Volvo built basically its entire brand on the idea that its cars were safe. Supersafe, even, and that’s why it’s not much of a surprise to see that the bulk of its lineup has already snagged coveted Top Safety Pick Plus awards from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, according to an announcement Wednesday.
Specifically, the 2021 S90 and S90 Recharge, the V90 and V90 Cross Country and the V60 Cross Country join their brethren in Top Safety Pick Plus Valhalla. The trick to getting that little plus sign, as it turns out, was in the headlights.
Most vehicles these days are pretty safe. They handle the IIHS battery of crash tests with aplomb, coddling their occupants in life-saving airbags and hiding them behind crumple zones. Unfortunately for them, that’s no longer enough to get top marks from the IIHS, which also places a great deal of importance on being able to avoid a crash before you have to survive one.
Seeing a bad situation before you get into it is an excellent way to avoid a crash, so the IIHS made good headlights an essential criterion for its awards. Manufacturers who offer good headlights as standard get more credit than those who hide the best beams behind an options package.
So, the good news for vehicle shoppers is that water remains wet, the sky remains blue and a Volvo remains a good place to put your family if you care about their safety in a crash.
We reached out to Volvo for comment but didn’t hear back in time for publication.