New Car Assessment Program (NCAP) Crash Tests

NCAP Crash Tests header image

The 2013 Volvo S60 is currently the only European luxury sedan that achieved a 5-Star NHTSA crash test rating in each of the three crash tests, including the rollover rating AND has received an IIHS Top Safety Pick.

What is the 5-Star Safety Ratings System?
Also called the New Car Assessment Program (NCAP), the 5-Star Safety Ratings System was created by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to provide consumers with information about the crash protection and rollover safety of new vehicles beyond what is required by statute. One star is the lowest rating, five stars is the highest. More stars equal safer cars.

NHTSA is the only organization that rates rollover resistance, in addition to frontal and side crashworthiness.

NCAP testing was updated in 2011 and consists of 3 crash tests:
• Frontal crash test
• Side barrier crash test
• Side pole crash test (new)

Here are some of the actual crash test videos recorded during NCAP's testing of the S60.

 FRONTAL CRASH TEST

Frontal crash test video image

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 SIDE BARRIER CRASH TEST

Side barrier crash test video image

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SIDE POLE CRASH TEST (NEW)

Side pole crash test (new) video image

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How does NHTSA perform the frontal crash test?
Crash test dummies are placed in the driver and front passenger seats and secured with seat belts
           Driver:  Average-sized male (90th percentile)
           Passenger: Small-sized female (5th percentile)
Instruments measure the force of impact to:
           Head, neck, chest, pelvis, femur (legs), and feet
Vehicles are crashed into a fixed barrier at 35 mph
           Equivalent to a head-on collision between two similar vehicles. Because of this, only vehicles from the same weight class, +/-           250 lbs can be compared with each other

How does NHTSA perform the side barrier crash test?
Crash test dummies placed in the driver and REAR passenger seats secured with seat belts
           Driver:  Average-sized male (90th percentile)
           Rear Passenger:   Small-sized female (5th percentile)
Instruments measure the force of impact to:
           Driver:  Head, chest, abdomen and pelvis femur (legs), and feet
           Rear passenger: Head and pelvis only
Intersection-type collision with a  3,015-pound barrier moving at 38.5 mph into stationary vehicle
           Barrier has a crushable cover to replicate the front of a vehicle.
           All vehicles can be compared with each other, since all rated vehicles are impacted with the same barrier.

How does NHTSA perform the new side pole crash test and how are vehicles rated?
Crash test dummy placed in the driver seat only and secured with seat belts
           Driver:   Small-sized female (5th percentile)
Instruments measure the force of impact to:
           Driver:  Head, chest, lower spine, abdomen and pelvis.
Test vehicle is angled at 75%, then pulled sideways at 20mph into a 25-cm (9.8 inch) diameter pole.
           This test mimics a side impact crash into a narrow, fixed object like a utility pole or tree
           All vehicles can be compared with each other, since all rated vehicles are impacted with the same barrier.

For more information about NHTSA's 5-Star Safety Ratings System please visit www.safercar.gov.