Every new Volvo limited to 112mph top speed

Volvo says new cap is designed to improve driver behaviour and promote discussion on safety...

Volvo models

Volvo has begun fitting a 112mph speed limiter to all its new cars, with the Swedish manufacturer saying that "above certain speeds, in-car safety technology and smart infrastructure design are not enough to avoid severe injuries and fatalities in the event of an accident".

Plans for the limit were first announced last year, as part of a wider safety strategy designed to reduce road traffic deaths in Volvo cars to zero.

In addition to the 112mph speed cap, every new Volvo will now come with a Care Key, which allows Volvo drivers to further lower the top speed of their cars – for example, before letting a young or inexperienced driver get behind the wheel.

Malin Ekholm, head of the Volvo Cars Safety Centre, said: "We believe the speed cap and Care Key help people reflect and realise that speeding is dangerous, while also providing extra peace of mind and supporting better driver behaviour.”

Volvo XC40 Euro NCAP crash test

The 112mph cap still exceeds regulations in virtually every country, with Volvo boss Håkan Samuelsson saying there was a need to strike a balance. "We didn’t want to scare anybody who was thinking of buying a Volvo by putting it too low," he said, "but this is a limit where nobody should need a faster car."

Samuelsson added that the cap is intended to both limit speeds and promote a discussion on safety. "It’s a logical move for a brand like Volvo, which has safety as a core value," he said. "Let’s see how other car brands react."

Neil Greig, director of policy and research at safety charity IAM RoadSmart, welcomed Volvo's ongoing commitment to road safety, but was sceptical about the impact of limiting cars to 112mph. He commented: "In urban areas pedestrian and cyclist detecting automatic braking systems are of more use. And on rural roads it is loss of control and inappropriate speed that are the most significant factors, with traction control and cornering assist features much more important in savings lives than simply controlling top speeds.”

Apart from speeding, Volvo sees driver distraction and intoxication as the primary areas that need addressing to improve safety in cars, and plans to tackle both by installing driver monitoring systems in the near future.

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Audi Q3

Adult occupant protection 95% Child occupant protection 86% Pedestrian protection 66% Safety Assist 85%

Total Euro NCAP score 342/400

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Adult occupant protection 99% Child occupant protection 86% Pedestrian protection 80% Safety Assist 77%

Total Euro NCAP score 342/400

The CX-30 fits neatly between Mazda's other two SUVs, the small CX-3 and larger CX-5. It feels as luxurious as rivals from premium brands, but costs significantly less. It comes with an impressive array of safety kit as standard, including automatic emergency braking (AEB), blindspot monitoring, lane departure warning with lane-keeping assistance, a rear cross-traffic alert system (to warn of traffic in your path when reversing into a road) and a driver attention alert system.

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=10. Toyota RAV4

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Toyota RAV4 Hybrid

Adult occupant protection 93% Child occupant protection 87% Pedestrian protection 85% Safety Assist 77%

Total Euro NCAP score 342/400

Large SUVs are all gas-guzzling planet polluters, right? Well, not the Toyota RAV4, because thanks to hybrid power, it pumps out less CO2 than a 1.0-litre Ford Fiesta. The RAV4 comes with automatic emergency braking, including pedestrian and cyclist detection, as standard, as well as lane-keeping assistance.

Toyota Corolla

Adult occupant protection 95% Child occupant protection 84% Pedestrian protection 86% Safety Assist 77%

Total Euro NCAP score 342/400

As good as the latest RAV4 is, we reckon it's Toyota's family hatchback, the Corolla, that's the best hybrid currently on sale. Although the Corolla matches the RAV4 on its overall score, it betters its larger sibling in terms of adult occupant protection and pedestrian protection.

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Next: more of the safest cars >>

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