2019 Volvo XC90 vs. 2019 GMC Yukon

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/07/15

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 GMC Yukon doesn’t offer pretensioners for the middle seat belts.

The XC90’s pre-crash front seatbelts will tighten automatically in the event the vehicle detects an impending crash, improving protection against injury significantly. The Yukon doesn’t offer pre-crash pretensioners.

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. GMC doesn’t offer the convenience and security of a built-in child booster seat in the Yukon. 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 Yukon’s side airbags don’t have smart features and will always deploy full force.

The XC90 has a standard Whiplash Protection System (WHIPS), which use a specially designed seat to protect the driver and front passenger from whiplash. During a rear-end collision, the WHIPS allows the backrest to travel backwards to cushion the occupants and the headrests move forward to prevent neck and spine injuries. At the same time the pretensioning seatbelts fire, removing slack from the belts. The Yukon doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.

The XC90 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 Yukon 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 XC90’s standard Hill Descent Control allows you to creep down safely. The Yukon doesn’t offer Hill Descent Control.

The XC90 offers an optional 360-Degree Surround View Camera to allow the driver to see objects all around the vehicle on a screen. The Yukon 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.

The XC90’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 Yukon doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

For better protection of the passenger compartment, the XC90 uses safety cell construction with a three-dimensional high-strength frame that surrounds the passenger compartment. It provides extra impact protection and a sturdy mounting location for door hardware and side impact beams. The Yukon uses a body-on-frame design, which has no frame members above the floor of the vehicle.

Both the XC90 and the Yukon have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, height adjustable front shoulder belts, plastic fuel tanks, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights and rearview cameras.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does side impact tests on new vehicles. In this test, which crashes the vehicle into a flat barrier at 38.5 MPH and into a post at 20 MPH, results indicate that the Volvo XC90 is safer than the GMC Yukon:

 

XC90

Yukon

 

Rear Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

94

107

 

Into Pole

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Max Damage Depth

12 inches

18 inches

HIC

209

355

Spine Acceleration

29 G’s

50 G’s

Hip Force

383 lbs.

893 lbs.

New test not comparable to pre-2011 test results. More stars = Better. Lower test results = Better.

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 149 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The Yukon has not been tested, yet.

Warranty

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/07/15

The XC90 comes with a full 4-year/50,000-mile basic warranty, which covers the entire truck and includes 24-hour roadside assistance. The Yukon’s 3-year/36,000-mile basic warranty expires 1 year and 14,000 miles sooner.

The XC90’s corrosion warranty is 6 years and unlimited miles longer than the Yukon’s (12/unlimited vs. 6/100,000).

Volvo pays for scheduled maintenance on the XC90 for 1 year and 12000 miles longer than GMC pays for maintenance for the Yukon (3/36,000 vs. 2/24,000).

Reliability

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For smoother operation, better efficiency and fewer moving parts, the engines in the XC90 have an overhead cam design, rather than the old pushrod design of the engines in the Yukon.

To reliably power the ignition and other systems and to recharge the battery, the XC90 has a standard 210-amp alternator. The Yukon’s standard 150-amp alternator and largest (Graphite Performance Edition/Denali) 170-amp alternator aren’t as powerful.

To reliably start during all conditions and help handle large electrical loads, the XC90 has a standard 800-amp battery. The Yukon’s 720-amp battery isn’t as powerful.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ April 2018 Auto Issue reports that Volvo vehicles are more reliable than GMC vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Volvo 3 places higher in reliability than GMC.

Engine

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/07/15

The XC90 T8 Polestar’s 2.0 DOHC 4 cyl. hybrid produces 1 more horsepower (421 vs. 420) and 42 lbs.-ft. more torque (502 vs. 460) than the Yukon Graphite Performance Edition/Denali’s optional 6.2 V8.

As tested in Motor Trend the XC90 T6 is faster than the GMC Yukon 5.3 V8:

 

XC90

Yukon

Zero to 60 MPH

6.7 sec

6.9 sec

Zero to 80 MPH

11.2 sec

12.2 sec

Passing 45 to 65 MPH

3.5 sec

3.6 sec

Quarter Mile

15.1 sec

15.4 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

90.4 MPH

90 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/07/15

On the EPA test cycle the XC90 T8 running on a full charge gets better fuel mileage than the Yukon 5.3 V8 4WD (63 city/61 hwy MPGe vs. 15 city/21 hwy).

On the EPA test cycle the XC90 T8 running its gasoline engine gets better fuel mileage than the Yukon 5.3 V8 4WD (26 city/30 hwy vs. 19 city/25 hwy).

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

 

 

XC90

Yukon

 

2WD

T5/Auto

21 city/29 hwy

15 city/22 hwy

5.3 V8/Auto

 

 

n/a

14 city/23 hwy

6.2 V8/Auto

4WD

T5/Auto

20 city/27 hwy

15 city/21 hwy

5.3 V8/Auto

 

T6/Auto

20 city/27 hwy

14 city/22 hwy

6.2 V8/Auto

The XC90 T8 can drive on battery power alone for up to 14 miles. The Yukon must run its internal combustion engine to move.

