2021 Volvo S90 vs. 2020 Dodge Charger

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

© 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 2020/10/29

For enhanced safety, the front and rear seat shoulder belts of the Volvo S90 have pretensioners to tighten the seatbelts and eliminate dangerous slack in the event of a collision and force limiters to limit the pressure the belts will exert on the passengers. The Dodge Charger doesn’t offer pretensioners for the rear seat belts.

The S90’s pre-crash front seatbelts will tighten automatically in the event the vehicle detects an impending crash, improving protection against injury significantly. The Charger doesn’t offer pre-crash pretensioners.

Both the S90 and Charger have child safety locks to prevent children from opening the rear doors. The S90 has power child safety locks, allowing the driver to activate and deactivate them from the driver's seat and to know when they're engaged. The Charger’s child locks have to be individually engaged at each rear door with a manual switch. The driver can’t know the status of the locks without opening the doors and checking them.

The Volvo S90 offers optional built in child booster seats. They’re more crash worthy than an added child seat because of their direct attachment to the seat. Dodge doesn’t offer the convenience and security of a built-in child booster seat in the Charger. Their owners must carry a heavy booster seat in and out of the vehicle; S90 owners can just fold their built-in child seat up or down.

The S90 has standard Automatic Braking After Collision, which automatically apply the brakes in the event of a crash to help prevent secondary collisions and prevent further injuries. The Charger doesn’t offer a post collision braking system: in the event of a collision that triggers the airbags, more collisions are possible without the protection of airbags that may have already deployed.

To provide maximum traction and stability on all roads, All-Wheel Drive is standard on the S90. But it costs extra on the Charger.

The S90 offers an optional 360° Camera to allow the driver to see objects all around the vehicle on a screen. The Charger only offers a rear monitor and rear parking sensors that beep or flash a light. That doesn’t help with obstacles to the front or sides.

The S90’s driver alert monitor detects an inattentive driver then sounds a warning and suggests a break. According to the NHTSA, drivers who fall asleep cause about 100,000 crashes and 1500 deaths a year. The Charger doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

Both the S90 and the Charger have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, height adjustable front shoulder belts, plastic fuel tanks, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights and rearview cameras.

A significantly tougher test than their original offset frontal crash test, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety does 40 MPH small overlap frontal offset crash tests. In this test, where only 25% of the total width of the vehicle is struck, results indicate that the Volvo S90 is safer than the Charger:

S90

Charger

Overall Evaluation

GOOD

MARGINAL

Restraints

GOOD

GOOD

Head Neck Evaluation

GOOD

GOOD

Head injury index

76

222

Steering Column Movement Rearward

0 cm

9 cm

Chest Evaluation

GOOD

GOOD

Max Chest Compression

16 cm

28 cm

Hip & Thigh Evaluation

GOOD

GOOD

Femur Force R/L

.9/.7 kN

3.7/3 kN

Hip & Thigh Injury Risk R/L

0%/0%

1%/0%

Lower Leg Evaluation

GOOD

POOR

Tibia index R/L

.52/.44

1.21/.58

Tibia forces R/L

2.9/.6 kN

3/4.7 kN

For its top level performance in all IIHS frontal, side, rear impact and roof-crush tests, and its standard front crash prevention system, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the S90 the rating of “Top Pick” for 2017, a rating granted to only 184 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The Charger was not even a “Top Pick” for 2016.

Warranty

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The S90 comes with a full 4-year/50,000-mile basic warranty, which covers the entire car and includes 24-hour roadside assistance. The Charger’s 3-year/36,000-mile basic warranty expires 1 year and 14,000 miles sooner.

The S90’s corrosion warranty is 7 years longer than the Charger’s (12 vs. 5 years).

Volvo pays for scheduled maintenance on the S90 for 3 years and 36,000 miles. Volvo will pay for oil changes, lubrication and any other required maintenance. Dodge doesn’t pay scheduled maintenance for the Charger.

Reliability

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For smoother operation, better efficiency and fewer moving parts, the engines in the S90 have an overhead cam design, rather than the old pushrod design of some of the engines in the Charger.

To reliably start during all conditions and help handle large electrical loads, the S90 has a standard 800-amp battery. The Charger’s 730-amp battery isn’t as powerful.

Engine

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The S90 has more powerful engines than the Charger:

Horsepower

Torque

S90 T6 2.0 turbo/supercharged 4-cylinder

316 HP

295 lbs.-ft.

S90 Recharge 2.0 turbo/supercharged 4-cylinder hybrid

400 HP

472 lbs.-ft.

Charger 3.6 DOHC V6

292 HP

260 lbs.-ft.

Charger 3.6 DOHC V6

300 HP

264 lbs.-ft.

Charger R/T 5.7 V8

370 HP

395 lbs.-ft.

Fuel Economy and Range

© 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 2020/10/29

On the EPA test cycle the S90 Recharge running on electricity gets better fuel mileage than the Charger AWD (58 city/64 hwy MPGe vs. 18 city/27 hwy).

On the EPA test cycle the S90 running its gasoline engine gets better fuel mileage than the Charger:

MPG

S90

AWD

T8 2.0 turbo/SC 4-cyl. Hybrid

28 city/31 hwy

T6 2.0 turbo/SC 4-cyl.

21 city/32 hwy

Charger

RWD

3.6 DOHC V6

19 city/30 hwy

5.7 OHV V8

16 city/25 hwy

6.4 OHV V8

15 city/24 hwy

AWD

3.6 DOHC V6

18 city/27 hwy

The S90 Recharge can drive on battery power alone for up to 21 miles. The Charger must run its internal combustion engine to move.

