2020 Honda Pilot 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 2019/12/08

Both the Pilot and the XC90 have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact 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, crash mitigating brakes, daytime running lights, lane departure warning systems, rearview cameras, available all wheel drive, blind spot warning systems, rear parking sensors 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 Honda Pilot is safer than the Volvo XC90:

Pilot

XC90

Front Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Chest Movement

.6 inches

.7 inches

Abdominal Force

101 G’s

153 G’s

Rear Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Hip Force

304 lbs.

608 lbs.

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

Warranty

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Honda’s powertrain warranty covers the Pilot 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 4 times as many Honda dealers as there are Volvo dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Pilot’s warranty.

Reliability

© 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 2019/12/08

The engine in the Pilot has a single overhead cam for simplicity. The engines in the XC90 have dual overhead cams, which add to the number of moving parts and the complexity of the cylinder heads.

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 Pilot’s reliability 36 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 Honda vehicles are better in initial quality than Volvo vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Honda 16th in initial quality. With 16 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 Honda vehicles are more reliable than Volvo vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Honda 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 Honda vehicles are more reliable than Volvo vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Honda 14 places higher in reliability than Volvo.

Engine

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The Pilot’s 3.5 SOHC V6 produces 30 more horsepower (280 vs. 250) and 4 lbs.-ft. more torque (262 vs. 258) than the XC90 T5’s standard 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

As tested in Motor Trend the Honda Pilot is faster than the XC90 T6 2.0 DOHC 4 cyl.:

Pilot

XC90

Zero to 30 MPH

2.2 sec

2.3 sec

Zero to 60 MPH

6.2 sec

6.7 sec

Zero to 80 MPH

10.7 sec

11.2 sec

Passing 45 to 65 MPH

3.3 sec

3.5 sec

Quarter Mile

14.8 sec

15.1 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

93.9 MPH

90.4 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

© 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 2019/12/08

An engine control system that can shut down half of the engine’s cylinders helps improve the Pilot’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 Honda Pilot uses regular unleaded gasoline. The XC90 requires premium, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.

The Pilot has a gallon more fuel capacity than the XC90 Hybrid’s standard fuel tank (19.5 vs. 18.5 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

Transmission

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A nine-speed automatic is standard on the Honda Pilot Touring/Elite/Black Edition, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only an eight-speed automatic is available for the XC90.

Brakes and Stopping

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The Pilot stops shorter than the XC90:

Pilot

XC90

70 to 0 MPH

180 feet

184 feet

Car and Driver

Tires and Wheels

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For better traction, the Pilot has larger tires than the XC90 (245/60R18 vs. 235/55R19).

The Pilot 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.

Suspension and Handling

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The front and rear suspension of the Pilot 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 Pilot (except LX)’s optional 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.

The Pilot Elite 4WD handles at .80 G’s, while the XC90 T6 AWD pulls only .77 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

Chassis

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The Honda Pilot may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 300 to 800 pounds less than the Volvo XC90.

The Pilot 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.

As tested by Car and Driver, the interior of the Pilot Elite 4WD is quieter than the XC90 T6 AWD:

Pilot

XC90

At idle

37 dB

48 dB

Passenger Space

© 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 2019/12/08

The Pilot has standard seating for 8 passengers; the XC90 can only carry 7.

The Pilot has 1.2 inches more front headroom, 3.1 inches more front hip room, 4.3 inches more front shoulder room, 1.7 inches more rear headroom, 1.4 inches more rear legroom, .8 inches more rear hip room, 5.5 inches more rear shoulder room, 2.6 inches more third row headroom and 10.7 inches more third row shoulder room than the XC90.

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

Cargo Capacity

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

Pilot

XC90

Behind Third Seat

18.5 cubic feet

12.6 cubic feet

Third Seat Folded

55.9 cubic feet

35.6 cubic feet

Second Seat Folded

109 cubic feet

65.5 cubic feet

Servicing Ease

© 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 2019/12/08

A Maintenance Minder is standard on the Pilot to save the owner time and money by calculating maintenance intervals for oil changes, spark plug replacement, air filter replacement, tire rotation, radiator flush, brake pad replacement and transmission fluid replacement 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

© 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 2019/12/08

The Pilot 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.

To shield the driver and front passenger’s vision over a larger portion of the windshield and side windows, the Pilot 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 Honda Pilot Elite//Black Edition has a standard wireless phone charging system (Qi) for the front seat. The XC90 doesn’t offer wireless personal charging.

Economic Advantages

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Insurance will cost less for the Pilot owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the Pilot will cost $475 to $4920 less than the XC90 over a five-year period.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Pilot is less expensive to operate than the XC90 because it costs $527 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost much less on the Pilot than the XC90, including $450 less for a water pump, $77 less for front brake pads, $128 less for a starter, $140 less for fuel injection, $83 less for a fuel pump, $106 less for front struts, $114 less for a timing belt/chain and $416 less for a power steering pump.

IntelliChoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the Honda Pilot will be $13750 to $19924 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 2019/12/08

The Honda Pilot has won recognition from these important consumer publications:

Pilot

XC90

Consumer Reports® Recommends

TRUE

FALSE

Car Book “Best Bet”

TRUE

TRUE

The Honda Pilot outsold the Volvo XC90 by over four to one during the 2019 model year.

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

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