2019 Volvo XC90 vs. 2019 BMW X7

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

For enhanced safety, the front and middle seat shoulder belts of the Volvo XC90 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 BMW X7 doesn’t offer pretensioners for the middle seat belts.

The Volvo XC90 offers an optional built in child booster seat. It’s more crash worthy than an added child seat because of its direct attachment to the seat. BMW doesn’t offer the convenience and security of a built-in child booster seat in the X7. Their owners must carry a heavy booster seat in and out of the vehicle; XC90 owners can just fold their built-in child seat up or down.

Using vehicle speed sensors and seat sensors, smart airbags in the XC90 deploy with different levels of force or don’t deploy at all to help better protect passengers of all sizes in different collisions. The XC90’s side airbags will shut off if a child is leaning against the door. The X7’s airbags don’t have smart features and will always deploy full force.

Both the XC90 and the X7 have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, side-impact head airbags, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, crash mitigating brakes, post-collision automatic braking systems, daytime running lights, lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems, rearview cameras, rear cross-path warning, driver alert monitors and available 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 XC90 the rating of “Top Pick” for 2017, a rating granted to only 154 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The X7 has not been tested, yet.

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the XC90 T8 running on electricity gets better fuel mileage than the X7 xDrive40i (59 city/56 hwy MPGe vs. 20 city/25 hwy).

On the EPA test cycle the XC90 T8 running its gasoline engine gets better fuel mileage than the X7 xDrive40i (24 city/27 hwy vs. 13 city/18 hwy).

On the EPA test cycle the XC90 gets better fuel mileage than the X7:

 

 

 

MPG

XC90

 

FWD

T5 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

21 city/29 hwy

 

AWD

T5 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

20 city/27 hwy

 

 

T6 2.0 turbo/supercharged 4 cyl.

19 city/26 hwy

X7

 

AWD

xDrive40i 3.0 turbo 6 cyl.

20 city/25 hwy

 

 

xDrive50i 4.4 turbo V8

15 city/21 hwy

The XC90 T8 can drive on battery power alone for up to 17 miles. The X7 must run its internal combustion engine to move.

The XC90 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 X7 doesn’t offer a cap-less fueling system.

Tires and Wheels

The XC90’s optional tires provide better handling because they have a lower 35 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the X7’s optional 40 series front tires.

Suspension and Handling

For better maneuverability, the XC90’s turning circle is 4.1 feet tighter than the X7’s (38.7 feet vs. 42.8 feet). The XC90’s turning circle is 3.1 feet tighter with 22-inch wheels than the X7’s (39.7 feet vs. 42.8 feet).

For greater off-road capability the XC90 has a greater minimum ground clearance than the X7 (9.4 vs. 8.7 inches), allowing the XC90 to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged. The XC90 w/Air Suspension’s minimum ground clearance is 1.8 inches higher than on the X7 (10.5 vs. 8.7 inches).

Chassis

The Volvo XC90 may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 550 to 650 pounds less than the BMW X7.

The XC90 is 8.4 inches shorter than the X7, making the XC90 easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

The design of the Volvo XC90 amounts to more than styling. The XC90 has an aerodynamic coefficient of drag of .33 Cd. That is lower than the X7 (.33 to .34) and many sports cars. A more efficient exterior helps keep the interior quieter and helps the XC90 get better fuel mileage.

Cargo Capacity

The XC90’s liftgate lifts up in one piece, completely out of the way of loading and unloading, while sheltering the cargo loading area. The X7’s tailgate’s top part raises up, but the bottom part lowers, getting in the way of loading and making an uneven surface for sliding cargo.

To make loading groceries and cargo easier when your hands are full, the XC90’s liftgate can be opened and closed just by waving your foot, leaving your hands completely free. The X7 doesn’t offer a hands-free gesture to open its tailgate, forcing you to put cargo down if your hands are full.

Ergonomics

Heated windshield washer nozzles are standard on the XC90 to prevent washer fluid and nozzles from freezing and help continue to keep the windshield clear in sub-freezing temperatures. The X7 doesn’t offer heated windshield washer nozzles.

A manual rear sunshade is optional in the XC90 to help block heat and glare for the rear passengers. The X7 doesn’t offer a rear sunshade.

The XC90 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 X7 doesn’t offer a house-current electrical outlet.

Model Availability

The XC90 is available in both front-wheel drive and four-wheel drive configurations. The X7 doesn’t offer a two-wheel drive configuration.

Recommendations

The Car Book by Jack Gillis recommends the Volvo XC90, based on economy, maintenance, safety and complaint levels.

Motor Trend selected the XC90 as their 2016 Sport Utility of the Year. The X7 has never been chosen.

The XC90 was chosen as one of Automobile Magazine’s “All Stars” in 2016. The X7 has never been an “All Star.”

A group of representative automotive journalists from North America selected the XC90 as the 2016 North American Truck of the Year. The X7 has never been chosen.

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

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