2019 Volvo S90 vs. 2018 Lexus LS Series

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

The S90’s pre-crash front seatbelts will tighten automatically in the event the vehicle detects an impending crash, improving protection against injury significantly. The LS Series doesn’t offer pre-crash pretensioners.

The Volvo S90 offers optional built in child booster seats. They’re more crash worthy than an added child seat because of their direct attachment to the seat. Lexus doesn’t offer the convenience and security of a built-in child booster seat in the LS Series. Their owners must carry a heavy booster seat in and out of the vehicle; S90 owners can just fold their built-in child seat up or down.

The S90 has standard Automatic Braking After Collision, which automatically apply the brakes in the event of a crash to help prevent secondary collisions and prevent further injuries. The LS Series doesn’t offer a post collision braking system: in the event of a collision that triggers the airbags, more collisions are possible without the protection of airbags that may have already deployed.

Both the S90 and the LS Series have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, height adjustable front shoulder belts, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, crash mitigating brakes, daytime running lights, lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems, rearview cameras, available all wheel drive and around view monitors.

For its top level performance in all IIHS frontal, side, rear impact and roof-crush tests, and its standard front crash prevention system, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the S90 the rating of “Top Pick” for 2017, a rating granted to only 149 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The LS Series has not been tested, yet.

Warranty

The S90’s corrosion warranty is 6 years longer than the LS Series’ (12 vs. 6 years).

Volvo pays for scheduled maintenance on the S90 for 3 years and 36,000 miles. Volvo will pay for oil changes, lubrication and any other required maintenance. Lexus only pays for the first scheduled maintenance visit on the LS Series.

There are over 24 percent more Volvo dealers than there are Lexus dealers, which makes it easier should you ever need service under the S90’s warranty.

Engine

The S90 T8’s 2.0 DOHC 4 cyl. hybrid produces 30 lbs.-ft. more torque (472 vs. 442) than the LS 500’s optional 3.4 turbo V6.

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the S90 T8 running on electricity gets better fuel mileage than the LS 500h AWD (70 city/72 hwy MPGe vs. 23 city/31 hwy).

On the EPA test cycle the S90 T8 running its gasoline engine gets better fuel mileage than the LS 500h AWD (26 city/33 hwy vs. 23 city/31 hwy).

On the EPA test cycle the S90 gets better fuel mileage than the LS Series:

 

 

S90

LS Series

 

2WD

T5/Auto

23 city/35 hwy

19 city/29 hwy

500/Auto

AWD

T5/Auto

22 city/31 hwy

18 city/27 hwy

500/Auto

 

T6/Auto

21 city/31 hwy

n/a

 

The S90 T8 can drive on battery power alone for up to 14 miles. The LS Series must run its internal combustion engine to move.

Regardless of its engine, regenerative brakes improve the S90’s fuel efficiency by converting inertia back into energy instead of wasting it. Lexus only offers a regenerative brake system on the LS Series Hybrid.

Regardless of its engine, the S90’s engine automatically turns off when the vehicle is stopped, saving fuel and reducing pollution. (Start/Stop isn’t accounted in present EPA fuel mileage tests.) Lexus only offers an automatic engine start/stop system on the LS Series Hybrid.

The S90 has a standard cap-less fueling system. The fuel filler is automatically opened when the fuel nozzle is inserted and automatically closed when it’s removed. This eliminates the need to unscrew and replace the cap and it reduces fuel evaporation, which causes pollution. The LS Series doesn’t offer a cap-less fueling system.

Brakes and Stopping

The S90 stops shorter than the LS Series:

 

S90

LS Series

 

70 to 0 MPH

161 feet

170 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

107 feet

113 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the S90’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the LS Series (255/35R20 vs. 245/45R20).

The S90’s standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 45 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the LS Series’ standard 50 series tires. The S90’s optional tires have a lower 35 series profile than the LS Series F Sport’s 45 series front and 40 series rear tires.

Suspension and Handling

The S90 T6 Inscription handles at .88 G’s, while the LS 500 AWD pulls only .85 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

Chassis

The Volvo S90 may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 500 to 850 pounds less than the Lexus LS Series.

The S90 is 6 inches shorter than the LS Series, making the S90 easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

Passenger Space

The S90 has 2.6 cubic feet more passenger volume than the LS Series (102 vs. 99.4).

The S90 has .5 inches more front headroom, 1.2 inches more front legroom, .9 inches more front hip room, .5 inches more rear headroom and 1.5 inches more rear legroom than the LS Series.

Cargo Capacity

The S90’s standard rear seats fold to accommodate long and bulky cargo. The LS Series doesn’t offer folding rear seats.

Towing

The S90 has a 3700 lbs. towing capacity. The LS Series has no towing capacity.

Ergonomics

Heated windshield washer nozzles are standard on the S90 to prevent washer fluid and nozzles from freezing and help continue to keep the windshield clear in sub-freezing temperatures. The LS Series doesn’t offer heated windshield washer nozzles.

The S90 has a 115-volt a/c outlet on the center console, allowing you to recharge a laptop or run small household appliances without special adapters that can break or get misplaced. The LS Series doesn’t offer a house-current electrical outlet.

The S90’s optional Park Assist Pilot can parallel park or back into a parking spot by itself, with the driver only controlling speed with the brake pedal. The LS Series doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

Recommendations

The S90 was chosen as one of Automobile Magazine’s “All Stars” in 2017. The LS Series has never been an “All Star.”

The Volvo 90 Series outsold the Lexus LS Series by almost three to one during 2017.

© 1991-2018 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved.

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