models.
Of the same eleven vehicles tested by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the Volvo S60 was the only vehicle to receive a 5-star (out of five stars) rating in the Full Frontal Barrier Impact test. Way to go Volvo!
To read a more thorough account of these findings and to see how other manufacturers fared, go to the IIHS website, the source for the images and data for this post. Subscribers to the Volvo Club of America Rolling Magazine can find a similar article in the September – October 2012 issue, which shows the following table: