2020 Chrysler Pacifica vs. 2019 Volvo XC90

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

© 1999 - 2019 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 2019/10/16

Over 200 people are killed each year when backed over by motor vehicles. The Pacifica has standard Rear Park Assist with Stop that uses rear sensors to monitor and automatically apply the brakes to prevent a rear collision. The XC90 doesn’t offer backup collision prevention brakes.

Both the Pacifica and the XC90 have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, front wheel drive, height adjustable front shoulder belts, plastic fuel tanks, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights, blind spot warning systems, rearview cameras, rear cross-path warning, available crash mitigating brakes, lane departure warning systems and around view monitors.

For its top level performance in IIHS driver-side small overlap frontal, moderate overlap frontal, side impact, rear impact and roof-crush tests, with its optional front crash prevention system, its “Acceptable” rating in the new passenger-side small overlap crash test, and its available headlight’s “Acceptable” rating, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the Pacifica the rating of “Top Pick” for 2019, a rating granted to only 88 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The XC90 was last qualified as a “Top Pick” in 2017.

Warranty

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Chrysler’s powertrain warranty covers the Pacifica 1 year and 10,000 miles longer than Volvo covers the XC90. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 5 years or 60,000 miles. Coverage on the XC90 ends after only 4 years or 50,000 miles.

There are over 8 times as many Chrysler dealers as there are Volvo dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Pacifica’s warranty.

Reliability

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J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Chrysler vehicles are better in initial quality than Volvo vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Chrysler 25th in initial quality. With 1 more problems per 100 vehicles, Volvo is ranked 28th.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Chrysler vehicles are more reliable than Volvo vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Chrysler 16th in reliability. With 58 more problems per 100 vehicles, Volvo is ranked 29th.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that Chrysler vehicles are more reliable than Volvo vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Chrysler 5 places higher in reliability than Volvo.

Fuel Economy and Range

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On the EPA test cycle the Pacifica Hybrid running on electricity gets better fuel mileage than the XC90 T8 running on electricity (87 city/76 hwy MPGe vs. 59 city/56 hwy).

On the EPA test cycle the Pacifica Hybrid running its gasoline engine gets better fuel mileage than the XC90 running its gasoline engine (29 city/30 hwy vs. 24 city/27 hwy).

The Pacifica’s maximum driving range in pure electric mode is 32 miles, 88% further than the XC90 T8’s 17-mile range.

To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Chrysler Pacifica uses regular unleaded gasoline. The XC90 T5 requires premium, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.

Environmental Friendliness

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In its Green Vehicle Guide, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rates the Chrysler Pacifica higher (7 out of 10) than the Volvo XC90 (5 to 7). This means the Pacifica produces up to 8 pounds less smog-producing pollutants than the XC90 every 15,000 miles.

Transmission

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A nine-speed automatic is standard on the Chrysler Pacifica, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only an eight-speed automatic is available for the XC90.

The Pacifica Hybrid has a standard continuously variable transmission (CVT). With no “steps” between gears, it can keep the engine at the most efficient speed for fuel economy, or keep it at its peak horsepower indefinitely for maximum acceleration. The XC90 doesn’t offer a CVT.

Brakes and Stopping

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The Pacifica stops much shorter than the XC90:

Pacifica

XC90

70 to 0 MPH

164 feet

184 feet

Car and Driver

Suspension and Handling

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The Pacifica has standard front and rear gas-charged shocks for better control over choppy roads. The XC90’s suspension doesn’t offer gas-charged shocks.

The front and rear suspension of the Pacifica uses coil springs for better ride, handling and control than the XC90, which uses transverse leafs springs in the rear. Coil springs compress more progressively and offer more suspension travel for a smoother ride with less bottoming out.

The Pacifica’s drift compensation steering can automatically compensate for road conditions which would cause the vehicle to drift from side to side, helping the driver to keep the vehicle straight more easily. The XC90 doesn’t offer drift compensation steering.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Pacifica’s wheelbase is 4.1 inches longer than on the XC90 (121.6 inches vs. 117.5 inches).

For better handling and stability, the average track (width between the wheels) on the Pacifica is 2.5 inches wider in the front and 2.5 inches wider in the rear than the average track on the XC90.

Chassis

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The Chrysler Pacifica may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 100 to 400 pounds less than the Volvo XC90.

