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Is Volvo’s safety rating for midsize luxury SUVs better than Infiniti’s?

Things to remember...

  • Both Volvo and Infiniti offer high-class luxury midsize SUVs that boast comfort and high-tech amenities
  • Consumers of direct competitors must look into each manufacturer’s reputation and safety ratings before choosing a model
  • When comparing Infiniti’s newest midsize SUV to Volvo’s competing model, safety ratings show that Volvo is safer
  • Before buying, you should check the actual safety ratings for a specific year, make, and model through the IIHS
  • While both cars are awarded, the Volvo XC60 received the highest IIHS safety award called the Top Safety Pick+

Midsize luxury SUVs are highly desired in today’s economy. They offer more space and flexibility than a standard sedan yet aren’t so big that they are difficult to maneuver.

While there are dozens upon dozens of different manufacturers competing for business within this sector of the car industry, two that stand out are Infiniti and Volvo.

Both Infiniti and Volvo and very well-respected vehicle manufacturers that each offer luxury models with frills and special amenities. 

While the premium seats and the sleek design of midsize SUVs through each company are highly sought after, it’s easy to overlook the importance of vehicle safety when you’re buying a larger vehicle that’s comfortable and spacious.

No matter how tempting it can be to assume that a specific make is safer than others because of its price point, never let the luxury class lull you into a false sense of security.

In each and every vehicle class, there are safe vehicles and vehicles with less than desirable safety ratings. Doing research is the only way to distinguish one from the other.

Compare car insurance quotes today to find the best rate for the coverage you need. Enter your zip code into our free comparison tool above to get started.

What are IIHS safety tests?

While auto ownership rates are on the decline throughout the US, a majority of Americans are still dependent on cars.

Since there are millions are drivers traveling public roads each day, it’s crucial that each vehicle that comes off of domestic and international assembly lines is safe and able to hold up in a crash.

The Institute for Highway Safety is a non-profit organization that uses scientific data and studies to determine how a vehicle performs in vehicle crashes.

The goal of the IIHS Vehicle Research Center is to prevent injuries and reduce losses to property and life by publishing the studies. The findings of each safety test conducted help insurance companies and personal consumers.

Compare Safety Ratings between Infiniti and Volvo for Midsize Luxury SUVs

If you’d like to do a head-to-head comparison of midsize SUVs produced by Volvo and Infiniti, you have to decide what you want to focus on first. When it comes to any family vehicle, your priority should be safety over everything. Those other considerations include:

  • technology
  • seating
  • pricing

Rather than comparing all general midsize luxury SUVs through each manufacturer, it’s easier to narrow down your options so that you can focus on the safety test ratings of two specific yet competing models.

To determine if Volvo’s safety rating is better than Infiniti’s in this class, the focus will be placed on the ratings for the Volvo XC60 and the Infiniti QX60 (both base model midsize SUVs).

What does each rating mean?

If you were to log on to the official IIHS website to look up the rating by year and model, you might see that each test category has a different grade.

While there is overall crashworthiness, each car will be given individual ratings based on the car’s performance in five different tests. These tests include roof strength, head restraints, small overlap front, side, and moderate overlap front.

Once each test is performed, there will be a grade in each section of the crashworthiness testing. How the car is graded is what will ultimately help determine how much it will cost to insure the vehicle and if the car will be given a Top Safety Pick Award.

The vehicle will be given one of the following ratings (in order from best to worst):

  • Good
  • Acceptable
  • Marginal
  • Poor

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Comparing Crashworthiness Ratings for the Volvo XC60 and the Infiniti QX60

Each vehicle’s safety performance was tested by the Vehicle Testing Center by conducting roof strength, head restraints, small overlap front, side, and moderate overlap front tests.

