2021 Volvo XC90 vs. 2020 Dodge Journey

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 middle seat shoulder belts of the Volvo XC90 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 Journey doesn’t offer pretensioners for the middle seat belts.

The XC90’s pre-crash front seatbelts will tighten automatically in the event the vehicle detects an impending crash, improving protection against injury significantly. The Journey doesn’t offer pre-crash pretensioners.

Both the XC90 and Journey have child safety locks to prevent children from opening the rear doors. The XC90 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 Journey’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.

Using vehicle speed sensors and seat sensors, smart airbags in the XC90 deploy with different levels of force or don’t deploy at all to help better protect passengers of all sizes in different collisions. The XC90’s side airbags will shut off if a child is leaning against the door. The Journey’s airbags don’t have smart features and will always deploy full force.

The XC90 has standard City Safety and Collision Warning with Full Auto Brake, which use forward mounted sensors to warn the driver of a possible collision ahead. If the driver doesn’t react and the system determines a collision is imminent, it automatically applies the brakes at full-force in order to reduce the force of the crash or avoid it altogether. The Journey doesn't offer collision warning or crash mitigation brakes.

The XC90 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 Journey 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 XC90 offers all-wheel drive to maximize traction under poor conditions, especially in ice and snow. The Journey doesn’t offer all-wheel drive.

When descending a steep, off-road slope, the XC90’s standard Hill Descent Control allows you to creep down safely. The Journey doesn’t offer Hill Descent Control.

The XC90’s lane departure warning system alerts a temporarily inattentive driver when the vehicle begins to leave its lane and gently nudges the vehicle back towards its lane. The Journey doesn’t offer a lane departure warning system.

The XC90 offers an optional 360-Degree Surround View Camera to allow the driver to see objects all around the vehicle on a screen. The Journey 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 XC90’s blind spot warning system uses digital cameras monitored by computer to alert the driver to moving objects in the vehicle’s blind spots where the side view mirrors don’t reveal them and moves the vehicle back into its lane. The Journey doesn’t offer a system to reveal objects in the driver’s blind spots.

To help make backing safer, the XC90’s cross-path warning system uses wide-angle radar in the rear bumper to alert the driver to vehicles approaching from the side, helping the driver avoid collisions. The Journey doesn’t offer a cross-path warning system.

The XC90’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 Journey doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

The XC90 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 Journey doesn’t offer a GPS response system, only a navigation computer with no live response for emergencies, so if you’re involved in an accident and you’re incapacitated help may not come as quickly.

Both the XC90 and the Journey have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front wheel drive, 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.

The Volvo XC90 weighs 509 to 1287 pounds more than the Dodge Journey. The NHTSA advises that heavier vehicles are much safer in collisions than their significantly lighter counterparts.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does 35 MPH front crash tests on new vehicles. In this test, results indicate that the Volvo XC90 is safer than the Dodge Journey:

XC90

Journey

OVERALL STARS

5 Stars

4 Stars

Passenger

STARS

5 Stars

4 Stars

New test not comparable to pre-2011 test results. More stars = Better. Lower test results = Better.

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 XC90 is safer than the Journey:

XC90

Journey

Overall Evaluation

GOOD

POOR

Restraints

GOOD

MARGINAL

Head Neck Evaluation

GOOD

GOOD

Head injury index

37

98

Peak Head Forces

0 G’s

0 G’s

Steering Column Movement Rearward

0 cm

12 cm

Chest Evaluation

GOOD

GOOD

Max Chest Compression

16 cm

24 cm

Hip & Thigh Evaluation

GOOD

MARGINAL

Femur Force R/L

.4/.7 kN

6.3/2.9 kN

Hip & Thigh Injury Risk R/L

0%/0%

22%/0%

Lower Leg Evaluation

GOOD

MARGINAL

Tibia index R/L

.24/.41

.8/.83

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does side impact tests on new vehicles. In this test, which crashes the vehicle into a flat barrier at 38.5 MPH and into a post at 20 MPH, results indicate that the Volvo XC90 is safer than the Dodge Journey:

XC90

Journey

Front Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

51

97

Chest Movement

.7 inches

.8 inches

Rear Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

94

156

Spine Acceleration

40 G’s

42 G’s

Hip Force

608 lbs.