Regenerative brakes improve the XC90 T8’s fuel efficiency by converting inertia back into energy instead of wasting it. The Yukon doesn’t offer a regenerative braking system.

In heavy traffic or at stoplights the XC90’s engine automatically turns off when the vehicle is stopped, saving fuel and reducing pollution. The engine is automatically restarted when the driver gets ready to move again. (Start/Stop isn’t accounted in present EPA fuel mileage tests.) The Yukon doesn’t offer an automatic engine start/stop system.

Environmental Friendliness

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In its Green Vehicle Guide, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rates the Volvo XC90 higher (5 to 7 out of 10) than the GMC Yukon (3). This means the XC90 produces up to 24.5 pounds less smog-producing pollutants than the Yukon every 15,000 miles.

Brakes and Stopping

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For better stopping power the XC90’s front brake rotors are larger than those on the Yukon:

 

XC90 T5/T6

XC90 T8

Yukon

Front Rotors

13.6 inches

14.4 inches

13 inches

The XC90 stops much shorter than the Yukon:

 

XC90

Yukon

 

60 to 0 MPH

113 feet

130 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/07/15

The XC90 T5’s standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 60 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Yukon SLE/SLT’s standard 65 series tires. The XC90’s optional tires have a lower 35 series profile than the Yukon’s optional 45 series tires.

Suspension and Handling

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For superior ride and handling, the Volvo XC90 has fully independent front and rear suspensions. An independent suspension allows the wheels to follow the road at the best angle for gripping the pavement, without compromising ride comfort. The GMC Yukon has a solid rear axle, with a non-independent rear suspension.

The XC90 has standard front and rear stabilizer bars, which help keep the XC90 flat and controlled during cornering. The Yukon’s suspension doesn’t offer a rear stabilizer bar.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the XC90’s wheelbase is 1.5 inches longer than on the Yukon (117.5 inches vs. 116 inches).

The XC90 T6 AWD handles at .85 G’s, while the Yukon SLT pulls only .75 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

The XC90 T6 AWD executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 1.2 seconds quicker than the Yukon SLT (26.8 seconds @ .65 average G’s vs. 28 seconds @ .62 average G’s).

For greater off-road capability the XC90 has a 1.4 inches greater minimum ground clearance than the Yukon (9.4 vs. 8 inches), allowing the XC90 to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged. The XC90 w/Air Suspension’s minimum ground clearance is 2.5 inches higher than on the Yukon (10.5 vs. 8 inches).

Chassis

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The Volvo XC90 may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 650 to 700 pounds less than the GMC Yukon.

The XC90 is 9 inches shorter than the Yukon, making the XC90 easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

Unibody construction lowers the XC90’s center of gravity significantly without reducing ground clearance. This contributes to better on the road handling and better off-road performance and stability. In addition, unibody construction makes the chassis stiffer, improving handling and reducing squeaks and rattles. The Yukon uses body-on-frame design instead.

Passenger Space

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The front step up height for the XC90 is 6.6 inches lower than the Yukon (15.8” vs. 22.4”). The XC90’s rear step up height is 6.4 inches lower than the Yukon’s (16” vs. 22.4”).

Cargo Capacity

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The XC90’s cargo area provides more volume than the Yukon.

 

XC90

Yukon

Behind Third Seat

15.9 cubic feet

15.3 cubic feet

A low lift-over cargo hatch design makes loading and unloading the XC90 easier. The XC90’s cargo hatch lift-over height is 30.8 inches, while the Yukon’s liftover is 35.9 inches.

The XC90’s cargo area is larger than the Yukon’s in almost every dimension:

 

XC90

Yukon

Length to seat (3rd/2nd/1st)

21.8”/49.6”/80.3”

11.1”/43.2”/79.9”

Max Width

54.7”

n/a

Min Width

44.5”

49.3”

Height

35”

33.9”

The XC90 has a standard third row seat which folds flat into the floor. This completely clears a very large cargo area quickly. The Yukon doesn’t offer seats that fold into the floor.

Ergonomics

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Unlike the driver-only memory system in the Yukon SLT Standard/SLT/Denali, the XC90 has standard driver and 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.

If the windows are left open on the XC90 the driver can close them all at the outside door handle. On a hot day the driver can lower the windows at the outside door handle or from a distance using the keyless remote. The driver of the Yukon can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

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 Yukon doesn’t offer heated windshield washer nozzles.

In poor weather, headlights can lose their effectiveness as grime builds up on their lenses. This can reduce visibility without the driver realizing. The XC90 offers available headlight washers to keep headlight output high. The Yukon doesn’t offer headlight washers.

To help drivers avoid possible obstacles, the XC90 has standard cornering lights to illuminate around corners when the turn signals are activated. The Yukon doesn’t offer cornering lights. The XC90 also offers optional adaptive headlights to illuminate around corners automatically by reading vehicle speed and steering wheel angle.

Optional air-conditioned the front and second row seats keep the XC90’s passengers comfortable and take the sting out of hot leather in summer. The Yukon doesn’t offer air-conditioned seats for the second row.

The XC90’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 Yukon doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

Recommendations

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/07/15

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 Yukon has never been chosen.

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

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

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