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

In recent test studies, the IIHS gave Volvo and Cadillac mid-size SUV's 5 star safety ratings. Auto insurance averages around 18% more for some luxury SUV's.

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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 1, 2021

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Things to remember...

  • Of the 19 midsize luxury SUVs reviewed by the IIHS in 2017 for safety ratings, all but six models were identified for having great ratings in most safety categorie
  • The two Volvo SUV models rated by the IIHS in the midsize luxury SUV category ranked only slightly better than the Cadillac model for safety ratings
  • The IIHS analyzes each vehicle in a total of eight unique safety areas

Both Volvo and Cadillac are highly reputable auto brands, and both are well-known for their stylish SUVs.

You may be thinking about buying one of the midsize luxury SUVs made by one of these two automakers, but you should not assume that all luxury vehicles have similar safety ratings.

Safety is a critical factor that many SUV buyers are concerned about, and one of the top ways to learn more about safety ratings for this vehicle class is to review the report published by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).

With how innovative and eye-catching the Volvo and Cadillac SUV models are, you may easily feel torn when trying to make a buying decision.

The Volvo XC60, Volvo XC90, and Cadillac XT5 are seemingly similar in many ways, but there are key differences between some of their safety ratings.

When you explore the results of the IIHS safety tests, you can better determine which vehicle you can drive safely, and you could find a vehicle that may qualify for better auto insurance rates because of its safety ratings.

Compare car insurance quotes to find the best rate for the insurance you need no matter which vehicle you decide to drive. Enter your zip code above to begin comparing today.

Volvo and Cadillac IIHS Safety Test Results for the Midsize Luxury SUVs


In 2017, a total of 19 SUVs in the midsize luxury class were tested by the IIHS in three primary safety areas.

Two of these three IIHS areas have been broken into smaller test areas to provide you with more detailed information about each of the models.

The Cadillac and Volvo models, as well as all other models in this class, received the following ratings in most of the tested safety areas:

  • Good
  • Average
  • Marginal
  • Poor

There is one safety area that has a unique ranking. The Front Crash Prevention area has vehicles rated with grades that range from “basic” to “superior.”


Crashworthiness is the largest IIHS safety area analyzed by the IIHS, and it includes five unique test area. These tests are:

  • Roof Strength
  • Side
  • Front Small Overlap
  • Head Restraints and Seats
  • Front Moderate Overlap

Through this safety area, you can learn if a vehicle can effectively protect its occupants from injuries when a collision occurs. The Cadillac model and both of the Volvo SUV models reviewed in this vehicle class had the highest possible rating of “good.”


Crash Avoidance and Mitigation

Another critical safety area that is analyzed through IIHS testing is the Crash Avoidance and Mitigation area, which is broken down into Headlights and Front Crash Prevention tests.

Through a review of these tests, you can determine how effectively a the SUV model is able to prevent accidents or to reduce how significant they may be.

All three of the Volvo and Cadillac luxury SUVs models in this class had a “superior” Front Crash Prevention grade.

However, the Volvo XC60 received a “good” rating for the Headlights test area, and the other two models received a “marginal” rating.

LATCH for the Child Seat Anchors

The Cadillac and Volvo SUVs in this class are popular commuter cars, but many people also use them as family cars that transport their young children regularly. The LATCH test area examines how easy each vehicle’s LATCH systems are to use for child safety seat anchors.

The Volvo XC90 and Cadillac XT5 had an “average” grade in this test area, and the Volvo XC60 only had a “marginal” grade for the LATCH test area.

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


One way for you to more easily determine which SUV models in this class were highly rated is to review the models that received a Top Safety Pick title or a Top Safety Pick+ title.

High ratings in the Crashworthiness and Front Crash Prevention test areas are needed to qualify for the Top Safety Pick title, and the Top Safety Pick+ title also requires a high Headlight test rating.

The Top Safety Pick+ title was given to the Volvo XC60. The Volvo CX90 and Cadillac XT5 were given the Top Safety Pick title.

Analyzing IIHS Safety Test Results for the Volvo and Cadillac SUV Models

You can see that these three models in the midsize luxury SUV category had unique safety ratings in several key areas, and some of these safety ratings may be more relevant or important to you than others.

However, other factors should also be considered before you decide which model to buy.

Remember: Car insurance rates are based partially on safety ratings, and other factors also play a rule, such as:

  • the engine power
  • repair costs
  • replacement costs
  • more factors

Because your SUV insurance premium cost will become a major component of your regular budget after you make your purchase, it can be helpful to identify which model has the most affordable insurance rates.

When you have narrowed your SUV options to a couple of selections, request online auto insurance quotes from reputable providers with great financial strength. Enter your zip code below to get quotes today!

When you make this extra effort, you could save money on SUV insurance for the years while you own your new vehicle.

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Enter your ZIP code below to view companies that have cheap auto insurance rates.

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