Last night, Norah O’Donnell of CBS Evening News reported that the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) has flunked most small SUVs in the latest frontal crash tests. It’s a bit odd because the IIHS recently updated its testing to place more emphasis on keeping back-seat passengers safe, so most vehicles that received a “Poor,” “Marginal” or “Acceptable” rating may have received a better rating before the change.
But the Volvo XC40 is one of two vehicles to enjoy an “Good” rating in the new test. It also holds the distinction of being the only small SUV tested in its updated moderate overlap 2.0 test to receive an overall “Good” rating in every test category based on the test showing minimal risk of injuries for all passengers.
According to CBS, the test is being changed because vehicle structures, air bags and seat belts have made the SUVs safer for front-seat passengers than those in the back. IIHS President David Harkey says the risk of fatal injury is now 46% higher for rear-seat passengers than drivers in the front. To achieve a “Good” rating in the updated test, vehicles must show minimal risk of injuries for second-row passengers in addition to front-row passengers.
Considering the XC40 was introduced in 2017, this is high praise, and feeds right into the core competencies that Volvo is known for. “At Volvo Cars, we have always designed and built our cars to our own exacting safety standards based on our knowledge studying real world crashes,” says Thomas Broberg, the acting head of the Volvo Cars Safety Center. “To have our work validated by the experts at the IIHS in their newest test adds to the pride we take in our safety focus for every vehicle we produce.”
And that’s no lie — through April 2022, Volvos achieved IIHS’s “Good” ratings for every model tested (including plug-in hybrid and EVs).