The results of the five tests are what will determine the model’s overall crashworthiness. Here are the ratings for the XC60 and the QX60 in each category:

Crashworthiness Ratings for the Volvo XC60

The IIHS Crashworthiness Ratings for the 2017 XC60 are as follows:

  • Small overlap front – Good
  • Moderate overlap front – Good
  • Roof strength – Good
  • Head restraints & seats – Good
  • Side – Good

Crashworthiness Ratings for the Infiniti QX60

The IIHS Crashworthiness Ratings for the 2017 QX60 are as follows:

  • Small overlap front – Good
  • Moderate overlap front – Good
  • Roof strength – Good
  • Head restraints & seats – Good
  • Side – Good

Crash Avoidance and Mitigation Ratings for the Volvo XC60

If you compare just the crashworthiness ratings between the Volvo and the Infiniti, you’ll see no difference.

There is, however, a small difference between the ratings of the front crash prevention systems in the XC60 vs the QX60. In this area, the Infiniti’s QX60 beats out the Volvo option with slightly better performance.

If you look at strictly the rating itself, the Volvo XC60 was still given a Superior rating in Front Crash Prevention when it is equipped with optional equipment with a five out of six.

The only area where the model was lacking is in High-speed Auto Brake performance, where it only received a two out of three possible points.

Crash Avoidance and Mitigation Ratings for the Infiniti QX60

The QX60 also received a Superior rating in Front Crash Prevention. What makes this model a better performer in this area of testing is that it received six out of six, which means that it couldn’t have received any higher marks for crash mitigation in any of the areas tested.

Child Seat Anchor Ratings for the Volvo XC60

Child sear anchors are very important. They are the first point where a car seat is latched to the vehicle so it does not come free in a crash. The Volvo does not perform so well on Child Seat Anchor Ratings with a Marginal grade.

The vehicle received this primarily because it is difficult to maneuver around anchors and it is too deep in the seat.

Child Seat Anchor Ratings the Infiniti QX60

The Infiniti QX60 also received a Marginal rating for Child Anchor Seats. The primary difference is that the passenger side seat has an acceptable latching system and not a marginal one. The most common complaint is that the LATCH is difficult to locate.

2017 Top Safety Pick and/or 2017 Top Safety Pick+

To honor vehicle models that make the grade, the IIHS will classify models that meet minimum criteria as a 2017 Top Safety Pick winner. The highest honor is to receive the 2017 Top Safety Pick+.

To earn this award, a vehicle must receive Good ratings in the five crashworthiness tests, an Advanced or Superior rating in front crash prevention, and a Good or Acceptable headlight rating.

The Volvo XC60 receives the highest honors as a recipient of the 2017 Top Safety Pick+ award.

Since the Infiniti QX60 received a Poor rating for Headlights testing, it was only eligible for the 2017 Top Safety Pick award. This award is primarily what sets the two cars apart safety wise.

Is Volvo safer than Infiniti for midsize luxury SUVs?

If you’re strictly considering the safety ratings assigned by the IIHS, Volvo has a slightly higher overall safety rating than Infiniti in the luxury midsize SUV class.

While it did score lower on Front Crash Prevention, what set the two vehicles apart were headlight performance. Since Volvo earned a Good headlight rating as opposed to a Poor headlight rating, it excelled over Infiniti.

Auto insurance rates are strongly influenced by a vehicle’s safety test rating. While you might not notice a huge difference in the performance between Volvo and Infiniti, the difference will show in the form of higher rates.

Consider this difference whenever you’re comparing quotes for insurance on a luxury midsize SUV. Enter your zip code below to get started comparing today!


  1. http://www.iihs.org/iihs/ratings/vehicle/v/volvo/xc60-4-door-suv/2017?print-view
  2. http://www.iihs.org/iihs/about-us
  3. http://www.iihs.org/iihs/ratings
  4. http://www.iihs.org/iihs/ratings/vehicle/v/volvo/xc60-4-door-suv/2017
  5. http://www.iihs.org/iihs/ratings/vehicle/v/infiniti/qx60-4-door-suv/2017
  6. http://www.iihs.org/iihs/ratings/TSP-List

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