2019 Volvo XC90 vs. 2019 Porsche Cayenne

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

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 Cayenne doesn’t offer pre-crash pretensioners.

For enhanced safety, the front and middle seat shoulder belts of the Volvo XC90 are height-adjustable to accommodate a wide variety of driver and passenger heights. A better fit can prevent injuries and the increased comfort also encourages passengers to buckle up. The Porsche Cayenne has only front height-adjustable seat belts.

Both the XC90 and Cayenne have child safety locks to prevent children from opening the rear doors. The XC90 has power child safety locks, allowing the driver to activate and deactivate them from the driver's seat and to know when they're engaged. The Cayenne’s child locks have to be individually engaged at each rear door with a manual switch. The driver can’t know the status of the locks without opening the doors and checking them.

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

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 Cayenne doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

Both the XC90 and the Cayenne have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front 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, post-collision automatic braking systems, daytime running lights, rearview cameras 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 Cayenne has not been tested, yet.

Warranty

Volvo pays for scheduled maintenance on the XC90 for 2 years and 26000 miles longer than Porsche pays for maintenance for the Cayenne (3/36,000 vs. 1/10,000).

There are over 57 percent more Volvo dealers than there are Porsche dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the XC90’s warranty.

Fuel Economy and Range

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

 

 

 

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

Cayenne

 

AWD

3.0 turbo V6

19 city/23 hwy

 

 

2.9 turbo V6

18 city/23 hwy

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 Cayenne doesn’t offer a cap-less fueling system.

Brakes and Stopping

The XC90 stops shorter than the Cayenne:

 

XC90

Cayenne

 

60 to 0 MPH

126 feet

131 feet

Consumer Reports

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

137 feet

140 feet

Consumer Reports

Suspension and Handling

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the XC90’s wheelbase is 3.5 inches longer than on the Cayenne (117.5 inches vs. 114 inches).

For better maneuverability, the XC90’s turning circle is 1 foot tighter than the Cayenne’s (38.7 feet vs. 39.7 feet).

For greater off-road capability the XC90 has a 1.2 inches greater minimum ground clearance than the Cayenne (9.4 vs. 8.2 inches), allowing the XC90 to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged. The XC90 w/Air Suspension’s minimum ground clearance is 2.1 inches higher than on the Cayenne Air Suspension (10.5 vs. 8.4 inches).

Chassis

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 Cayenne (.34 to .35) and many sports cars. A more efficient exterior helps keep the interior quieter and helps the XC90 get better fuel mileage.

Passenger Space

The XC90 has standard seating for 7 passengers; the Cayenne can only carry 5.

Cargo Capacity

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

 

XC90

Cayenne

Third Seat Folded

41.8 cubic feet

n/a

Third Seat Removed

n/a

27.1 cubic feet

Second Seat Folded

85.7 cubic feet

60.3 cubic feet

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

 

XC90

Cayenne

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

21.8”/49.6”/80.3”

n.a./39.6”/74.9”

Max Width

54.7”

42”

Min Width

44.5”

42”

Height

35”

30.4”

Ergonomics

The XC90 has a standard remote vehicle starting system, so the vehicle can be started from inside the driver's house. This allows the driver to comfortably warm up the engine before going out to the vehicle. The climate system will also automatically heat or cool the interior. The Cayenne doesn’t offer a remote starting system.

The XC90’s standard Easy Ingress and Egress Seat glides the driver’s seat back, making it easier for the driver to get in and out. An easy entry system costs extra on the Cayenne.

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 Cayenne 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 Cayenne doesn’t offer heated windshield washer nozzles.

To improve rear visibility by keeping the rear window clear, the XC90 has a standard rear fixed intermittent wiper with a full on position. The rear wiper standard on the Cayenne only has an intermittent setting, so in a hard rain visibility isn’t as good.

A manual rear sunshade is optional in the XC90 to help block heat and glare for the rear passengers. The Cayenne 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 Cayenne 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 Cayenne 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 Cayenne has never been chosen.

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

The Volvo XC90 outsold the Porsche Cayenne by almost three to one during 2018.

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

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