2019 Volvo V90 vs. 2019 Tesla Model X

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

For enhanced safety, the front and rear seat shoulder belts of the Volvo V90 have pretensioners to tighten the seatbelts and eliminate dangerous slack in the event of a collision and force limiters to limit the pressure the belts will exert on the passengers. The Tesla Model X doesn’t offer pretensioners for the rear seat belts.

The V90’s pre-crash front seatbelts will tighten automatically in the event the vehicle detects an impending crash, improving protection against injury significantly. The Model X doesn’t offer pre-crash pretensioners.

The Volvo V90 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. Tesla doesn’t offer the convenience and security of a built-in child booster seat in the Model X. Their owners must carry a heavy booster seat in and out of the vehicle; V90 owners can just fold their built-in child seat up or down.

The V90 has a standard Whiplash Protection System (WHIPS), which use a specially designed headrest to protect the driver and front passenger from whiplash. During a rear-end collision, the WHIPS moves the headrests forward to prevent neck and spine injuries. At the same time the pretensioning seatbelts fire, removing slack from the belts. The Model X doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.

The V90 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 Model X 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.

When descending a steep, off-road slope, the V90’s standard Hill Descent Control allows you to creep down safely. The Model X doesn’t offer Hill Descent Control.

The V90 offers an optional 360° Camera to allow the driver to see objects all around the vehicle on a screen. The Model X only offers a rear monitor and front and rear parking sensors that beep or flash a light. That doesn’t help with obstacles to the sides.

To help make backing safer, the V90’s cross-path warning system uses wide-angle radar in the rear bumper to alert the driver to vehicles approaching from the side, helping the driver avoid collisions. The Model X doesn’t offer a cross-path warning system.

The V90’s driver alert monitor detects an inattentive driver then sounds a warning and suggests a break. According to the NHTSA, drivers who fall asleep cause about 100,000 crashes and 1500 deaths a year. The Model X doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

The V90 has standard Volvo On Call, which uses a global positioning satellite (GPS) receiver and a cellular system to remotely unlock your doors if you lock your keys in, help track down your vehicle if it’s stolen or send emergency personnel to the scene if any airbags deploy. The Model X doesn’t offer a GPS response system, only a navigation computer with no live response for emergencies, so if you’re involved in an accident and you’re incapacitated help may not come as quickly.

Both the V90 and the Model X have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front and rear side-impact airbags, driver knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, 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 and rearview cameras.

Warranty

The V90’s corrosion warranty is 8 years and unlimited miles longer than the Model X’s (12/unlimited vs. 4/50,000).

Volvo pays for scheduled maintenance on the V90 for 3 years and 36,000 miles. Volvo will pay for oil changes, lubrication and any other required maintenance. Tesla doesn’t pay scheduled maintenance for the Model X.

There are almost 5 times as many Volvo dealers as there are Tesla dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the V90’s warranty.

Fuel Economy and Range

The V90 T5’s maximum EPA estimated driving range on a full tank of fuel is 556.5 miles, after which it can be refueled at any gas station in minutes. The Model X’s range is only 238 to 295 miles, after which the minimum recharge time is 30 minutes for only a 54% charge at a specially configured quick charge station not available in most areas. A full recharge at a conventional charging station can take up to 82 hours and 53 minutes.

Brakes and Stopping

In an emergency stopping situation, many drivers don’t press the brakes with enough force to stop the vehicle in the shortest distance. The V90 has a standard Emergency Brake Assist to detect emergency braking situations (by how hard and how quickly the brake pedal is pressed) and then automatically apply maximum braking immediately in order to help prevent a collision. The Model X doesn’t offer a brake assist feature.

The V90 stops much shorter than the Model X:

 

V90

Model X

 

70 to 0 MPH

157 feet

172 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

110 feet

113 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

The V90’s standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 40 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Model X’s 45 series tires.

