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

When comparing midsize luxury SUVs and safety, While the Volvo X90 received a Top Safety Pick, the Lexus NX got a Top Safety Pick +, making it the winner.

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Leslie Kasperowicz holds a BA in Social Sciences from the University of Winnipeg. She spent several years as a Farmers Insurance CSR, gaining a solid understanding of insurance products including home, life, auto, and commercial and working directly with insurance customers to understand their needs. She has since used that knowledge in her more than ten years as a writer, largely in the insuranc...

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Dan Walker graduated with a BS in Administrative Management in 2005 and has been working in his family’s insurance agency, FCI Agency, for 15 years (BBB A+). He is licensed as an agent to write property and casualty insurance, including home, auto, umbrella, and dwelling fire insurance. He’s also been featured on sites like and Safeco. He reviews content, ensuring that ex...

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Reviewed by Daniel Walker
Licensed Auto Insurance Agent

UPDATED: Nov 2, 2021

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Things to remember...

  • The Volvo XC90 and Lexus NX are often compared among midsize luxury SUVs
  • The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety compares vehicle safety in a variety of categories
  • Car insurance carriers use these ratings to help price insurance policies

When you buy a midsized luxury SUV, you assume you are getting a safe vehicle. That may not always be the case! The market for midsize luxury SUVs continues to be as competitive as ever.

You have car makers like Lexus and Volvo doing their best to win every category, from technology, performance, to safety; safety ratings need to be paid attention to.

When you are shopping for a midsize luxury SUV, what is it that you should be focused on? What are the ratings that matter most?

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety should be the resource. The statistics they come back with after performing their reviews will be eye-opening and also impact auto insurance rates.

Looking to ensure your SUV’s safety? Enter your ZIP code above and compare at least three to four policies today for better car insurance!

Introducing the Models and Safety Ratings

The Volvo XC90 and the Lexus NX are two comparable midsize luxury SUV models. While the MSRP on the Volvo is a bit higher than the NX, they go back and forth in terms of features, technology, safety, etc.

The Volvo XC90 has five to seven seating capacity, while the Lexus NX has five. The Lexus, however, gets a bit better gas mileage, around 30 mpg, compared to 22 for the Volvo.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), along with the Highway Loss Data Institute, have developed safety ratings and tests to extensively test vehicles.

These tests should be relied upon when shopping the market.

The testing categories include:

  • Crashworthiness
  • Child Safety Seat
  • Crash Avoidance and Mitigation

Test scores under each can range from Good, which is the highest, to Acceptable, Marginal, and finally Poor.

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In the area of crashworthiness, it is a complete tie between the Lexus NX and the Volvo XC90.

Both of the 2017 models of these vehicles received the highest rating of Good across the board, which includes the areas of Front, small and moderate overlap, as well as Side, Roof Strength, as well as Head Restraints and Seats.

You want the crashworthiness of your vehicle to be high in the event of an accident. Mitigating the risk of injury to you and your family when in a crash is of utmost importance.


Crash Avoidance and Mitigation

Crash avoidance and mitigation are two areas of concern for all drivers. They want their vehicle to be in a position where they can avoid accidents, when possible. If an accident does occur, mitigating the impact of them is also pivotal.

The Lexus NX received a rating of Advanced with optional equipment in the Front Crash Prevention area, as well as Acceptable for Headlights.

The Volvo XC90 had a higher score for Front Crash Prevention, with a Superior rating. Headlights on the Volvo XC90 were not as high though, coming in at just Marginal with optional equipment.

Child Seat Anchors

If you are a family, you know the importance of having child seat anchors that are easy to use, as well as efficient.

The Volvo XC90 had a higher rating based on testing in this area, with an Acceptable score; the Lexus NX came in at Marginal.

The rating here is primarily based on ease of use of the LATCH system. It is all about being able to get at the anchors, secure the seat, and then be sure that there is no chance for the position to move in an unnecessary, unsafe manner.

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Is the Lexus NX safer than Volvo XC90 in 2017 for midsize luxury SUVs?

When shopping the car insurance market, pay attention to the safety ratings. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has plenty of statistics and scores available. All of this is available to you as a consumer, as well as to insurance carriers.

Both the Lexus NX and the Volvo XC90 achieved awards during the safety events that were conducted.

The Lexus NX got the higher Top Safety Pick + rating, while the Volvo XC90 received the Top Safety Pick designation, which speaks to the safety of both vehicles, as these distinguished honors are not given out unless earned.

While the Volvo X90 received the Top Safety Pick, it is the Lexus NX that got the higher honor of Top Safety Pick +, making it the safety winner.

Use safety ratings and vehicle knowledge when comparing what to buy, as well as which auto insurance carrier to sign on with.

Looking for better and more affordable car insurance as well? Enter your ZIP code below and start comparison shopping today!

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