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

Volvo and Lincoln SUV models received top safety honors from the IIHS in recent tests. The average rate of auto insurance is around 18% higher 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: Oct 26, 2021

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Things to remember...

  • Volvo specializes in the same areas as Lincoln and both vehicles produce some of the best midsize SUVs
  • Volvo and Lincoln SUVs are characterized by a luxurious interior and state-of-the-art features that make them convenient for larger groups of people
  • To ensure that the quality is not compromising the safety that the vehicles offer, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety tests most of the new models from popular brands
  • Some of those tests are regularly performed on the brands mentioned previously, thus comparing Lincoln’s MKX and Volvo’s XC60 models is a great way to get a grasp of the testing techniques

Worldwide, one will not be often exposed to a Sports Utility Vehicle nickname as this is only famous in the U.S.

Regardless, midsized automobiles such as these have taken over every market and industry around the planet as they provide countless benefits over smaller cars.

Contrary to a stereotype that SUVs might often be pinned with, they offer great fuel efficiency that averages around 20 miles per gallon.

Considering the size and the power of their engine, one can still label their performance as impressive since some economy cars have difficulty reaching these standards.

Of course, not everything is perfect. Midsize SUVs often run into issues with their safety and, even though this was improved upon in the last few decades, drivers are mostly unaware of the existence of this issue.

The source of the problem is fairly obvious and it comes from a heavy frame that is placed on generally light-weight rims and tires.

This issue facilitates a perfect environment for hydroplaning during poor weather conditions, and new drivers can have other accidents even when the weather is not a problem.

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Volvo XC60 Versus Lincoln MKX


At this point, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) comes in to evaluate the vehicles and make sure people will be purchasing security for their families and friends, as well as themselves.

The tests are comprised of three categories that include:

  • crashworthiness
  • crash prevention
  • child anchors

Headlights are reviewed thoroughly as well, although they fall into the prevention category.


Both vehicles completed this first set of assessments and achieved five “good” scores.

Since the scale for this area, as well as child anchors, is based on “poor,” “marginal,” “acceptable,” and “good,” the vehicles got a perfect score.

This result means that Volvo and Lincoln offered great survival space which facilitated minimum injuries to the sensor-ridden dummy and that the frame was capable of preserving expected safety.

The roofs’ weight-to-strength ratio was 5.22 on average, which is an entire 1.22 points above the threshold for the highest rating. Ultimately, the cars showcased a great, tied performance to the start of their review.


Crash Prevention & Mitigation

To quantify the ability to mitigate an accident, vehicles can achieve a “basic,” “advanced,” or “superior” rating taken out of six total points. Volvo XC60 got five points as it was not able to completely auto brake during the 25-mph test, yet it still achieved the “superior” rating.

Lincoln MKX, however, avoided all the collisions and demonstrated a perfect automatic brake system based on danger sensor, thus achieving six points and a “superior” rating.

Headlights’ performance was a lot better with Volvo who attained a “good” rating, while Lincoln only left a “moderate” impression. This makes Volvo one of the very few brands to have the textbook performing headlights on the market.

Child Seat Anchors (LATCH)

The last test showcased Lincoln’s ability to overpower Volvo once more with its “acceptable” LATCH. Volvo came a little short due to its “moderate” performance, but both models had issues with anchors being located inconveniently and too deep in the seat.

There were no unfair advantages since each vehicle had exactly two rear seating positions with full child seat LATCH and an extra seating position with a tether anchor only.

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


To obtain one of these awards, a couple of conditions must be met. Those include having a spotless performance in the crashworthiness and crash prevention category, while not sinking lower than an “acceptable” rating in the headlights division.

Since Volvo met all three of the requirements, it was given a Top Safety Pick Plus award, while Lincoln got capped at the Top Safety Pick position due to its shortcomings in the headlights department.

The Winner

Even though there were some disconnections between the performances of these vehicles in the area of crash prevention, headlights, and latches, it is very difficult to declare an objective winner.

One can notice that there were other cars that could have been compared, such as Volvo XC90, Lincoln MKT, or Lincoln MKC, but those would not have given such a close-call review.

Therefore, the battle of Volvo XC60 and Lincoln MKX is the best-case scenario for either brand. Volvo appears to have won by a ridiculously small margin. Its advantage was its perfect headlights that overshadowed its shortcomings in LATCH.

Compare car insurance quotes for either of these vehicles or for any other vehicle you own or are interested in by using our free rate comparison tool below.

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