The front grille of the Pacifica uses electronically controlled shutters to close off airflow and reduce drag when less engine cooling is needed. This helps improve highway fuel economy. The XC90 doesn’t offer active grille shutters.

The Pacifica uses computer-generated active noise cancellation to help remove annoying noise and vibration from the passenger compartment, especially at low frequencies. The XC90 doesn’t offer active noise cancellation.

Passenger Space

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The Pacifica offers optional seating for 8 passengers; the XC90 can only carry 7.

The Pacifica has 1.2 inches more front headroom, .2 inches more front legroom, 3 inches more front hip room, 6.1 inches more front shoulder room, 1.1 inches more rear headroom, 2 inches more rear legroom, 8.3 inches more rear hip room, 6.5 inches more rear shoulder room, 2.4 inches more third row headroom, 4.6 inches more third row legroom, 4.6 inches more third row hip room and 14.3 inches more third row shoulder room than the XC90.

For enhanced passenger comfort on long trips the Pacifica’s middle and third row seats recline. The XC90’s third row seats don’t recline.

Cargo Capacity

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

Pacifica

XC90

Behind Third Seat

32.3 cubic feet

15.9 cubic feet

Third Seat Folded

87.5 cubic feet

41.8 cubic feet

Second Seat Folded

140.5 cubic feet

85.7 cubic feet

A low lift-over cargo hatch design makes loading and unloading the Pacifica easier. The Pacifica’s cargo hatch lift-over height is 24.3 inches, while the XC90’s liftover is 30.8 inches.

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

Pacifica

XC90

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

23.2”/57.5”/92.5”

21.8”/49.6”/80.3”

Max Width

49.3”

54.7”

Min Width

48.8”

44.5”

Height

47.6”

35”

The Pacifica has standard Stow ‘n Go™ second and third row seats (except second row on Hybrid), which fold flat into the floor. This completely clears a very large cargo area quickly. The XC90 only has a third row seat which folds into the floor. The XC90’s second row seat doesn’t fold into the floor and eats up cargo room.

Servicing Ease

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A maintenance reminder system is standard on the Pacifica to save the owner time and money by calculating maintenance intervals for oil changes based on actual driving conditions. This takes the guesswork out of keeping your vehicle in top condition and helps it last longer. Volvo doesn’t offer a maintenance reminder on the XC90.

Ergonomics

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The Pacifica’s instruments include an oil pressure gauge and a temperature gauge - which could save your engine! Often ‘idiot lights’ don’t warn you until damage has been done. The XC90 does not have an oil pressure gauge.

The Pacifica Touring-L Plus/Limited’s front and rear power windows all open or close fully with one touch of the switches, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths, or when talking with someone outside the car. The XC90’s rear power window switches have to be held the entire time to open or close them fully.

The Pacifica Hybrid has a standard locking fuel door with a remote release located convenient to the driver. A locking fuel door helps prevent vandalism, such as sugar in the tank and fuel theft. The XC90 doesn’t offer a locking fuel door.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) conducts detailed tests on headlights for their range both straight ahead and in curves and to be certain they don’t exceed acceptable amounts of glare to oncoming drivers. The Pacifica’s available headlights were rated “Acceptable” by the IIHS, while the XC90’s headlights are rated “Marginal” to “Poor.”

To shield the driver and front passenger’s vision over a larger portion of the windshield and side windows, the Pacifica has standard extendable sun visors. The XC90 doesn’t offer extendable visors.

Economic Advantages

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Insurance will cost less for the Pacifica owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the Pacifica will cost $610 less than the XC90 over a five-year period.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Pacifica is less expensive to operate than the XC90 because it costs $545 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost much less on the Pacifica than the XC90, including $649 less for a water pump, $178 less for a starter, $233 less for fuel injection, $226 less for a fuel pump, $15 less for front struts and $662 less for a power steering pump.

IntelliChoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the Chrysler Pacifica will be $12354 to $16901 less than for the Volvo XC90.

Recommendations

© 1999 - 2019 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 2019/10/16

J.D. Power and Associates rated the Pacifica second among minivans in owner reported satisfaction. This includes how well the vehicle performs and satisfies its owner’s expectations. The XC90 isn’t in the top three.

The Pacifica was chosen as one of Car and Driver’s “Top Five/10Best Trucks” for 3 of the last 3 years. The XC90 has never been a Car and Driver “Top Five/10Best Truck” pick.

The Chrysler Pacifica outsold the Volvo XC90 by almost four to one during 2018.

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

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