It seems to me that Volvo as of late has been selling solely on the reputation that cars like the P1800 built.
Mercedes has pioneered many safety innovations such as the crumple zone, safety steering column, steering wheel impact plate and side impact protection.
Later came belt tensioners, the airbag, the anti-lock braking system (ABS), and Brake Assist and the Electronic Stability Program.
My '86 Benz has 4 wheel disc brakes, ABS, and an airbag. My 1995 Saab 900S had 4 wheel disc brakes, ABS, and dual airbags. Saab didn't make ABS standard until 1992. Driver airbags offered in 1989. What did Volvo have in 1986? I don't remember the 760 GLE having airbags or ABS.
In any case, Volvos are pretty solid, but I don't know, my dad's 420SEL feels so solid, sometimes I'm under the impression it was made from leftover "Konigstiger" tanks (King Tiger) [:D]