2020 Toyota Highlander Hybrid vs. 2020 Volvo XC90

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

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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 Highlander Hybrid are reminded to check the back seat if they opened the rear door before starting out. The XC90 doesn’t offer a back seat reminder.

Over 200 people are killed each year when backed over by motor vehicles. The Highlander Hybrid Limited/Platinum has standard Automated Braking that uses 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 Highlander Hybrid 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, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, crash mitigating brakes, post-collision automatic braking systems, lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems, rearview cameras, rear cross-path warning, driver alert monitors, available all wheel drive, daytime running lights and around view monitors.

Warranty

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

Reliability

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J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Toyota vehicles are better in initial quality than Volvo vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Toyota 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 Toyota vehicles are more reliable than Volvo vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Toyota second in reliability, above the industry average. With 96 more problems per 100 vehicles, Volvo is ranked 29th.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2019 Auto Issue reports that Toyota vehicles are more reliable than Volvo vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Toyota third in reliability. Volvo is ranked 24th.

Fuel Economy and Range

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

Transmission

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The Highlander Hybrid 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 XC90 doesn’t offer a CVT.

Suspension and Handling

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The front and rear suspension of the Highlander Hybrid 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 maneuverability, the Highlander Hybrid’s turning circle is 1.3 feet tighter than the XC90 w/19” wheels’ (37.4 feet vs. 38.7 feet). The Highlander Hybrid’s turning circle is 2.3 feet tighter than the XC90 w/22” wheels’ (37.4 feet vs.

39.7 feet).

Chassis

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The front grille of the Highlander Hybrid 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.

Passenger Space

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

The Highlander Hybrid has 2.3 inches more front headroom, 1.1 inches more front legroom, 1.2 inches more front hip room, 1.3 inches more front shoulder room, .9 inches more rear headroom, 4 inches more rear legroom, .5 inches more rear hip room, 2.2 inches more rear shoulder room, .7 inches more third row hip room and 8.1 inches more third row shoulder room than the XC90.

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

Cargo Capacity

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

Highlander Hybrid

XC90

Behind Third Seat

16 cubic feet

12.6 cubic feet

Third Seat Folded

48.4 cubic feet

35.6 cubic feet

Second Seat Folded

84.3 cubic feet

65.5 cubic feet

Payload

© 1999 - 2020 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 2020/09/30

The Highlander Hybrid has a much higher standard payload capacity than the XC90 (1495 vs. 1210 lbs.).

The Highlander Hybrid has a much higher maximum payload capacity than the XC90 (1535 vs. 1210 lbs.).

Servicing Ease

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A maintenance reminder system is standard on the Highlander Hybrid to save the owner time and money by calculating maintenance intervals for oil changes, air filter replacement, tire rotation, radiator flush, brake pad replacement and transmission fluid 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 XC90.

Ergonomics

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The Highlander Hybrid’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 Highlander Hybrid 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 Toyota Highlander Hybrid XLE/Limited/Platinum has a standard wireless phone charging system (Qi) in the center console. The XC90 doesn’t offer wireless personal charging.

Recommendations

© 1999 - 2020 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 2020/09/30

The Toyota Highlander outsold the Volvo XC90 by over seven to one during the 2019 model year.

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