The V90 has a standard space-saver spare tire so you can replace a flat tire and drive to have the flat repaired or replaced. A spare tire isn’t available on the Model X; it requires you to depend on roadside assistance and your vehicle will have to be towed.

Suspension and Handling

The V90 T6 AWD Inscription handles at .94 G’s, while the Model X pulls only .86 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

The V90 T6 AWD Inscription executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver quicker than the Model X 75D (26.3 seconds @ .67 average G’s vs. 26.7 seconds @ .7 average G’s).

For better maneuverability, the V90’s turning circle is 2 feet tighter than the Model X’s (38.7 feet vs. 40.7 feet).

Chassis

The Volvo V90 may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 1200 to 1350 pounds less than the Tesla Model X.

The V90 is 4 inches shorter than the Model X, making the V90 easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

The V90 is 7.5 inches narrower than the Model X, making the V90 easier to handle and maneuver in traffic.

The V90 is 8.2 inches shorter in height than the Model X, making the V90 much easier to wash and garage and drive (lower center of gravity).

Passenger Space

The V90 has 1 inch more front legroom and .8 inches more front hip room than the Model X.

Cargo Capacity

The V90’s standard rear seats fold to accommodate long and bulky cargo. The Model X 6-Passenger doesn’t offer folding rear seats.

Pressing a switch automatically lowers or raises the V90’s rear seats, to make changing between cargo and passengers easier. The Model X doesn’t offer automatic folding seats.

To make loading groceries and cargo easier when your hands are full, the V90’s liftgate can be opened and closed just by kicking your foot under the back bumper, leaving your hands completely free. The Model X doesn’t offer a hands-free gesture to open its liftgate, forcing you to put cargo down if your hands are full.

Servicing Ease

A maintenance reminder system is standard on the V90 to save the owner time and money by calculating maintenance intervals based on odometer mileage. This takes the guesswork out of keeping your vehicle in top condition and helps it last longer. Tesla doesn’t offer a maintenance reminder on the Model X.

Ergonomics

Unlike the driver-only memory system in the Model X, the V90 Inscription has a passenger memory, so that when drivers switch, the memory setting adjusts the driver’s seat and outside mirror angle and the front passenger seat also adjusts to the new passenger’s preset preferences.

The V90 offers an optional heads-up display that projects speed and other key instrumentation readouts in front of the driver’s line of sight, allowing drivers to view information without diverting their eyes from the road. The Model X doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

If the windows are left open on the V90 the driver can close them all at the outside door handle. On a hot day the driver can also lower the windows the same way. The driver of the Model X can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

Heated windshield washer nozzles are standard on the V90 to prevent washer fluid and nozzles from freezing and help continue to keep the windshield clear in sub-freezing temperatures. Heated windshield washer nozzles cost extra on the Model X.

To improve rear visibility by keeping the rear window clear, the V90 has a standard rear wiper. The Model X doesn’t offer a rear wiper.

In poor weather, headlights can lose their effectiveness as grime builds up on their lenses. This can reduce visibility without the driver realizing. The V90 offers available headlight washers to keep headlight output high. The Model X doesn’t offer headlight washers.

The V90’s standard side window demisters help clear frost or condensation from the side windows in the winter. The Model X doesn’t even offer side window demisters, so the driver may have to wipe the windows from the outside to gain side vision.

Standard air-conditioned seats in the V90 Inscription keep the driver and front passenger comfortable and take the sting out of hot seats in summer. The Model X doesn’t offer air-conditioned seats.

The V90 has a standard center folding armrest for the rear passengers. A center armrest helps make rear passengers more comfortable. The Model X doesn’t offer a middle row seat center armrest.

The V90 offers an optional 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 Model X doesn’t offer a house-current electrical outlet.

Model Availability

The V90 is available in both front-wheel drive and all-wheel drive configurations. The Model X doesn’t offer a two-wheel drive configuration.

Recommendations

The V90 was chosen as one of Automobile Magazine’s “All Stars” in 2018. The Model X has never been an “All Star.”

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

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