Volvo’s XC90 has an immensely strong body that provides safe, all-round protection for its passengers. Deformation and intrusion proved minimal, while those in the front risked slight chest injuries from forces acting on their seat belts. The child restraints worked well, too, and met all safety performance requirements. The XC90 is also unusual in that it can accommodate ISOFIX seats of whatever size. Finally, for a big vehicle it gave fair protection to pedestrians.
The body performed exceptionally well and the footwell and driver’s door frame suffered only slight distortion. The pedals, meanwhile, moved only small distances as a result of the impact. There was a small risk of the driver and front passenger suffering knee injuries from striking hard points behind the fascia. All seat belts were of a threepoint type. With the exception of the centre one, the mid-row seats fold flat. They cannot be returned to upright without first adjusting the head restraints. The centre seat had an integrated child booster.
The results were well balanced and among the lowest seen by Euro NCAP so far. The seat-mounted thorax and abdominal airbag and head-protecting curtain worked well to safeguard the driver in the side impact and the pole test. The curtain bag also protects occupants in the mid and rear seats.
Volvo restraints protected well throughout, meeting all Euro NCAP performance requirements. The quality of information provided on restraint labels and in the car was also to a very high level. The vehicle has a passenger front airbag as standard and warnings given against placing a child in a rear-facing restraint opposite this are good. A pictogram and text label fixed to the passenger’s end of the fascia gave such a warning. The same pictogram and text combination was present on both sides of the passenger's sun visor.
The bumper and bonnet leading edge were unforgiving. But the top of the bonnet protected children’s and adult’s heads to give the XC90 a two-star rating. Volvo needs to work harder to improve pedestrian safety.