972 lbs.

Into Pole

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Max Damage Depth

12 inches

16 inches

HIC

209

250

Spine Acceleration

29 G’s

35 G’s

Hip Force

383 lbs.

712 lbs.

New test not comparable to pre-2011 test results. More stars = Better. Lower test results = Better.

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 XC90 the rating of “Top Pick” for 2019, a rating granted to only 132 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The Journey was not even a standard “Top Pick” for 2016.

Warranty

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The XC90 comes with a full 4-year/50,000-mile basic warranty, which covers the entire truck and includes 24-hour roadside assistance. The Journey’s 3-year/36,000-mile basic warranty expires 1 year and 14,000 miles sooner.

The XC90’s corrosion warranty is 7 years longer than the Journey’s (12 vs. 5 years).

Volvo pays for scheduled maintenance on the XC90 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 Journey.

Reliability

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To reliably power the ignition and other systems and to recharge the battery, the XC90 has a standard 210-amp alternator. The Journey’s 160-amp alternator isn’t as powerful.

To reliably start during all conditions and help handle large electrical loads, the XC90 has a standard 800-amp battery. The Journey’s 525-amp battery isn’t as powerful.

Engine

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The XC90 T5’s standard 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder produces 78 more horsepower (250 vs. 172) and 93 lbs.-ft. more torque (258 vs. 165) than the Journey’s 2.4 DOHC 4-cylinder. The XC90 T6’s standard 2.0 turbo/supercharged 4-cylinder produces 144 more horsepower (316 vs. 172) and 130 lbs.-ft. more torque (295 vs. 165) than the Journey’s 2.4 DOHC 4-cylinder. The XC90 Recharge’s standard 2.0 turbo/supercharged 4-cylinder hybrid produces 228 more horsepower (400 vs. 172) and 307 lbs.-ft. more torque (472 vs. 165) than the Journey’s 2.4 DOHC 4-cylinder.

Fuel Economy and Range

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On the EPA test cycle the XC90 T8 running on electricity gets better fuel mileage than the Journey (58 city/53 hwy MPGe vs. 19 city/25 hwy).

On the EPA test cycle the XC90 running its gasoline engine gets better fuel mileage than the Journey:

MPG

XC90

FWD

T5 2.0 turbo 4-cyl.

21 city/30 hwy

AWD

T8 2.0 turbo/SC 4-cyl. Hybrid

26 city/28 hwy

T5 2.0 turbo 4-cyl.

20 city/28 hwy

T6 2.0 turbo/SC 4-cyl.

19 city/28 hwy

Journey

FWD

2.4 DOHC 4-cyl.

19 city/25 hwy

The XC90 Recharge can drive on battery power alone for up to 18 miles. The Journey must run its internal combustion engine to move.

Regenerative brakes improve the XC90 T8’s fuel efficiency by converting inertia back into energy instead of wasting it. The Journey doesn’t offer a regenerative braking system.

In heavy traffic or at stoplights the XC90’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 Journey doesn’t offer an automatic engine start/stop system.

The XC90 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 Journey 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 XC90 higher (5 to 7 out of 10) than the Dodge Journey (3). This means the XC90 produces up to 24.5 pounds less smog-producing pollutants than the Journey every 15,000 miles.

Transmission

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For more complete vehicle control the XC90 has a manually controlled automatic, with the available convenience of an automatic transmission and the complete gear control of a manual transmission without the inconvenience of a clutch. A manually controlled automatic allows the driver to eliminate unwanted shifts and maximize engine braking by down shifting while cornering. The Journey doesn’t offer a transmission that allows complete gear control.

An eight-speed automatic is standard on the Volvo XC90, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only a four-speed automatic is available for the Journey.

Brakes and Stopping

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For better stopping power the XC90’s front brake rotors are larger than those on the Journey:

XC90 T5/T6

XC90 Recharge

Journey

Front Rotors

13.6 inches

14.4 inches

13 inches

Rear Rotors

12.6 inches

13.4 inches

12.9 inches

The XC90’s standard front and rear disc brakes are vented to help dissipate heat for shorter stops with less fading. The rear discs on the Journey are solid, not vented.

