2021 Volvo XC60 vs. 2020 Land Rover Discovery Sport

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 2020/10/23

For enhanced safety, the front and rear seat shoulder belts of the Volvo XC60 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 Land Rover Discovery Sport doesn’t offer pretensioners for the rear seat belts.

The XC60’s pre-crash front seatbelts will tighten automatically in the event the vehicle detects an impending crash, improving protection against injury significantly. The Discovery Sport doesn’t offer pre-crash pretensioners.

For enhanced safety, the front seat shoulder belts of the Volvo XC60 are height-adjustable to accommodate a wide variety of driver and passenger heights. A better fit can prevent injuries and the increased comfort also encourages passengers to buckle up. The Land Rover Discovery Sport doesn’t offer height-adjustable seat belts.

The Volvo XC60 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. Land Rover doesn’t offer the convenience and security of a built-in child booster seat in the Discovery Sport. Their owners must carry a heavy booster seat in and out of the vehicle; XC60 owners can just fold their built-in child seat up or down.

The XC60 has a standard Whiplash Protection System (WHIPS), which use a specially designed seat to protect the driver and front passenger from whiplash. During a rear-end collision, the WHIPS allows the backrest to travel backwards to cushion the occupants and the headrests move forward to prevent neck and spine injuries. At the same time the pretensioning seatbelts fire, removing slack from the belts. The Discovery Sport doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.

The XC60 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 Discovery Sport 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.

The XC60 offers an optional 360-Degree Surround View Camera to allow the driver to see objects all around the vehicle on a screen. The Discovery Sport only offers a rear monitor and front and rear parking sensors that beep or flash a light. That doesn’t help with obstacles to the sides.

Both the XC60 and the Discovery Sport have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, 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, rearview cameras, driver alert monitors and available all wheel drive.

For its top level performance in IIHS driver-side small overlap frontal, moderate overlap frontal, side impact, rear impact and roof-crush tests, its standard front crash prevention system, its “Good” rating in the new passenger-side small overlap crash test, and its headlight’s “Acceptable” rating, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the XC60 the rating of “Top Pick” for 2019, a rating granted to only 132 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The Discovery Sport has not been tested, yet.

Warranty

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The XC60’s corrosion warranty is 6 years longer than the Discovery Sport’s (12 vs. 6 years).

Volvo pays for scheduled maintenance on the XC60 for 3 years and 36,000 miles. Volvo will pay for oil changes, lubrication and any other required maintenance. Land Rover only pays for the first scheduled maintenance visit on the Discovery Sport.

There are over 52 percent more Volvo dealers than there are Land Rover dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the XC60’s warranty.

Reliability

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The battery on the XC60 is in the trunk, which protects it from hot underhood temperatures that can degrade battery life. By keeping the XC60’s battery 20 to 30 degrees cooler, its life is increased by years. The Discovery Sport’s battery is in the hot engine compartment.

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 XC60’s reliability 34 points higher than the Discovery Sport.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2020 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Volvo vehicles are better in initial quality than Land Rover vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Volvo 31st in initial quality. With 18 more problems per 100 vehicles, Land Rover is ranked 33rd.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Volvo vehicles are more reliable than Land Rover vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Volvo 29th in reliability. With 17 more problems per 100 vehicles, Land Rover is ranked 30th.

Engine

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The XC60 has more powerful engines than the Discovery Sport:

Horsepower

Torque

XC60 T5 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder

250 HP

258 lbs.-ft.

XC60 T6 2.0 turbo/supercharged 4-cylinder

316 HP

295 lbs.-ft.

XC60 T8 2.0 turbo/supercharged 4-cylinder hybrid

400 HP

472 lbs.-ft.

XC60 T8 P.E. 2.0 turbo/supercharged 4-cylinder hybrid

415 HP

494 lbs.-ft.

Discovery Sport 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder

246 HP

269 lbs.-ft.

Discovery Sport P290 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder hybrid

286 HP

295 lbs.-ft.

Fuel Economy and Range

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On the EPA test cycle the XC60 Recharge running on electricity gets better fuel mileage than the Discovery Sport:

MPGe

XC60

AWD

Electric Motor

56 city/57 hwy

Discovery Sport

MPG

AWD

2.0 turbo 4-cyl.

19 city/24 hwy

P290 2.0 turbo 4-cyl. Hybrid

19 city/24 hwy

On the EPA test cycle the XC60 running its gasoline engine gets better fuel mileage than the Discovery Sport:

MPG

XC60

FWD

T5 2.0 turbo 4-cyl.

22 city/29 hwy

AWD

T8 2.0 turbo/SC 4-cyl. Hybrid

26 city/28 hwy

T5 2.0 turbo 4-cyl.

21 city/28 hwy

T6 2.0 turbo/SC 4-cyl.

20 city/27 hwy

Discovery Sport

AWD

2.0 turbo 4-cyl.

