Is 2018 Volvo XC60 the Safest Car on the Road?

With all-new safety systems the XC60 could claim the "safest car" title

Volvo satisfies consumers

Volvo Cars continues to raise the safety ante in its all-new 2018 XC60 crossover that is just now coming to market in the United States. The premium small SUV, first revealed at the 2018 Geneva Motor Show, features three new advanced driver assistance features that Volvo says are “aimed at keeping the driver out of trouble.” Earlier Volvos warned drivers when they were becoming inattentive. The new safety features take that several steps farther, providing the driver with automatic steering assistance when required to help avoid potential collisions. Volvo believes that these new features will make the new XC60 one of the safest cars on the road.

“We have been working with collision avoidance systems for many years, and we can see how effective they are,” said Malin Ekholm, Senior Director, Volvo Cars’ Safety Centre. “In Sweden alone we have seen a decline of around 45 percent in rear-end frontal crashes thanks to our collision warning with autobrake system. With the XC60 we are determined to take the next step in reducing avoidable collisions with the addition of steering support and assistance systems.”

Volvo’s much-praised City Safety system has been updated in the XC60 to include steering support, which engages when automatic braking alone would not help avoid a potential collision. In such circumstances, the car will help steer itself to avoid the obstacle ahead. City Safety helps to avoid collisions with vehicles, pedestrians and large animals. Steering support is active between 30 and 62 mph.

Oncoming Lane Mitigation helps avoid deadly head-on and near head-on collisions

For the XC60, Volvo Cars has also included a system called Oncoming Lane Mitigation, which helps drivers to avoid head-on and near head-on collisions with vehicles in a lane in which traffic is moving in an opposite direction from the course of the Volvo. These accidents are particularly deadly and often occur when a driver falls asleep at the wheel. The system alerts a driver who has unwittingly wandered out of a driving lane by providing automatic steering assistance, guiding them back into their own lane and out of the path of any oncoming vehicle. This system, which typical stirs the driver back to attentiveness, is active between 37 and 87 mph.

Volvo Cars’ optional Blind Spot Information System, which alerts drivers to the presence of vehicles in their blind spot, has been updated in the 2018 XC60 to include steering-assist functionality that helps to avoid potential collisions with vehicles in a blind spot — usually to the side and rear of the vehicle — by steering the car back into its own lane and away from danger.

“This is fully in-line with our strategic approach to develop automotive safety systems based on real-life, real-road safety,” Ekholm said. “Our vision is that no one will be killed or seriously injured in a new Volvo car by the year 2020.”

In addition to the aforementioned safety systems the 2018 XC60 offers a host of additional high-end safety systems, including Large Animal Detection, Run-off Road Mitigation and the semi-autonomous driver support and convenience system Pilot Assist as options.

Volvo isn’t making the claim, but with all these systems in place the 2018 Volvo XC60 could well be the safest light vehicle on the planet.

About Tom Ripley 54 Articles
Born in Boston, Tom Ripley has been writing about the automotive industry and the human condition for more than a decade. He's a frequent traveller but nominally resides in Villeperce, France.