2020 Lexus GS Series vs. 2020 Volvo S90

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

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An active infrared night vision system optional on the GS Series helps the driver to more easily detect people, animals or other objects in front of the vehicle at night. Using an infrared camera and near-infrared lights to detect heat, the system then displays the image on a monitor in the dashboard. The S90 doesn’t offer a night vision system.

Both the GS Series and the S90 have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front and rear side-impact airbags, driver knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front and rear seatbelt pretensioners, height-adjustable front shoulder belts, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, crash mitigating brakes, daytime running lights, lane departure warning systems, rearview cameras, driver alert monitors, available all-wheel drive, blind spot warning systems, rear parking sensors and rear cross-path warning.

Warranty

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Lexus’ powertrain warranty covers the GS Series 2 years and 20,000 miles longer than Volvo covers the S90. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 6 years or 70,000 miles. Coverage on the S90 ends after only 4 years or 50,000 miles.

Reliability

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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 GS Series’ reliability 52 points higher than the S90.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Lexus vehicles are better in initial quality than Volvo vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Lexus 8th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 24 more problems per 100 vehicles, Volvo is ranked 28th, 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 Lexus vehicles are more reliable than Volvo vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Lexus first in reliability, above the industry average. With 98 more problems per 100 vehicles, Volvo is ranked 29th.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that Lexus vehicles are more reliable than Volvo vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Lexus first in reliability. Volvo is ranked 29th.

Engine

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As tested in Consumer Reports the Lexus GS Series is faster than the S90 T6 2.0 DOHC 4 cyl.:

GS Series

S90

Zero to 30 MPH

2.6 sec

2.9 sec

Zero to 60 MPH

6.2 sec

7.2 sec

45 to 65 MPH Passing

3.8 sec

4.7 sec

Quarter Mile

14.7 sec

15.4 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

99 MPH

98 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

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The GS Series has 4.2 gallons more fuel capacity than the S90 T8 Plug-In Hybrid’s standard fuel tank (17.4 vs. 13.2 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups. The GS Series has 1.5 gallons more fuel capacity than the S90 T6’s standard fuel tank (17.4 vs. 15.9 gallons).

Brakes and Stopping

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For better stopping power the GS Series’ brake rotors are larger than those on the S90:

GS Series

GS Series F Sport

S90 T5

S90 T6/T8

Front Rotors

13.1 inches

14 inches

12.7 inches

13.6 inches

Rear Rotors

12.2 inches

12.2 inches

11.9 inches

12.6 inches

The GS Series stops shorter than the S90:

GS Series

S90

60 to 0 MPH

105 feet

107 feet

Motor Trend

Suspension and Handling

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The GS Series has standard front and rear gas-charged shocks for better control over choppy roads. The S90’s suspension doesn’t offer gas-charged shocks.

The front and rear suspension of the GS Series uses coil springs for better ride, handling and control than the S90, 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 GS 350 handles at .94 G’s, while the S90 T6 Inscription pulls only .88 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

The GS 350 executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver quicker than the S90 T6 Inscription (25.4 seconds @ .71 average G’s vs. 26.3 seconds @ .68 average G’s).

For better maneuverability, the GS Series’ turning circle is 1.9 feet tighter than the S90 18” wheels’ (36.8 feet vs. 38.7 feet). The GS Series AWD’s turning circle is 2.6 feet tighter than the S90 19” wheels’ (37.4 feet vs. 40 feet).

Chassis

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The GS Series is 8 inches shorter than the S90, making the GS Series easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

The design of the Lexus GS Series amounts to more than styling. The GS Series has an aerodynamic coefficient of drag of .27 Cd. That is lower than the S90 (.28 to .33) and many sports cars. A more efficient exterior helps keep the interior quieter and helps the GS Series get better fuel mileage.

Passenger Space

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The GS Series has .2 inches more front headroom, .1 inches more front legroom and .3 inches more rear shoulder room than the S90.

Cargo Capacity

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The GS Series has a much larger trunk than the S90 (18.4 vs. 13.5 cubic feet).

Servicing Ease

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The engine in the GS Series is mounted longitudinally (North-South), instead of sideways, as in the S90. This makes it easier to service and maintain, because the accessory belts are in front.

A maintenance reminder system is standard on the GS Series to save the owner time and money by calculating maintenance intervals for oil changes, tire rotation, radiator flush and brake pad replacement 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 S90.

J.D. Power and Associates surveys of service recipients show that Lexus service is better than Volvo. J.D. Power ranks Lexus second in service department satisfaction. With a 41% lower rating, Volvo is ranked 14th.

Ergonomics

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The GS Series’ standard easy entry system raises the steering wheel and glides the driver’s seat back, making it easier for the driver to get in and out. The S90 doesn’t offer an easy entry system.

The GS Series’ 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 S90 does not have an oil pressure gauge.

To shield the driver and front passenger’s vision over a larger portion of the windshield and side windows, the GS Series has standard extendable sun visors. The S90 doesn’t offer extendable visors.

Model Availability

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The GS Series is available in both rear-wheel drive and all-wheel drive configurations. The S90 doesn’t offer a two-wheel drive configuration.

Economic Advantages

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The GS Series will cost the buyer less in the long run because of its superior resale value. The IntelliChoice estimates that the GS Series will retain 36.47% to 42.36% of its original price after five years, while the S90 only retains 34.71% to 35.74%.

IntelliChoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the Lexus GS Series will be $2167 to $15736 less than for the Volvo S90.

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 2019/11/21

Consumer Reports® recommends the Lexus GS Series, based on reliability, safety and performance. The Volvo S90 isn't recommended.

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

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