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10 Safest Luxury SUVs of 2020 (New & Used)

2020 Volvo XC90 / Photo Credit: Volvo

2021 Volvo XC90 / Photo Credit: Volvo

10 Safest Luxury SUVs of 2020

  1. Volvo XC90 | For Sale
  2. Cadillac XT6 | For Sale
  3. Mercedes GLE | For Sale
  4. Lincoln Aviator | For Sale
  5. Audi Q8 | For Sale
  6. Lexus RX | For Sale
  7. Infiniti QX60 | For Sale
  8. BMW X5 | For Sale
  9. Acura MDX | For Sale
  10. Lincoln Nautilus | For Sale

Key: SUV | Link to Used Car Listings

How We Ranked The Safest Luxury SUVs

We ranked these luxury SUVs using a combination of factors, including crash test scores from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), as well as the availability and cost of advanced driver-assist systems (ADAS) such as automatic emergency braking (AEB) and blind spot warning (BSW). These are the Key Safety Features mentioned below with each vehicle.

We included Apple CarPlay and Android Auto because those systems allow drivers to access important functions on their phones without picking them up, reducing distractions.

The key features also include all-wheel drive (AWD) since it’s a common request for today’s SUV shoppers.

A vehicle that offers all of these features for a lower price gets additional credit in these rankings.

More Detail: 10 Safest Luxury SUVs of 2020

1. 2021 Volvo XC90

2020 Volvo XC90 / Photo Credit: Volvo

2021 Volvo XC90 / Photo Credit: Volvo

  • Base MSRP: $49,000
  • Price w/ Key Safety Features*: $57,945
  • IIHS Rating: 2020 Top Safety Pick+
  • NHTSA Rating: 5/5

The XC90 comes standard with a host of ADAS as part of its Pilot Assist system, including automatic emergency braking, lane keep assist, adaptive cruise control, blind spot monitoring, and rear cross traffic alert. It also features traffic sign recognition and a driver attention monitor.

Apple CarPlay and Android Auto come standard in the XC90, and AWD is available across the lineup.

Shopping for a Used Volvo XC90? 2016-2021 XC90 models look similar. However, feature availability has changed over the years, and Volvo refreshed the SUV for 2020. You can save money by buying a used model, but be sure to search for one with the features you want.

Find a Used Volvo XC90 | Research the Volvo XC90

2. 2021 Cadillac XT6

2020 Cadillac XT6 / Photo Credit: Cadillac

2021 Cadillac XT6 / Photo Credit: Cadillac

  • Base MSRP: $47,995
  • Price w/ Key Safety Features*: $59,440
  • IIHS Rating: 2020 Top Safety Pick+
  • NHTSA Rating: 5/5

The XT6 enters the 2021 model year with a lower starting price thanks to a new base trim that swaps the V6 for a turbo-4 engine. However, there’s a catch. While the 2020 XT6 included a full set of ADAS as standard, the 2021 model only includes some safety systems in the base model. You get automatic emergency braking, but you have to step up a trim level to get blind spot monitoring. GM’s Teen Driver monitoring system is standard for 2020 and 2021.

All XT6 models come standard with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. AWD is available on all models.

Shopping for a Used Cadillac XT6? The XT6 was brand-new for the 2020 model year. Due to the trim and feature changes, you should be able to save money buying used, but it depends on which features you want.

Find a Used Cadillac XT6 | Research the Cadillac XT6

3. 2021 Mercedes GLE

2020 Mercedes-Benz GLE / Photo Credit: Mercedes-Benz

2021 Mercedes-Benz GLE / Photo Credit: Mercedes-Benz

  • Base MSRP: $54,750
  • Price w/ Key Safety Features*: $57,250
  • IIHS Rating: 2020 Top Safety Pick+
  • NHTSA Rating: No rating

The GLE includes automatic emergency braking and blind spot monitoring as standard, as well as a driver attention monitor and active parking assist. High-tech features, such as active steering assist, lane change assist, and adaptive cruise control with stop and go are available.

Apple CarPlay and Android Auto come standard. AWD is available.

Shopping for a Used Mercedes GLE? 2020-2021 GLE models are virtually the same. You can save money by buying a used model.

