2020 Lincoln Aviator vs. 2019 Volvo XC90

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

Over 200 people are killed each year when backed over by motor vehicles. The Aviator (except Base) offers an optional Reverse Brake Assist that use rear sensors to monitor and automatically apply the brakes to prevent a rear collision. The XC90 doesn’t offer backup collision prevention brakes.

Both the Aviator and the XC90 have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front 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, post-collision automatic braking systems, 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

Lincoln’s powertrain warranty covers the Aviator 2 years and 20,000 miles longer than Volvo covers the XC90. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 6 years or 70,000 miles. Coverage on the XC90 ends after only 4 years or 50,000 miles.

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

Reliability

The Lincoln Aviator’s engines use a cast iron block for durability, while the XC90’s engines use an aluminum block. Aluminum engine blocks are much more prone to warp and crack at high temperatures than cast iron.

The Aviator 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.

To reliably power the ignition and other systems and to recharge the battery, the Aviator has a standard -amp alternator (250-amp - Aviator optional). The XC90’s 210-amp alternator isn’t as powerful.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Lincoln vehicles are better in initial quality than Volvo vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Lincoln fifth in initial quality, above the industry average. With 30 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 Lincoln vehicles are more reliable than Volvo vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Lincoln 19th in reliability. With 57 more problems per 100 vehicles, Volvo is ranked 29th.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that Lincoln vehicles are more reliable than Volvo vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Lincoln 9 places higher in reliability than Volvo.

Engine

The Aviator has more powerful engines than the XC90:

Horsepower

Torque

Aviator 3.0 turbo V6

400 HP

415 lbs.-ft.

Aviator 3.0 turbo V6 hybrid

494 HP

630 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

To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Lincoln Aviator uses regular unleaded gasoline (premium recommended for maximum performance). The XC90 T5 requires premium, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.

The Aviator’s standard fuel tank has 1.4 gallons more fuel capacity than the XC90’s standard fuel tank (20.2 vs. 18.8 gallons).

Transmission

A 10-speed automatic is standard on the Lincoln Aviator, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only an eight-speed automatic is available for the XC90.

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the Aviator has larger tires than the XC90 (255/55R19 vs. 235/55R19).

The Aviator’s standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 55 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the XC90 T5’s standard 60 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Aviator has standard 19-inch wheels. Smaller 18-inch wheels are standard on the XC90 T5. The Aviator’s optional 22-inch wheels are larger than the 21-inch wheels optional on the XC90.

Suspension and Handling

The Aviator 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 Aviator 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 a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Aviator’s wheelbase is 1.6 inches longer than on the XC90 (119.1 inches vs. 117.5 inches).

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the Aviator is 1.1 inches wider in the front and 1.2 inches wider in the rear than the average track on the XC90.

Chassis

The front grille of the Aviator 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 Aviator Grand Touring/Black Label 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

The Aviator has 2.6 inches more front headroom, 2.1 inches more front legroom, 2.5 inches more front hip room, 3.8 inches more front shoulder room, 1.2 inches more rear headroom, 3.1 inches more rear legroom, 1.8 inches more rear hip room, 4.8 inches more rear shoulder room, .6 inches more third row headroom and 7.1 inches more third row shoulder room than the XC90.

Cargo Capacity

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

Aviator

XC90

Behind Third Seat

18.3 cubic feet

15.9 cubic feet

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

Servicing Ease

The engine in the Aviator 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.

An Intelligent Oil-Life Monitor is standard on the Aviator 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.

J.D. Power and Associates surveys of service recipients show that Lincoln service is better than Volvo. J.D. Power ranks Lincoln 7th in service department satisfaction (above the industry average). With a 25% lower rating, Volvo is ranked 14th.

Ergonomics

The Aviator’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.

In case you lock your keys in your vehicle, or don’t have them with you, you can let yourself in using the Aviator’s exterior PIN entry system. The XC90 doesn’t offer an exterior PIN entry system, and its Volvo On Call can’t unlock the doors if the vehicle doesn’t have cell phone reception or the driver can’t contact the service.

In case you lock your keys in your vehicle, or don’t have them with you, you can let yourself in using the Aviator’s exterior PIN entry system. The XC90 doesn’t offer an exterior PIN entry system, and its Volvo On Call can’t unlock the doors if the vehicle doesn’t have cell phone reception or the driver can’t contact the service.

To shield the driver and front passenger’s vision over a larger portion of the windshield and side windows, the Aviator 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 Lincoln Aviator (except Base) offers an optional wireless phone charging system (Qi) in the center console. The XC90 doesn’t offer wireless personal charging.

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

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