5-Star SUVs: 2018 Tesla Model X, Volvo XC90 Earn Top Crash Ratings

img 1249691482 1471288844425 jpg 2016 Tesla Model X | photo by Brian Wong

CARS.COM — The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration announced that the 2018 Volvo XC90 and Tesla Model X SUVs have been awarded five-star safety ratings. That’s the federal safety agency’s highest designation.

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The specific models tested were Volvo’s XC90 equipped with the T5 turbocharged engine, and the 60D, 75D, 90D, P90D and P100D versions of the Model X. All cars earned five-star ratings in front and side crash tests. Volvo’s XC90 also earned a five-star rating in rollover testing, while no version of the 2018 Model X vehicle has yet been tested for rollover crashworthiness; 2017 versions of the Model X vehicle received five-star safety ratings in rollover tests.

Neither Volvo’s 2018 XC90 nor the Model X has received an Insurance Institute for Highway Safety Top Safety Pick or Top Safety Pick Plus designation. The 2017 Volvo XC90 was a Top Safety Pick, missing out on the Top Safety Pick Plus award due to a marginal rating in headlight tests. For 2018, IIHS has made Top Safety Pick require an acceptable or good headlight rating, and the 2018 Volvo XC90 again scored only a marginal overall rating, receiving no award.

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Tesla, meanwhile, is unlikely to submit a Model X vehicle for IIHS crash safety testing anytime soon. After the 2017 Model S sedan received only an acceptable rating in the small overlap frontal test and missed out on both Top Safety Pick and Top Safety Pick Plus, Tesla maligned IIHS in a press release. The 2017 Model S, as of this writing, is the last Tesla vehicle IIHS has tested.

As for the competition, all versions of the 2018 Acura MDX have five-star overall safest ratings from NHTSA, as do the 2018 Audi Q7 and 2018 Volkswagen Atlas. The MDX also qualifies for a 2018 IIHS Top Safety Pick, while the Q7 and Atlas both qualified under the 2017 Top Safety Pick standard.’s Editorial department is your source for automotive news and reviews. In line with’s long-standing ethics policy, editors and reviewers don’t accept gifts or free trips from automakers. The Editorial department is independent of’s advertising, sales and sponsored content departments.

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Road Test Editor Brian Normile joined the automotive industry and in 2013, and he became part of the Editorial staff in 2014. Brian spent his childhood devouring every car magazine he got his hands on — not literally, eventually — and now reviews and tests vehicles to help consumers make informed choices. Someday, Brian hopes to learn what to do with his hands when he’s reviewing a car on camera. He would daily-drive an Alfa Romeo 4C if he could. Email Brian Normile

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