Find a Used Mercedes GLE | Research the Mercedes GLE

4. 2020 Lincoln Aviator

2020 Lincoln Aviator

2020 Lincoln Aviator / Photo Credit: Lincoln

  • Base MSRP: $51,100
  • Price w/ Key Safety Features*: $55,340
  • IIHS Rating: 2020 Top Safety Pick
  • NHTSA Rating: 5/5

Standard ADAS in the Aviator include Lincoln’s Co-Pilot360 safety suite and MyKey driver monitoring technology. The suite has automatic emergency braking, blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, lane keep assist, pedestrian detection, and a driver drowsiness monitor. You can opt for more features, such as adaptive cruise control, parking assist, and traffic sign recognition.

The Aviator comes standard with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. You can add AWD to all trim levels.

Shopping for a Used Lincoln Aviator? The Aviator is an all-new model for 2020.

Find a Used Lincoln Aviator | Research the Lincoln Aviator

5. 2020 Audi Q8

2020 Audi Q8 / Photo Credit: Audi

2020 Audi Q8 / Photo Credit: Audi

  • Base MSRP: $68,200
  • Price w/ Key Safety Features*: $69,195
  • IIHS Rating: 2020 Top Safety Pick
  • NHTSA Rating: 5/5

The Q8 came to market as an all-new model for 2019. It features standard automatic emergency braking and a few other ADAS, but you have to add a package to the base model to get blind spot monitoring and rear cross traffic alert. Getting more safety systems requires stepping up one trim level and adding another package.

The Q8 comes standard with AWD, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto.

Shopping for a Used Audi Q8? 2019-2020 Q8 models are almost identical. Buying a used model will save you money.

Find a Used Audi Q8 | Research the Audi Q8

6. 2021 Lexus RX

2021 Lexus RX / Photo Credit: Lexus

2021 Lexus RX / Photo Credit: Lexus

  • Base MSRP: $45,070
  • Price w/ Key Safety Features*: $47,920
  • IIHS Rating: 2020 Top Safety Pick
  • NHTSA Rating: 5/5

The RX comes equipped with a wealth of high-tech ADAS, including automatic emergency braking, blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, pedestrian detection, lane keep assist, adaptive cruise control, and more.

Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard in the RX. AWD is available across the lineup.

NHTSA gives the RX 4 stars in its frontal crash test.

Shopping for a Used Lexus RX? 2016-2021 RX models look similar. However, Lexus refreshed the RX for 2020. Prior to that, it was missing a touchscreen, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto. The long-wheelbase RX L was launched in 2018. You can save money by buying a used model, but be sure to check out which features it has.

Find a Used Lexus RX | Research the Lexus RX

7. 2020 Infiniti QX60

2020 Infiniti QX60 / Photo Credit: Infiniti

2020 Infiniti QX60 / Photo Credit: Infiniti

  • Base MSRP: $44,350
  • Price w/ Key Safety Features*: $47,375
  • IIHS Rating: 2019 Top Safety Pick
  • NHTSA Rating: 5/5

Standard ADAS in the QX60 include automatic emergency braking, blind spot monitoring, and pedestrian detection. Several other safety technologies are available by stepping up a trim level and adding the ProAssist package.

The QX60 doesn’t offer Apple CarPlay or Android Auto. AWD can be added to any trim.

According to NHTSA, the QX60 earns 4 stars in its frontal crash test. IIHS gives it an Acceptable rating in its passenger-side small overlap front crash test.

Shopping for a Used Infiniti QX60? 2016-2020 QX60 models look similar, thought Infiniti didn’t add automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection until the 2019 model year. Buying used will save you money, but make sure you’re searching for a QX60 with the features you want.

Find a Used Infiniti QX60 | Research the Infiniti QX60

8. 2021 BMW X5

2020 BMW X5 / Photo Credit: BMW

2021 BMW X5 / Photo Credit: BMW

  • Base MSRP: $60,395
  • Price w/ Key Safety Features*: $67,495
  • IIHS Rating: 2019 Top Safety Pick+
  • NHTSA Rating: 4/5

The X5 comes standard with automatic emergency braking, pedestrian detection, blind spot monitoring, and rear cross traffic alert. Advanced features like adaptive cruise control, a semi-autonomous driving mode, a hands-free parallel park assist, and a night vision camera are optional.

Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard. AWD is available.

NHTSA gives the X5 4 stars in the frontal crash test. For 2020, its headlights earned a Poor rating from IIHS in some trims.

Shopping for a Used BMW X5? 2019-2021 X5 models are nearly identical. However, in 2020, BMW added a few performance models to the lineup. A plug-in hybrid version joins the lineup for 2021. You can save money by buying a used model.

Find a Used BMW X5 | Research the BMW X5

9. 2020 Acura MDX

2020 Acura MDX Sport Hybrid

2020 Acura MDX / Photo Credit: Acura

  • Base MSRP: $44,500
  • Price w/ Key Safety Features*: $52,525
  • IIHS Rating: 6 Good/Superior ratings out of 7 tests
  • NHTSA Rating: 5/5

The MDX comes standard with the AcuraWatch suite of ADAS. It includes automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, lane keep assist, and road departure mitigation. Models with the Technology package have blind spot monitoring and rear cross traffic alert.

The MDX includes Apple CarPlay and Android Auto as standard. AWD can be added to all trims. It comes standard in models with the A-Spec and Entertainment packages.

According to IIHS, the MDX earns an Acceptable rating for its headlights.

Shopping for a Used Acura MDX? 2017-2020 MDX models are essentially the same, though feature availability has changed. Buying used will save you money, but make sure you’re getting the features you want.

Find a Used Acura MDX | Research the Acura MDX

10. 2020 Lincoln Nautilus

2020 Lincoln Nautilus Black Label / Photo Credit: Lincoln

2020 Lincoln Nautilus / Photo Credit: Lincoln

  • Base MSRP: $41,040
  • Price w/ Key Safety Features*: $55,135
  • IIHS Rating: 7 Good/Superior ratings out of 9 tests
  • NHTSA Rating: 5/5

The Nautilus replaced the MKX as an all-new model for 2019. It comes standard with Lincoln’s Co-Pilot360 suite of ADAS, which includes automatic emergency braking, blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, pedestrian detection, and lane keep assist. The MyKey driver monitoring system is standard as well. Parking assist, evasive steering assist, and adaptive cruise control are available.

Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard. AWD is available across the lineup.

IIHS gives the Nautilus’ headlights a Poor rating. In addition, it rates its standard vehicle-to-pedestrian front crash prevention system as Advanced.

Shopping for a Used Lincoln Nautilus? 2019-2020 Nautilus models are nearly identical. Buying used will save you money.

Find a Used Lincoln Nautilus | Research the Lincoln Nautilus

Understanding Crash Test Scores

Most mainstream vehicles sold in the U.S. undergo crash testing conducted by two organizations: the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).

NHTSA gives vehicles up to 5 stars for front and side crash tests and resistance to rolling over. The more stars a car earns, the lower the chance of serious injury to a car’s occupants. NHTSA then compiles an overall score based on those results.

IIHS crash testing is more comprehensive than NHTSA’s, and IIHS periodically adds new tests and requirements. IIHS’ crash-test and headlight scores, from best to worst, are: Good, Acceptable, Marginal, and Poor. It rates advanced driver-assist systems (ADAS) as Superior, Advanced, or Basic.

Top-performing vehicles can be labeled an IIHS Top Safety Pick or Top Safety Pick+. In 2020, vehicles must earn a Good rating in all six crash tests, Superior or Advanced for front-crash prevention, and Good or Acceptable for its headlights. Top Safety Picks can have only optional headlights that meet the criteria, but to get a Top Safety Pick+ designation, vehicles must come with them as standard equipment.

Safest Used Luxury SUVs

You can save money by considering a used luxury SUV. Many of these models haven’t changed much in the last few years. This means you can get a gently used luxury crossover with nearly identical styling at a fraction of the cost of a new model.

You’ll even be able to get most of the five key features we mentioned, as long as you don’t choose a used model that’s more than a few years old.

Check out each luxury SUV shown above. You’ll find information about which model years to consider when searching for a used version with similar styling and features.

If you click on the link below each vehicle, you can search Carfax’s used car listings. Every car in Carfax used car listings comes with a free Carfax Report.

If you have questions about this story, please contact us at Editors@carfax.com