2020 Toyota Sequoia vs. 2019 Volvo XC90

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Both the Sequoia and the XC90 have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, 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 and available four-wheel drive.

The Toyota Sequoia weighs 662 to 1262 pounds more than the Volvo XC90. The NHTSA advises that heavier vehicles are much safer in collisions than their significantly lighter counterparts.


Toyota’s powertrain warranty covers the Sequoia 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 Sequoia’s warranty.


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 Sequoia’s reliability 60 points higher than the XC90.

J.D. Power and Associates rated the Sequoia second among large suvs in their 2019 Initial Quality Study. The XC90 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 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 2018 Auto Issue reports that Toyota vehicles are more reliable than Volvo vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Toyota second in reliability. Volvo is ranked 29th.


The Sequoia’s 5.7 DOHC V8 produces 131 more horsepower (381 vs. 250) and 143 lbs.-ft. more torque (401 vs. 258) than the XC90 T5’s standard 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. The Sequoia’s 5.7 DOHC V8 produces 65 more horsepower (381 vs. 316) and 106 lbs.-ft. more torque (401 vs. 295) than the XC90 T6’s standard 2.0 DOHC 4 cyl.

As tested in Consumer Reports the Toyota Sequoia is faster than the XC90 T6 2.0 DOHC 4 cyl.:



Zero to 30 MPH

2.7 sec

3.1 sec

Zero to 60 MPH

7.1 sec

7.7 sec

45 to 65 MPH Passing

4.7 sec

5 sec

Quarter Mile

15.6 sec

15.9 sec

Fuel Economy and Range

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

The Sequoia has 7.9 gallons more fuel capacity than the XC90 Hybrid’s standard fuel tank (26.4 vs. 18.5 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups. The Sequoia has 7.6 gallons more fuel capacity than the XC90’s standard fuel tank (26.4 vs. 18.8 gallons).

Brakes and Stopping

For better stopping power the Sequoia’s standard brake rotors are larger than those on the XC90:



Front Rotors

13.9 inches

13.6 inches

Rear Rotors

13.6 inches

12.6 inches

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the Sequoia has larger tires than the XC90 (275/65R18 vs. 235/55R19).

The Sequoia has a standard full size spare tire so a flat doesn’t interrupt your trip. A full size spare isn’t available on the XC90, it requires you to depend on a temporary spare, which has mileage and speed limitations, or roadside assistance and a tow-truck.

Suspension and Handling

The Sequoia 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 Sequoia 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 Sequoia’s wheelbase is 4.5 inches longer than on the XC90 (122 inches vs. 117.5 inches).

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the Sequoia is 2.1 inches wider in the front and 3.3 inches wider in the rear than the average track on the XC90.

The Sequoia’s front to rear weight distribution is more even (50.4% to 49.6%) than the XC90’s (51.7% to 48.3%). This gives the Sequoia more stable handling and braking.

For better maneuverability, the Sequoia’s turning circle is .6 feet tighter than the XC90 w/19” wheels’ (38.1 feet vs. 38.7 feet). The Sequoia’s turning circle is 1.6 feet tighter than the XC90 w/22” wheels’ (38.1 feet vs. 39.7 feet).

For greater off-road capability the Sequoia Platinum has a greater minimum ground clearance than the XC90 (9.6 vs. 9.4 inches), allowing the Sequoia to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged.


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



At idle

45 dB

48 dB


71 dB

74 dB

Passenger Space

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

The Sequoia has 1.6 inches more front legroom, 6.5 inches more front hip room, 8.7 inches more front shoulder room, 3.9 inches more rear legroom, 3.4 inches more rear hip room, 9.1 inches more rear shoulder room, 3.4 inches more third row legroom, 5.5 inches more third row hip room and 18.8 inches more third row shoulder room than the XC90.

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

Cargo Capacity

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



Behind Third Seat

18.9 cubic feet

15.9 cubic feet

Third Seat Folded

66.6 cubic feet

41.8 cubic feet

Second Seat Folded

120.1 cubic feet

85.7 cubic feet

The Sequoia’s cargo area is larger than the XC90’s in almost every dimension:



Length to seat (3rd/2nd/1st)



Max Width



Min Width






Payload and Towing

The Sequoia’s minimum standard towing capacity is much higher than the XC90’s (7100 vs. 4000 pounds).

The Sequoia has a higher standard payload capacity than the XC90 (1250 vs. 1210 lbs.).

The Sequoia has a higher maximum payload capacity than the XC90 (1350 vs. 1210 lbs.).

Servicing Ease

The engine in the Sequoia 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.

A maintenance reminder system is standard on the Sequoia 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.


The Sequoia’s 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 XC90 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 Sequoia has standard extendable sun visors. The XC90 doesn’t offer extendable visors.

Economic Advantages

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Sequoia is less expensive to operate than the XC90 because it costs $227 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost much less on the Sequoia than the XC90, including $529 less for a water pump, $236 less for a muffler, $56 less for front brake pads, $114 less for fuel injection, $21 less for a fuel pump and $887 less for a power steering pump.


Consumer Reports® recommends the Toyota Sequoia, based on reliability, safety and performance. The Volvo XC90 isn't recommended.

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

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