19 city/24 hwy

P290 2.0 turbo 4-cyl. Hybrid

19 city/24 hwy

The XC60 T8 can drive on battery power alone for up to 19 miles. The Discovery Sport must run its internal combustion engine to move.

The XC60’s standard fuel tank has 1.1 gallons more fuel capacity than the Discovery Sport (18.8 vs. 17.7 gallons).

The XC60 has a standard cap-less fueling system. The fuel filler is automatically opened when the fuel nozzle is inserted and automatically closed when it’s removed. This eliminates the need to unscrew and replace the cap and it reduces fuel evaporation, which causes pollution. The Discovery Sport doesn’t offer a cap-less fueling system.

Brakes and Stopping

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For better stopping power the XC60 T8 Polestar Engineered’s front brake rotors are larger than those on the Discovery Sport:

XC60 T8 P. E.

Discovery Sport

Front Rotors

14.6 inches

13.7 inches

The XC60’s standard front and rear disc brakes are vented to help dissipate heat for shorter stops with less fading. The rear discs on the Discovery Sport are solid, not vented.

Tires and Wheels

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For better traction, the XC60 T8 Polestar Engineered’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Discovery Sport (265/35R22 vs. 235/60R18).

The XC60 T8 Polestar Engineered’s optional tires provide better handling because they have a lower 35 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Discovery Sport’s optional 45 series tires.

Suspension and Handling

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The XC60 T6/T8 has a standard automatic front and rear load leveling suspension to keep ride height level with a heavy load or when towing. The XC60’s height leveling suspension allows the driver to raise ride height for better off-road clearance and then lower it again for easier entering and exiting and better on-road handling. The Discovery Sport doesn’t offer a load leveling suspension.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the XC60’s wheelbase is 4.9 inches longer than on the Discovery Sport (112.8 inches vs. 107.9 inches).

The XC60 T5 AWD Momentum handles at .87 G’s, while the Discovery Sport S pulls only .82 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

The XC60 T5 AWD Momentum executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver quicker than the Discovery Sport S (26.6 seconds @ .64 average G’s vs. 27.4 seconds @ .64 average G’s).

For better maneuverability, the XC60’s turning circle is .9 feet tighter than the Discovery Sport’s (37.4 feet vs. 38.3 feet).

For greater off-road capability the XC60 has a greater minimum ground clearance than the Discovery Sport (8.5 vs. 8.3 inches), allowing the XC60 to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged.

Chassis

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The XC60 is 6.6 inches narrower than the Discovery Sport, making the XC60 easier to handle and maneuver in traffic.

The design of the Volvo XC60 amounts to more than styling. The XC60 has an aerodynamic coefficient of drag of .32 Cd. That is lower than the Discovery Sport (.34) and many sports cars. A more efficient exterior helps keep the interior quieter and helps the XC60 get better fuel mileage.

Passenger Space

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The XC60 has 2.4 inches more front legroom, .9 inches more front shoulder room and .4 inches more rear shoulder room than the Discovery Sport.

Cargo Capacity

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The XC60 has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat up than the Discovery Sport 5-Passenger with its rear seat up (30.2 vs. 27.5 cubic feet). The XC60 has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat folded than the Discovery Sport with all its rear seats folded (63.3 vs. 55.6 cubic feet).

A standard locking glovebox (which can’t be accessed with the valet key) keeps your small valuables safer in the XC60. The Discovery Sport doesn’t offer locking storage for small valuables.

To make loading groceries and cargo easier when your hands are full, the XC60’s liftgate can be opened and closed just by kicking your foot under the back bumper, leaving your hands completely free. The Discovery Sport doesn’t offer a hands-free gesture to open its liftgate, forcing you to put cargo down if your hands are full.

Ergonomics

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Heated windshield washer nozzles are optional on the XC60 to prevent washer fluid and nozzles from freezing and help continue to keep the windshield clear in sub-freezing temperatures. The Discovery Sport doesn’t offer heated windshield washer nozzles.

Model Availability

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The XC60 is available in both front-wheel drive and four-wheel drive configurations. The Discovery Sport doesn’t offer a two-wheel drive configuration.

Economic Advantages

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The XC60 will cost the buyer less in the long run because of its superior resale value. The IntelliChoice estimates that the XC60 will retain 45.65% to 49.07% of its original price after five years, while the Discovery Sport only retains 40.04% to 43.9%.

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 2020/10/23

Consumer Reports® recommends the Volvo XC60, based on reliability, safety and performance.

J.D. Power and Associates rated the XC60 third among compact premium SUVs in owner reported satisfaction. This includes how well the vehicle performs and satisfies its owner’s expectations. The Discovery Sport isn’t in the top three.

The Volvo XC60 outsold the Land Rover Discovery Sport by over two to one during 2019.

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

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