The Volvo Xc90: the Safe Suv

By: Glady Reign

A car's performance is not the only thing there is to consider when buying a vehicle. It is, of course, imperative that you go for the car with a great handling capability, superior stability, and a fine off-road driving capability if you opt for a sports utility vehicle.

But safety should not take a backseat to all these characteristics. A car's safety features should also play a major part in the choice of a car. One car manufacturer that comes to mind when safety is mentioned is, of course, that Ford Motor Co. owned Sweden-based outfit, Volvo. They have been known for years to produce safe cars no matter what segment of the market they are competing in.

One of their recent success stories is their sturdy sports utility vehicle in the form of the Volvo XC90. This tough SUV is one of their best-selling models out in the market today. The car's strong selling point is, of course, its safety features that only Volvo vehicles can offer. In fact, the sports utility vehicle earned good ratings on the safety tests posed on it by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). Tests include front crashes at 40 miles per hour, side crashes at 31 miles per hour, and rear crashes at 20 miles per hour.

The Volvo XC90 is one of just 13 vehicles to be rated "Top Safety Pick" of the said institute. The third test posed by the institute to the car shows that it can protect the third row seats that are normally reserved for children.

The safety rating of the car comes as no surprise given its wide array of safety features that are a given for nay Volvo models. The Volvo XC90 has the standard safety features like the antilock brake system, an electronic rollover prevention system, and stability and traction control. It also comes with a complete lineup of airbags, including side curtain airbags that covers all three rows of seating. Not to mention the pre-tensioning three-point seatbelts on all seats. Optional safety feature is the BLIS or Blindspot Information System that uses cameras mounted on the outside mirrors that warns the driver if a vehicle has entered his blindspot. These line of safety features rivals those of its toughest competitors.

The Volvo XC90 comes in different trim levels so as to suit the need of any costumer. The choice of engines starts with the base model which employs a 3.2-liter in-line six-cylinder engine to the Sport version which offers a V8 engine. This engine is the first V8 engine that the company has employed in its long history. The six-cylinder engine gives out 235 horsepower and to increase its fuel economy, it employs a variable cam timing and cam-profile switching which allows the intake valves to open at different heights depending on the power demand while the 4.4-liter V8 engine produces 311 horsepower. All these power from the engine, be it from the in-line or the V8 engine, gets through to all the wheels via a wide array of high performance that are known to be precision engineered and also much popularized because of their reliability.

The sports utility vehicle has amazing off-road driving credentials that make it a top choice for the generation that would like to trek the outdoors onboard their SUVs. While a large part of the American car buyers are turning their back on the SUV market due to the increasing prices of petroleum products, the Volvo XC90's fuel economy is not so bad compared to other vehicles in its class. That fact and the safety and comfort that the vehicle offers makes the XC90 Volvo's top seller in the US market with a young buyer base at an average of 44 years old.

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