2020 GMC Yukon vs. 2020 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 2019/12/14

In the past twenty years hundreds of infants and young children have died after being left in vehicles, usually by accident. When turning the vehicle off, drivers of the Yukon are reminded to check the back seat if they opened the rear door before starting out. The XC90 doesn’t offer a back seat reminder.

The Yukon has a standard front seat center airbag, which deploys between the driver and front passenger, protecting them from injuries caused by striking each other in serious side impacts. The XC90 doesn’t offer front seat center airbags.

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

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, results indicate that the GMC Yukon is safer than the Volvo XC90:

Yukon

XC90

Front Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

23

51

Chest Movement

.7 inches

.7 inches

Abdominal Force

107 G’s

153 G’s

Hip Force

214 lbs.

255 lbs.

Rear Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Spine Acceleration

26 G’s

40 G’s

Hip Force

208 lbs.

608 lbs.

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

Warranty

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GMC’s powertrain warranty covers the Yukon 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 almost 6 times as many GMC dealers as there are Volvo dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Yukon’s warranty.

Reliability

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The Yukon has a standard “limp home system” to keep drivers from being stranded if most or all of the engine’s coolant is lost. The engine will run on only half of its cylinders at a time, reduce its power and light a warning lamp on the dashboard so the driver can get to a service station for repairs. The XC90 doesn’t offer a lost coolant limp home mode, so a coolant leak could strand you or seriously damage the truck’s engine.

A reliable vehicle saves its owner time, money and trouble. Nobody wants to be stranded or have to be without a vehicle while it’s being repaired. Consumer Reports rates the Yukon’s reliability 52 points higher than the XC90.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that GMC vehicles are better in initial quality than Volvo vehicles. J.D. Power ranks GMC 12th in initial quality. With 20 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 GMC vehicles are more reliable than Volvo vehicles. J.D. Power ranks GMC 22nd in reliability. With 43 more problems per 100 vehicles, Volvo is ranked 29th.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that GMC vehicles are more reliable than Volvo vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks GMC 4 places higher in reliability than Volvo.

Engine

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The Yukon has more powerful engines than the XC90:

Horsepower

Torque

Yukon 5.3 V8

355 HP

383 lbs.-ft.

Yukon Graphite Performance Edition/Denali 6.2 V8

420 HP

460 lbs.-ft.

XC90 T5 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

250 HP

258 lbs.-ft.

XC90 T6 2.0 DOHC 4 cyl.

316 HP

295 lbs.-ft.

XC90 T8 2.0 DOHC 4 cyl. hybrid

400 HP

472 lbs.-ft.

Fuel Economy and Range

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An engine control system that can shut down half of the engine’s cylinders helps improve the Yukon’s fuel efficiency. The XC90 doesn’t offer a system that can shut down part of the engine.

To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the GMC Yukon uses regular unleaded gasoline (premium recommended on Yukon Graphite Performance Edition/Denali for maximum performance). The XC90 requires premium, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.

The Yukon has 7.5 gallons more fuel capacity than the XC90 Hybrid’s standard fuel tank (26 vs. 18.5 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups. The Yukon has 7.2 gallons more fuel capacity than the XC90’s standard fuel tank (26 vs. 18.8 gallons).

Transmission

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A 10-speed automatic is standard on the GMC Yukon Graphite Performance Edition/Denali, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only an eight-speed automatic is available for the XC90.

Tires and Wheels

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For better traction, the Yukon has larger standard tires than the XC90 (265/65R18 vs. 235/55R19). The Yukon’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the XC90 (285/45R22 vs. 275/45R20).

The GMC Yukon’s wheels have 6 lugs for longer wheel bearing life, less chance of rotor warping and greater strength. The Volvo XC90 only has 5 wheel lugs per wheel.

The Yukon has a standard easy tire fill system. When inflating the tires, the vehicle’s integrated tire pressure sensors keep track of the pressure as the tires fill and tell the driver when the tires are inflated to the proper pressure. The XC90 doesn’t offer vehicle monitored tire inflation.

The Yukon has a standard full size spare tire so a flat doesn’t interrupt your trip. A full size spare isn’t available on the XC90, it requires you to depend on a temporary spare, which has mileage and speed limitations, or roadside assistance and a tow-truck.

Suspension and Handling

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The front and rear suspension of the Yukon 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.

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the Yukon is 3 inches wider in the front and 2.9 inches wider in the rear than the average track on the XC90.

Chassis

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The front grille of the Yukon 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 Yukon Graphite Performance Edition//Denali 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 Yukon offers optional seating for 9 passengers; the XC90 can only carry 7.

The Yukon has 3.9 inches more front headroom, 4.4 inches more front legroom, 4.8 inches more front hip room, 7.1 inches more front shoulder room, .2 inches more rear headroom, 2 inches more rear legroom, 3.8 inches more rear hip room, 8.6 inches more rear shoulder room, 1.8 inches more third row headroom, 4.4 inches more third row hip room and 15.7 inches more third row shoulder room than the XC90.

Cargo Capacity

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

Yukon

XC90

Behind Third Seat

15.3 cubic feet

12.6 cubic feet

Third Seat Folded

51.7 cubic feet

35.6 cubic feet

Second Seat Folded

94.7 cubic feet

65.5 cubic feet

Pressing a switch automatically lowers the Yukon SLT/Denali’s second and third row seats, to make changing between passengers and cargo easier. The XC90 doesn’t offer automatic folding second row seats.

Payload and Towing

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The Yukon’s minimum standard towing capacity is much higher than the XC90’s (6300 vs. 4000 pounds). Maximum trailer towing in the Volvo XC90 AWD is only 5000 pounds. The Yukon offers up to a 8500 lbs. towing capacity.

The Yukon has a much higher standard payload capacity than the XC90 (1650 vs. 1210 lbs.).

The Yukon has a much higher maximum payload capacity than the XC90 (1690 vs. 1210 lbs.).

Servicing Ease

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The engine in the Yukon is mounted longitudinally (North-South), instead of sideways, as in the XC90. This makes it easier to service and maintain, because the accessory belts are in front.

A maintenance reminder system is standard on the Yukon 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 Yukon’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 Yukon’s front and rear power windows all lower with one touch of the switches, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths, or when talking with someone outside of the car. The XC90’s rear power window switches have to be held the entire time to open them fully.

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

To quickly and conveniently keep personal devices charged without cables tangling and wearing out, the GMC Yukon Denali has a standard wireless phone charging system (Qi) in the center console. The XC90 doesn’t offer wireless personal charging.

Economic Advantages

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Insurance will cost less for the Yukon owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the Yukon will cost $505 to $4490 less than the XC90 over a five-year period.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Yukon is less expensive to operate than the XC90 because typical repairs cost much less on the Yukon than the XC90, including $470 less for a water pump, $40 less for front brake pads, $309 less for a starter, $50 less for fuel injection, $61 less for a fuel pump, $119 less for front struts and $517 less for a power steering pump.

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 2019/12/14

The GMC Yukon/Yukon XL outsold the Volvo XC90 by over two to one during the 2019 model year.

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

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