2020 Lexus RX Series vs. 2019 Volvo V90

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

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Over 200 people are killed each year when backed over by motor vehicles. The RX Series offers optional Auto Brake that uses rear sensors to monitor and automatically apply the brakes to prevent a rear collision. The V90 doesn’t offer backup collision prevention brakes.

Both the RX Series and the V90 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, front wheel drive, 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, available all wheel drive, blind spot warning systems, around view monitors and rear cross-path warning.

For its top level performance in all IIHS frontal, side, rear impact and roof-crush tests, with its optional front crash prevention system, and its available headlight’s “Acceptable” rating, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the RX Series the rating of “Top Pick” for 2018, a rating granted to only 104 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The V90 has not been tested, yet.

Warranty

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Lexus’ powertrain warranty covers the RX Series 2 years and 20,000 miles longer than Volvo covers the V90. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 6 years or 70,000 miles. Coverage on the V90 ends after only 4 years or 50,000 miles.

Reliability

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J.D. Power and Associates rated the RX Series first among midsize premium suvs in their 2019 Initial Quality Study. The V90 isn’t in the top three in its category.

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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The RX 350’s standard 3.5 DOHC V6 produces 45 more horsepower (295 vs. 250) and 10 lbs.-ft. more torque (268 vs. 258) than the V90 T5’s standard 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

Fuel Economy and Range

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On the EPA test cycle the RX 450h gets better fuel mileage than the V90 T6 (31 city/28 hwy vs. 21 city/31 hwy).

The RX Series Hybrid’s standard fuel tank has 2.7 gallons more fuel capacity than the V90 FWD’s standard fuel tank (17.2 vs. 14.5 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups. The RX Series’ standard fuel tank has 3.3 gallons more fuel capacity than the V90 AWD’s standard fuel tank (19.2 vs. 15.9 gallons).

Transmission

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The RX 450h 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 V90 doesn’t offer a CVT.

Brakes and Stopping

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For better stopping power the RX Series’ standard brake rotors are larger than those on the V90:

RX Series

V90

Front Rotors

12.9 inches

12.7 inches

Rear Rotors

13.3 inches

12.6 inches

Suspension and Handling

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The RX Series has standard front and rear gas-charged shocks for better control over choppy roads. The V90’s suspension doesn’t offer gas-charged shocks.

The front and rear suspension of the RX Series uses coil springs for better ride, handling and control than the V90, 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 greater off-road capability the RX Series has a 2.2 inches greater minimum ground clearance than the V90 (8.2 vs. 6 inches), allowing the RX Series to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged.

Passenger Space

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The RX Series has 1.6 inches more front headroom, 1.9 inches more front legroom, .2 inches more front hip room, .3 inches more front shoulder room, 1.4 inches more rear headroom, 2.1 inches more rear legroom, .4 inches more rear hip room and 1.7 inches more rear shoulder room than the V90.

For enhanced passenger comfort on long trips the RX Series’ rear seats recline. The V90’s rear seats don’t recline.

Cargo Capacity

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The RX Series has a larger cargo volume with its rear seat folded than the V90 with its rear seat folded (56.3 vs. 53.9 cubic feet).

Servicing Ease

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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 RX 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 V90 doesn’t offer an easy entry system.

To shield the driver and front passenger’s vision over a larger portion of the windshield and side windows, the RX Series has standard extendable sun visors. The V90 doesn’t offer extendable visors.

Economic Advantages

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Insurance will cost less for the RX Series owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the RX Series will cost $685 to $5765 less than the V90 over a five-year period.

The RX Series will cost the buyer less in the long run because of its superior resale value. The IntelliChoice estimates that the RX Series will retain 46.6% to 51.56% of its original price after five years, while the V90 only retains 38.25% to 39.33%.

IntelliChoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the Lexus RX Series will be $14992 to $18735 less than for the Volvo V90.

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 2019/10/21

Consumer Reports® recommends the Lexus RX Series, based on reliability, safety and performance.

The Lexus RX Series outsold the Volvo 90 Series by almost 9 to one during 2018.

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

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