2021 Volvo XC60 vs. 2020 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

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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 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV 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 Outlander PHEV doesn’t offer pre-crash pretensioners.

Both the XC60 and Outlander PHEV have child safety locks to prevent children from opening the rear doors. The XC60 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 Outlander PHEV’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 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. Mitsubishi doesn’t offer the convenience and security of a built-in child booster seat in the Outlander PHEV. 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 Outlander PHEV 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 Outlander PHEV 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’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 Outlander PHEV doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

Compared to metal, the XC60’s plastic fuel tank can withstand harder, more intrusive impacts without leaking; this decreases the possibility of fire. The Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV has a metal gas tank.

The XC60 has standard Volvo On Call, which uses a global positioning satellite (GPS) receiver and a cellular system to remotely unlock your doors if you lock your keys in, help track down your vehicle if it’s stolen or send emergency personnel to the scene if any airbags deploy. The Outlander PHEV doesn’t offer a GPS response system, so if you’re involved in an accident and you’re incapacitated help may not come as quickly.

Both the XC60 and the Outlander PHEV have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, height adjustable front shoulder belts, 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, available all wheel drive and around view monitors.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety rates the general design of front seat head restraints for their ability to protect front seat occupants from whiplash injuries. The IIHS also performs a dynamic test on those seats with “good” or “acceptable” geometry. In these ratings, the XC60 is safer than the Outlander PHEV:

XC60

Outlander PHEV

Overall Evaluation

GOOD

ACCEPTABLE

Head Restraint Design

GOOD

GOOD

Distance from Back of Head

34 mm

48 mm

Distance Below Top of Head

-2 mm

2 mm

Dynamic Test Rating

GOOD

ACCEPTABLE

Seat Design

Pass

Fail

Neck Force Rating

Low

Low

Max Neck Shearing Force

0

47

Max Neck Tension

378

488

(Lower numerical results are better in all tests.)

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 Outlander PHEV was not even a standard “Top Pick” for 2016.

Warranty

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The XC60’s corrosion warranty is 5 years and unlimited miles longer than the Outlander PHEV’s (12/unlimited vs. 7/100,000).

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. Mitsubishi doesn’t pay scheduled maintenance for the Outlander PHEV.

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 Outlander PHEV’s battery is in the hot engine compartment.

Engine

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The XC60 T5’s standard 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder produces 53 more horsepower (250 vs. 197) than the Outlander PHEV’s 2.0 DOHC 4-cylinder hybrid. The XC60 T6’s standard 2.0 turbo/supercharged 4-cylinder produces 119 more horsepower (316 vs. 197) than the Outlander PHEV’s 2.0 DOHC 4-cylinder hybrid. The XC60 T8’s standard 2.0 turbo/supercharged 4-cylinder hybrid produces 203 more horsepower (400 vs. 197) than the Outlander PHEV’s 2.0 DOHC 4-cylinder hybrid. The XC60 T8 Polestar Engineered’s standard 2.0 turbo/supercharged 4-cylinder hybrid produces 218 more horsepower (415 vs. 197) than the Outlander PHEV’s 2.0 DOHC 4-cylinder hybrid.

Fuel Economy and Range

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On the EPA test cycle the V60 T8 Polestar running its gasoline engine gets better fuel mileage than the Outlander PHEV running its gasoline engine (26 city/28 hwy vs. 25 city/26 hwy).

The XC60 Hybrid’s standard fuel tank has 7.2 gallons more fuel capacity than the Outlander PHEV (18.5 vs. 11.3 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

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 Outlander PHEV doesn’t offer a cap-less fueling system.

Brakes and Stopping

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For better stopping power the XC60’s brake rotors are larger than those on the Outlander PHEV:

XC60 T5

XC60 T8 P. E.

Outlander PHEV

Front Rotors

12.7 inches

14.6 inches

11.6 inches

Rear Rotors

11.9 inches

12.6 inches

11.9 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 Outlander PHEV are solid, not vented.

Tires and Wheels

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For better traction, the XC60 has larger standard tires than the Outlander PHEV (235/60R18 vs. 225/55R18). The XC60 T8 Polestar Engineered’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Outlander PHEV (265/35R22 vs. 225/55R18).

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 Outlander PHEV’s 55 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the XC60 offers optional 21-inch wheels. The Outlander PHEV’s largest wheels are only 18-inches.

The XC60 T5/T6 has a standard space-saver spare (not available on Recharge) so you can replace a flat tire and drive to have the flat repaired or replaced. A spare tire isn’t available on the Outlander PHEV; it requires you to depend on roadside assistance and your vehicle will have to be towed.

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 Outlander PHEV’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 Outlander PHEV doesn’t offer a load leveling suspension.

The XC60 has vehicle speed sensitive variable-assist power steering, for low-effort parking, better control at highway speeds and during hard cornering, and a better feel of the road. The Outlander PHEV doesn’t offer variable-assist power steering.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the XC60’s wheelbase is 7.7 inches longer than on the Outlander PHEV (112.8 inches vs. 105.1 inches).

