Families looking to buy vehicles with safety features that pay off may want to take a good look at mid-size SUVs offering forward collision avoidance systems.
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) has just recognized the Volvo XC60 luxury mid-size crossover SUV’s City Safety collision avoidance system for its ability to reduce low-speed car accidents.
The IIHS found that Volvo’s City Safety system (standard in all XC60 models) can reduce frontal crash accidents by as much as 25 percent, while also reducing property damage claims by up to 27 percent. For more on how City Safety works, see our coverage here.
While Volvo’s City Safety is the first system the IIHS tested in the XC60 (it’s also standard in the XC70), there are other mid-size SUVs with similar systems.
Audi adaptive cruise control with Audi braking guard
The 2012 Audi Q5 mid-size luxury crossover SUV offers available integrated adaptive cruise control with Audi braking guard on the top-of-the-line 3.2 Prestige model only. This system enhances conventional cruise control by monitoring the distance to the vehicle ahead via radar sensors. The system automatically reduces or resumes speed to maintain the safe distance selected by the driver. Adaptive cruise control with Audi braking guard is a $2,100 option.
2012 Lincoln MKT
Adaptive cruise control on the 2012 Lincoln MKT uses radar sensors to monitor the speed of the vehicle in front. When traffic slows, the MKT adjusts to maintain a preset distance. And, once sensors detect that traffic has cleared, the MKT automatically resumes the set speed. There is no braking or resetting required with adaptive cruise control. Collision warning with brake support provides an additional layer of protection by sending an audible alert and visual notification when the system senses a potential collision with the vehicle directly ahead. Brakes are pre-charged to be ready for full responsiveness when the driver brakes. Adaptive cruise control and collision warning with brake support is a $1,295 option on the Lincoln MKT EcoBoost AWD model only.
2011 Infiniti EX
Infiniti’s EX35 mid-size luxury crossover has a number of collision avoidance technologies available in EX35 Journey and Journey AWD models as part of a $2,700 Technology Package (but also requires the $2,300 Deluxe Touring Package). The Technology Package includes Intelligent Cruise Control (full-speed range), Lane Departure Warning and Lane Departure Prevention, Distance Control Assist, Intelligent Brake Assist with Forward Collision Warning, and Blind Spot Warning. Intelligent Cruise Control (full-speed range) uses laser sensors to detect a rapidly-slowing vehicle ahead, slows the vehicle as traffic slows, and then, as traffic flow picks up, accelerates to pre-set speed and distance. Distance Control Assist intuitively releases the throttle and applies brakes as needed in slowing traffic. Electronic Brake force Distribution helps improve braking performance by actively adjusting the amount of brake force applied to rear wheels.
2011 Lexus RX 350
Using a millimeter-wave radar sensor, the available $1,500 optional Pre-Collision System (PCS) and Dynamic Radar Cruise Control in the Lexus RX 350 FWD (front-wheel drive) and RX 350 AWD (all-wheel drive) is designed to detect an impending collision and react to help reduce damage. The PCS constantly monitors the distance and closing speed of a vehicle traveling ahead. When the system’s computer determines that a frontal collision is unavoidable, the PCS preemptively retracts the front seatbelts and preps the Brake Assist for increased braking pressure the moment the driver steps on the brake pedal.
2011 Ford Explorer
The 2011 Ford Explorer has available Adaptive Cruise Control and Collision Warning with Brake Support, two radar-based technologies. Adaptive Cruise Control uses forward radar to monitor traffic and can adjust cruising speed to maintain a pre-set distance to vehicles ahead. Collision Warning with Brake Support utilizes a sensor that scans ahead and detects slower moving traffic. It flashes a warning that appears in the windshield and emits an audible alert if it detects an imminent collision and pre-charges brakes for faster response. Adaptive Cruise Control and Collision Warning with Brake Support are available as part of a $4,305 package on Explorer Limited only. The package also includes Active Park Assist and BLIS (Blind Spot Information System) with Cross Traffic Alert.
2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited
Jeep Grand Cherokee
The Jeep Grand Cherokee bundles key accident avoidance features into an Advanced Warning/Adaptive Cruise Control Group, standard on Summit and available on Limited and Overland. High-tech safety features in the group include: Forward Collision Warning, Adaptive Cruise Control, Blind Spot Monitoring, and Rear Cross-Path Detection. Adaptive Cruise Control automatically adjusts the Grand Cherokee’s cruising speed to maintain a preset distance (short, medium or long) between the vehicle and the one ahead. Using radar, the system detects moving vehicle immediately ahead and modifies cruising speed if necessary. Forward Collision Warning alerts the driver with an audible chime when the vehicle is approaching another too rapidly. On Limited models, Advanced Warning/Adaptive Cruise Control Group is $1,295 but also requires Luxury Group ($1,495), while the Overland trim option cost is just $1,295.
Dodge Durango with foreward collision warning
Adaptive Cruise Control and Forward Collision Warning are standard on Citadel and available on CrewLux in the 2011 Dodge Durango. These two radar-based systems are the same as those in the Jeep Grand Cherokee, but are not bundled into a group.