2021 Volvo XC60 vs. 2021 Toyota Rav4 Prime

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

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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 Rav4 Prime doesn’t offer pre-crash pretensioners.

Both the XC60 and Rav4 Prime 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 Rav4 Prime’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. Toyota doesn’t offer the convenience and security of a built-in child booster seat in the Rav4 Prime. 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 Rav4 Prime doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.

When descending a steep, off-road slope, the XC60’s standard Hill Descent Control allows you to creep down safely. The Rav4 Prime doesn’t offer Hill Descent Control.

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 Rav4 Prime doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

Both the XC60 and the Rav4 Prime have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front and rear seatbelt pretensioners, height adjustable front shoulder belts, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, crash mitigating brakes, post-collision automatic braking systems, 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.

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 Rav4 Prime has not been tested, yet.

Warranty

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The XC60 comes with a full 4-year/50,000-mile basic warranty, which covers the entire truck and includes 24-hour roadside assistance. The Rav4 Prime’s 3-year/36,000-mile basic warranty expires 1 year and 14,000 miles sooner.

The XC60’s corrosion warranty is 7 years longer than the Rav4 Prime’s (12 vs. 5 years).

Volvo pays for scheduled maintenance on the XC60 for 1 year and 11000 miles longer than Toyota pays for maintenance for the Rav4 Prime (3/36,000 vs. 2/25000).

Engine

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The XC60 T6’s standard 2.0 turbo/supercharged 4-cylinder produces 14 more horsepower (316 vs. 302) than the Rav4 Prime’s 2.5 DOHC 4-cylinder hybrid. The XC60 T8’s standard 2.0 turbo/supercharged 4-cylinder hybrid produces 98 more horsepower (400 vs. 302) than the Rav4 Prime’s 2.5 DOHC 4-cylinder hybrid. The XC60 T8 Polestar Engineered’s standard 2.0 turbo/supercharged 4-cylinder hybrid produces 113 more horsepower (415 vs. 302) than the Rav4 Prime’s 2.5 DOHC 4-cylinder hybrid.

Fuel Economy and Range

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The XC60 Hybrid’s standard fuel tank has 4 gallons more fuel capacity than the Rav4 Prime (18.5 vs. 14.5 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups. The XC60’s standard fuel tank has 4.3 gallons more fuel capacity than the Rav4 Prime (18.8 vs. 14.5 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 Rav4 Prime 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 Rav4 Prime:

XC60 T8 P. E.

Rav4 Prime

Front Rotors

14.6 inches

12.9 inches

Rear Rotors

12.6 inches

12.4 inches

Tires and Wheels

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For better traction, the XC60 has larger standard tires than the Rav4 Prime (235/60R18 vs. 225/60R18). The XC60 T8 Polestar Engineered’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Rav4 Prime (265/35R22 vs. 235/55R19).

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 Rav4 Prime XSE’s 55 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the XC60 offers optional 21-inch wheels. The Rav4 Prime’s largest wheels are only 19-inches.

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 Rav4 Prime’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 Rav4 Prime 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 Rav4 Prime doesn’t offer variable-assist power steering.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the XC60’s wheelbase is 6.9 inches longer than on the Rav4 Prime (112.8 inches vs. 105.9 inches).

For better handling and stability, the average track (width between the wheels) on the XC60 is 2.1 inches wider in the front and 1.5 inches wider in the rear than the track on the Rav4 Prime.

For greater off-road capability the XC60 has a greater minimum ground clearance than the Rav4 Prime SE (8.5 vs. 8 inches), allowing the XC60 to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged. The XC60’s minimum ground clearance is .3 inch higher than on the Rav4 Prime XSE (8.5 vs. 8.2 inches).

Chassis

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The Volvo XC60 may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 250 to 350 pounds less than the Toyota Rav4 Prime.

Passenger Space

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The XC60 has 4.1 cubic feet more passenger volume than the Rav4 Prime (103 vs. 98.9).

The XC60 has .3 inches more front headroom, .5 inches more front legroom, 2.1 inches more front hip room, .4 inches more front shoulder room, .2 inches more rear legroom and 7.7 inches more rear hip room than the Rav4 Prime.

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 Rav4 Prime doesn’t offer locking storage for small valuables.

Towing

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The XC60’s standard towing capacity is much higher than the Rav4 Prime’s (3500 vs. 2500 pounds).

Servicing Ease

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The XC60 uses gas struts to support the hood for easier service access. The Rav4 Prime 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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Unlike the driver-only memory seat optional at extra cost in the Rav4 Prime XSE, the XC60 R-Design/Inscription 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 XC60’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 Rav4 Prime’s standard manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.

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 Rav4 Prime doesn’t offer heated windshield washer nozzles.

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 Rav4 Prime doesn’t offer headlight washers.

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 Rav4 Prime’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 Rav4 Prime offers an automatic rear view mirror, but its side mirrors don’t dim.

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 Rav4 Prime.

The XC60’s available GPS navigation system has a real-time traffic update feature that plots alternative routes to automatically bypass traffic problems. (Service not available in all areas.) The Rav4 Prime’s available navigation system doesn’t offer real-time traffic updates.

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 Rav4 Prime 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 Rav4 Prime doesn’t offer a two-wheel drive configuration.

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 2020/10/21

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

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