Regenerative brakes improve the S90’s fuel efficiency by converting inertia back into energy instead of wasting it. The Charger doesn’t offer a regenerative braking system.

In heavy traffic or at stoplights the S90’s engine automatically turns off when the vehicle is stopped, saving fuel and reducing pollution. The engine is automatically restarted when the driver gets ready to move again. (Start/Stop isn’t accounted in present EPA fuel mileage tests.) The Charger doesn’t offer an automatic engine start/stop system.

Environmental Friendliness

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In its Green Vehicle Guide, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rates the Volvo S90 higher (7 out of 10) than the Dodge Charger (3). This means the S90 produces up to 24.5 pounds less smog-producing pollutants than the Charger every 15,000 miles.

Brakes and Stopping

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The S90’s standard front and rear disc brakes are vented to help dissipate heat for shorter stops with less fading. The rear discs standard on the Charger SXT are solid, not vented.

Tires and Wheels

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For better traction, the S90 has larger standard tires than the Charger (245/45R18 vs. 215/65R17).

The S90’s standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 45 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Charger SXT’s standard 65 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the S90 has standard 18-inch wheels. Smaller 17-inch wheels are standard on the Charger SXT.

Chassis

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The design of the Volvo S90 amounts to more than styling. The S90 offers aerodynamic coefficients of drag from .28 to .33 Cd (depending on bodystyle and options). That is lower than the Charger (.304 to .348) and many sports cars. A more efficient exterior helps keep the interior quieter and helps the S90 get better fuel mileage.

Passenger Space

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The S90 has .4 inches more front legroom, .2 inches more front hip room, 1.2 inches more rear headroom and .3 inches more rear legroom than the Charger.

Cargo Capacity

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A low lift-over trunk design makes loading and unloading the S90 easier. The S90’s trunk lift-over height is 26.5 inches, while the Charger’s liftover is 30.1 inches.

Pressing a switch automatically lowers the S90’s rear seats, to make changing between passengers and cargo easier. The Charger doesn’t offer automatic folding seats.

With its sedan body style, locking rear seatbacks and remote trunk release lockout, the S90 offers cargo security. The Charger’s non-lockable folding seat and non-lockable remote release defeat cargo security.

To make loading and unloading groceries and cargo easier when your hands are full, the S90’s power trunk can be opened or closed just by kicking your foot under the back bumper, leaving your hands completely free. The Charger doesn’t offer a power or hands-free opening trunk.

Towing

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The S90’s standard towing capacity is much higher than the Charger’s (3700 vs. 1000 pounds). Maximum trailer towing in the Dodge Charger is only 1000 pounds. The S90 offers up to a 4600 lbs. towing capacity.

While the Charger 392 Hemi is not recommended to tow, any S90 can tow a minimum of 3700 pounds.

Ergonomics

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Unlike the driver-only memory system optional at extra cost in the Charger, the S90 Inscription/T8 has a passenger memory, so that when drivers switch, the memory setting adjusts the driver’s seat and outside mirror angle and the front passenger seat also adjusts to the new passenger’s preset preferences.

The S90 offers an optional heads-up display that projects speed and navigation instruction readouts in front of the driver’s line of sight, allowing drivers to view information without diverting their eyes from the road. The Charger doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

The S90’s power parking brake sets with one touch and releases with one touch or automatically. The Charger’s parking brake has to released manually.

The S90’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 Charger’s rear power window switches have to be held the entire time to open or close them fully.

The S90’s power window, power lock, power mirror and cruise control switches are lit from behind, making them plainly visible and easier to operate at night. The Charger’s power mirror switches are unlit, making them difficult to find at night and operate safely.

The S90’s rain-sensitive wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically based on the amount of rainfall on the windshield. This allows the driver to concentrate on driving without constantly adjusting the wipers. The Charger’s standard intermittent wipers change speed with vehicle speed, but can’t turn on and off or change speed based on changing rainfall.

In poor weather, headlights can lose their effectiveness as grime builds up on their lenses. This can reduce visibility without the driver realizing. The S90 has standard headlight washers to keep headlight output high. The Charger doesn’t offer headlight washers.

To help drivers avoid possible obstacles, the S90 has standard cornering lights to illuminate around corners when the turn signals are activated. The Charger doesn’t offer cornering lights. The S90 also has standard adaptive headlights to illuminate around corners automatically by reading vehicle speed and steering wheel angle.

A power rear sunshade is standard in the S90 Inscription to help block heat and glare for the rear passengers. The Charger doesn’t offer a rear sunshade.

The S90’s standard outside mirrors include heating elements to clear off the mirrors for better visibility. Dodge charges extra for heated mirrors on the Charger.

The S90 Inscription has standard front air conditioned seats and offers them optionally in the rear. This keeps the passengers comfortable and takes the sting out of hot seats in summer. The Charger doesn’t offer air-conditioned seats in the rear.

The S90 Inscription offers optional massaging front seats in order to maximize comfort and eliminate fatigue on long trips. Massaging seats aren’t available in the Charger.

To quickly and conveniently keep personal devices charged without cables tangling and wearing out, the Volvo S90 T6 has a standard wireless phone charging system (Qi) in the center console. The Charger doesn’t offer wireless personal charging.

The S90 has a 115-volt a/c outlet on the center console, allowing you to recharge a laptop or run small household appliances without special adapters that can break or get misplaced. The Charger doesn’t offer a house-current electrical outlet.

The S90’s optional Park Assist Pilot can parallel park or back into a parking spot by itself, with the driver only controlling speed with the brake pedal. The Charger doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

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 2020/10/29

The S90 was chosen as one of Automobile Magazine’s “All Stars” in 2017. The Charger has never been an “All Star.”

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

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