GOTHENBURG, SWEDEN - The Volvo XC60 and XC90 received Spanish safety institute Centro Zaragoza's "best safety choice" award in the categories for small and large four-wheel drive cars respectively. The decision took into consideration whether various safety systems were fitted as standard in the car models. In the XC60, Volvo's breakthrough City Safety system is fitted as standard.

Centro Zaragoza (CZ) works with vehicle research on behalf of Spanish and Portuguese insurance companies. At present, the company represents 24 members. About 85 percent of the insurance companies in the Spanish vehicle industry and about 30 percent of those in Portugal are members of the institute.

This is the first time the award is being given. CZ is spotlighting European manufacturers that prioritise safety standard equipments offered in their models 2008. One of the parameters for receiving the award is that the cars must feature safety systems with well proven effectiveness, such as electronic stability control systems.

Effective occupant protection is another aspect that Centro Zaragoza prioritises. Particular weight is attached to good whiplash protection.

The Volvo XC60 received the award in the category for "small four-wheel drive offroad cars". The XC60 is fitted as standard with City Safety, whereby the car brakes automatically at speeds of up to 30 kilometres an hour.

"The award shows how important City Safety is. Centro Zaragoza noted that the XC60 and City Safety will result in less physical suffering for our customers and also lower insurance premiums. We are really happy about this," says Thomas Broberg, Senior Technical Advisor Safety, Volvo Cars.

The Volvo XC90 also received the corresponding award in the "large four-wheel drive offroad car" category. All told, awards were given in ten different categories.

The awards were presented in Brussels on Wednesday evening to Magnus Jonsson, Senior Vice President, Product Development.

More information can be found on the Centro Zaragoza Web site.