For better handling and stability, the average track (width between the wheels) on the XC60 is 4.5 inches wider in the front and 4.6 inches wider in the rear than the track on the Outlander PHEV.

For greater off-road capability the XC60 has a 1.2 inches greater minimum ground clearance than the Outlander PHEV (8.5 vs. 7.3 inches), allowing the XC60 to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged.

Chassis

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The Volvo XC60 may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 150 to 300 pounds less than the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV.

Passenger Space

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The XC60 has .6 inches more front legroom, 3.8 inches more front hip room, 1.8 inches more front shoulder room, .1 inches more rear legroom, 3.5 inches more rear hip room and .3 inches more rear shoulder room than the Outlander PHEV.

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 Outlander PHEV 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 Outlander PHEV doesn’t offer a hands-free gesture to open its liftgate, forcing you to put cargo down if your hands are full.

Towing

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The XC60’s standard towing capacity is much higher than the Outlander PHEV’s (3500 vs. 1500 pounds).

Servicing Ease

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The XC60 uses gas struts to support the hood for easier service access. The Outlander PHEV uses a prop rod to support its heavy hood. It takes two hands to open the hood and set the prop rod, the prop rod gets in the way during maintenance and service, and the prop rod could be knocked out, causing the heavy hood to fall on the person maintaining or servicing the car.

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 Outlander PHEV doesn’t offer a remote starting system.

When two different drivers share the XC60, the memory seats and mirrors make it convenient for both. Each setting activates different, customized memories for the driver and front passenger’s seat positions and outside mirror angle. The Outlander PHEV doesn’t offer a memory system.

The XC60 offers an optional heads-up display that projects speed and other key instrumentation readouts in front of the driver’s line of sight, allowing drivers to view information without diverting their eyes from the road. The Outlander PHEV doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

The power windows standard on both the XC60 and the Outlander PHEV have locks to prevent small children from operating them. When the lock on the XC60 is engaged the driver can still operate all of the windows, for instance to close one opened by a child. The Outlander PHEV prevents the driver from operating the other windows just as it does the other passengers.

If the windows are left open on the XC60 the driver can close them all at the outside door handle or from a distance using the remote. On a hot day the driver can lower the windows from a distance using the keyless remote. The driver of the Outlander PHEV can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

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 Outlander PHEV doesn’t offer heated windshield washer nozzles.

To improve rear visibility by keeping the rear window clear, the XC60 has a standard rear fixed intermittent wiper with a full on position. The rear wiper standard on the Outlander PHEV only has an intermittent setting, so in a hard rain visibility isn’t as good.

In poor weather, headlights can lose their effectiveness as grime builds up on their lenses. This can reduce visibility without the driver realizing. The XC60 offers available headlight washers to keep headlight output high. The Outlander PHEV doesn’t offer headlight washers.

To help drivers avoid possible obstacles, the XC60 has standard cornering lights to illuminate around corners when the turn signals are activated. The Outlander PHEV doesn’t offer cornering lights. The XC60 also has standard adaptive headlights to illuminate around corners automatically by reading vehicle speed and steering wheel angle.

When the XC60 is put in reverse, both rearview mirrors tilt from their original position. This gives the driver a better view of the curb during parallel parking maneuvers. Shifting out of reverse puts the mirrors into their original positions. The Outlander PHEV’s mirrors don’t automatically adjust for backing.

The XC60’s standard rear and side view mirrors have an automatic dimming feature. These mirrors can be set to automatically darken quickly when headlights shine on them, keeping following vehicles from blinding or distracting the driver. The Outlander PHEV has an automatic rear view mirror, but its side mirrors don’t dim.

Both the XC60 and the Outlander PHEV offer available heated front seats. The XC60 also offers optional heated rear seats to keep those passengers extremely comfortable in the winter. Heated rear seats aren’t available in the Outlander PHEV.

Standard air-conditioned seats in the XC60 Inscription keep the driver and front passenger comfortable and take the sting out of hot seats in Summer. The Outlander PHEV doesn’t offer air-conditioned seats.

The XC60 Inscription offers optional massaging front seats in order to maximize comfort and eliminate fatigue on long trips. Massaging seats aren’t available in the Outlander PHEV.

To direct the driver from any location to a given street address, a GPS navigation system is available on the XC60. The XC60’s navigation system also has a real-time traffic update feature that offers alternative routes to automatically bypass traffic problems. (Service not available in all areas.) The Outlander PHEV doesn’t offer a navigation 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 Outlander PHEV doesn’t offer wireless personal charging.

The XC60 R-Design/Inscription’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 Outlander PHEV doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

Model Availability

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The XC60 is available in both front-wheel drive and four-wheel drive configurations. The Outlander PHEV 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 Outlander PHEV only retains 40.31% to 40.44%.

Recommendations

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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 Outlander PHEV isn’t in the top three.

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