2021 Volvo XC60 vs. 2020 Land Rover Discovery

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 2020/10/25

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 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 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. 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 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 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.

Both the XC60 and the Discovery have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front and rear seatbelt pretensioners, 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, available all wheel drive and around view monitors.

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 has not been tested, yet.

Warranty

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The XC60’s corrosion warranty is 6 years longer than the Discovery’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.

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’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.

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 T8’s standard 2.0 turbo/supercharged 4-cylinder hybrid produces 60 more horsepower (400 vs. 340) and 140 lbs.-ft. more torque (472 vs. 332) than the Discovery’s 3.0 supercharged V6. The XC60 T8 Polestar Engineered’s standard 2.0 turbo/supercharged 4-cylinder hybrid produces 75 more horsepower (415 vs. 340) and 162 lbs.-ft. more torque (494 vs. 332) than the Discovery’s 3.0 supercharged V6.

As tested in Motor Trend the XC60 T5 is faster than the Land Rover Discovery 3.0 Supercharged:

XC60

Discovery

Zero to 30 MPH

1.9 sec

2.2 sec

Zero to 60 MPH

6.2 sec

6.4 sec

Quarter Mile

14.7 sec

14.8 sec

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 2020/10/25

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

MPGe

XC60

AWD

Electric Motor

56 city/57 hwy

Discovery

MPG

AWD

3.0 turbo V6 Diesel

21 city/26 hwy

3.0 supercharged V6

16 city/21 hwy

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

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

AWD

3.0 turbo V6 Diesel

21 city/26 hwy

3.0 supercharged V6

16 city/21 hwy

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

Regenerative brakes improve the XC60 T8’s fuel efficiency by converting inertia back into energy instead of wasting it. The Discovery doesn’t offer a regenerative braking system.

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 doesn’t offer a cap-less fueling system.

Environmental Friendliness

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In its Green Vehicle Guide, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rates the Volvo XC60 higher (5 to 7 out of 10) than the Land Rover Discovery (1 to 7). This means the XC60 produces up to 47 pounds less smog-producing pollutants than the Discovery every 15,000 miles.

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:

XC60 T8 P. E.

Discovery Td6

Discovery P340

Front Rotors

14.6 inches

13.7 inches

14.3 inches

The XC60 stops much shorter than the Discovery:

XC60

Discovery

60 to 0 MPH

115 feet

137 feet

Motor Trend

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

129 feet

148 feet

Consumer Reports

Tires and Wheels

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The XC60’s standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 60 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Discovery’s standard 65 series tires. The XC60 T8 Polestar Engineered’s optional tires have a lower 35 series profile than the Discovery’s optional 40 series tires.

Suspension and Handling

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The XC60 offers an available driver-adjustable suspension system. It allows the driver to choose between an extra-supple ride, reducing fatigue on long trips, or a sport setting, which allows maximum control for tricky roads or off-road. The Discovery’s suspension doesn’t offer adjustable shock absorbers.

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 doesn’t offer a load leveling suspension.

The XC60 T5 AWD Momentum handles at .87 G’s, while the Discovery HSE Luxury pulls only .69 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

The XC60 T5 AWD Momentum executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 2.6 seconds quicker than the Discovery HSE (26.6 seconds @ .64 average G’s vs. 29.2 seconds @ .57 average G’s).

For better maneuverability, the XC60’s turning circle is 3.2 feet tighter than the Discovery’s (37.4 feet vs. 40.6 feet).

Chassis

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The Volvo XC60 may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 850 pounds less than the Land Rover Discovery.

The XC60 is 10.5 inches shorter than the Discovery, making the XC60 easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

The XC60 is 6.7 inches narrower than the Discovery, making the XC60 easier to handle and maneuver in traffic.

The XC60 is 7.7 inches shorter in height than the Discovery, making the XC60 much easier to wash and garage and drive (lower center of gravity).

The design of the Volvo XC60 amounts to more than styling. The XC60 has an aerodynamic coefficient of drag of .32 Cd. That is significantly lower than the Discovery (.36) 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 and .4 inches more rear legroom than the Discovery.

Cargo Capacity

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

Ergonomics

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The XC60 has a standard remote vehicle starting system, so the vehicle can be started from inside the driver's house. This allows the driver to comfortably warm up the engine before going out to the vehicle. The climate system will also automatically heat or cool the interior. The Discovery doesn’t offer a remote starting system.

To quickly and conveniently keep personal devices charged without cables tangling and wearing out, the Volvo XC60 offers an optional wireless phone charging system (Qi) in the center console. The Discovery doesn’t offer wireless personal charging.

Model Availability

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

Economic Advantages

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Insurance will cost less for the XC60 owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the XC60 will cost $3255 less than the Discovery over a five-year period.

IntelliChoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the Volvo XC60 will be $7949 to $17863 less than for the Land Rover Discovery.

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 2020/10/25

Consumer Reports® recommends the Volvo XC60, based on reliability, safety and performance. The Land Rover Discovery isn't recommended.

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 isn’t in the top three.

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

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

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