2020 Kia Telluride vs. 2019 Volvo XC90

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

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 Telluride are reminded to check the back seat when a sensor determines the back seat is occupied. The XC90 doesn’t offer a back seat reminder.

Both the Telluride 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, crash mitigating brakes, daytime running lights, lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems, rearview cameras, rear cross-path warning, driver alert monitors, available all wheel drive and around view monitors.

Warranty

The Telluride comes with a full 5-year/60,000-mile basic warranty, which covers the entire truck and includes 24-hour roadside assistance. The XC90’s 4-year/50,000-mile basic warranty expires 1 year and 10,000 miles sooner.

Kia’s powertrain warranty covers the Telluride 6 years and 50,000 miles longer than Volvo covers the XC90. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 10 years or 100,000 miles. Coverage on the XC90 ends after only 4 years or 50,000 miles.

There are almost 3 times as many Kia dealers as there are Volvo dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Telluride’s warranty.

Reliability

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2018 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Kia vehicles are better in initial quality than Volvo vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Kia second in initial quality, above the industry average. With 50 more problems per 100 vehicles, Volvo is ranked 29th, below the industry average.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Kia vehicles are more reliable than Volvo vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Kia 10th in reliability, above the industry average. With 78 more problems per 100 vehicles, Volvo is ranked 29th.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that Kia vehicles are more reliable than Volvo vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Kia 24 places higher in reliability than Volvo.

Engine

The Telluride’s 3.8 DOHC V6 produces 41 more horsepower (291 vs. 250) and 4 lbs.-ft. more torque (262 vs. 258) than the XC90 T5’s standard 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

Fuel Economy and Range

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

Brakes and Stopping

The Telluride stops much shorter than the XC90:

Telluride

XC90

70 to 0 MPH

162 feet

184 feet

Car and Driver

Tires and Wheels

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

Suspension and Handling

The Telluride 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 Telluride 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 Telluride is 1.4 inches wider in the front and 1.8 inches wider in the rear than the average track on the XC90.

The Telluride SX 4x4 handles at .81 G’s, while the XC90 T6 AWD pulls only .77 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

Chassis

The Kia Telluride may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 650 pounds less than the Volvo XC90.

As tested by Car and Driver, the interior of the Telluride SX 4x4 is quieter than the XC90 T6 AWD:

Telluride

XC90

At idle

36 dB

48 dB

Passenger Space

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

The Telluride has 2 inches more front headroom, 3.2 inches more front legroom, 2.9 inches more front hip room, 3.9 inches more front shoulder room, 1.7 inches more rear headroom, 5.4 inches more rear legroom, 1.5 inches more rear hip room, 4.7 inches more rear shoulder room, 1.8 inches more third row headroom and 8.4 inches more third row shoulder room than the XC90.

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

Cargo Capacity

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

Telluride

XC90

Behind Third Seat

21 cubic feet

15.9 cubic feet

Third Seat Folded

46 cubic feet

41.8 cubic feet

Second Seat Folded

87 cubic feet

85.7 cubic feet

Towing

The Telluride’s standard towing capacity is much higher than the XC90’s (5000 vs. 4000 pounds).

Servicing Ease

A maintenance reminder system is standard on the Telluride to save the owner time and money by calculating maintenance intervals based on odometer mileage. 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

The Telluride’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.

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

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

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