For safety, Volvo is legendary. The Swedish brand has not only pioneered and championed some of the common-sense safety items we use today—like three-point seatbelts—but it's also in recent years introduced some downright innovative solutions for actively achieving reductions in injuries to those inside and outside the vehicle.
Volvo's City Safety system, which helps brake (even to a stop at lower speeds) to avoid a collision with vehicles ahead, comes standard. And with an available Technology Package, you can step up to a suite of radar- and camera-related active-safety features including Pedestrian Detection with Full Auto Brake, Adaptive Cruise Control, Distance Alert, and a Lane Departure Warning system. This year that package also includes a Road Sign Information system as well. Separately, there's a Blind Spot Information System (BLIS) that places warning lights mounted on the front pillars, to alert the driver if there's another vehicle in the blind spot.
There are a couple of newly standard safety features for 2013, too. Rain-sensor wipers and headlight washers are now included in all Volvo S80s, and the Personal Car Communicator, a special keyfob system that can report the security status of your vehicle remotely—including the capability to detect an intruder in your vehicle—has been made standard. And there's a new Tunnel Detection feature for the headlamps.
All that aside, the S80 hasn't been crash-tested by the federal government in recent years. But we do feel confident enough to give it a top score of 10, as with all those features, Volvo's longstanding reputation, and its repeat status as an Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) Top Safety Pick; it's quite simply one of the safest cars on the market.