Tires and Wheels

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For better traction, the XC90 has larger standard tires than the Journey (235/55R19 vs. 225/65R17). The XC90’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Journey (275/45R20 vs. 225/65R17).

The XC90’s standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 55 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Journey SE Value’s standard 65 series tires. The XC90’s optional tires have a lower 35 series profile than the Journey Crossroad’s 55 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the XC90 has standard 19-inch wheels. Smaller 17-inch wheels are standard on the Journey SE Value. The XC90’s optional 22-inch wheels are larger than the 19-inch wheels on the Journey Crossroad.

Suspension and Handling

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The XC90 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 Journey’s suspension doesn’t offer adjustable shock absorbers.

The XC90 R-Design/Inscription has a standard automatic front and rear load leveling suspension to keep ride height level with a heavy load or when towing. The XC90’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 Journey doesn’t offer a load leveling suspension.

The XC90 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 Journey doesn’t offer variable-assist power steering.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the XC90’s wheelbase is 3.7 inches longer than on the Journey (117.5 inches vs. 113.8 inches).

For better handling and stability, the average track (width between the wheels) on the XC90 is 4 inches wider in the front and 3.5 inches wider in the rear than the track on the Journey.

The XC90 T6 AWD handles at .85 G’s, while the Journey AWD pulls only .76 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

The XC90 T6 AWD executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 1.9 seconds quicker than the Journey AWD (26.8 seconds @ .65 average G’s vs. 28.7 seconds @ .6 average G’s).

Chassis

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The design of the Volvo XC90 amounts to more than styling. The XC90 has an aerodynamic coefficient of drag of .33 Cd. That is significantly lower than the Journey (.366) and many sports cars. A more efficient exterior helps keep the interior quieter and helps the XC90 get better fuel mileage.

Passenger Space

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The XC90 has .1 inches more front legroom, 2.2 inches more front hip room, .2 inches more front shoulder room, .9 inches more rear legroom, 2.1 inches more rear hip room, 8.5 inches more third row legroom, 4.9 inches more third row hip room and 3.4 inches more third row shoulder room than the Journey.

Cargo Capacity

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The XC90’s cargo area provides more volume than the Journey.

XC90

Journey

Behind Third Seat

12.6 cubic feet

10.7 cubic feet

The XC90’s cargo area is larger than the Journey’s in almost every dimension:

XC90

Journey

Length to seat (3rd/2nd/1st)

21.8”/49.6”/80.3”

16”/41.5”/75”

Max Width

54.7”

55.5”

Min Width

44.5”

41.4”

Height

35”

33.1”

Pressing a switch automatically lowers or raises the XC90’s optional third row seats, to make changing between cargo and passengers easier. The Journey doesn’t offer automatic folding seats.

To make loading and unloading groceries and cargo easier when your hands are full, the XC90’s power liftgate can be opened or closed just by kicking your foot under the back bumper, leaving your hands completely free. The Journey doesn’t offer a power or hands-free opening liftgate.

Towing

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The XC90’s minimum standard towing capacity is much higher than the Journey’s (4000 vs. 1000 pounds).

Servicing Ease

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The XC90 uses gas struts to support the hood for easier service access. The Journey 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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When three different drivers share the XC90, the memory seats and mirrors make it convenient for all three. Each setting activates different, customized memories for the driver’s seat position and outside mirror angle. The Journey doesn’t offer a memory system.

The XC90’s standard Easy Ingress and Egress Seat glides the driver’s seat back, making it easier for the driver to get in and out. The Journey doesn’t offer an easy entry system.

The XC90 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 Journey doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

The XC90’s power parking brake sets with one touch and releases with one touch or automatically. The Journey’s parking brake has to released manually.

The XC90’s front power windows 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 Journey’s power window switches have to be held the entire time to close them fully. Only its driver’s window opens automatically.

If the windows are left open on the XC90 the driver can close them all at the outside door handle. On a hot day the driver can lower the windows at the outside door handle or from a distance using the keyless remote. The driver of the Journey can only close the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

The XC90’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 Journey’s power mirror switches are unlit, making them difficult to find at night and operate safely.

The XC90’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 Journey’s manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.

Heated windshield washer nozzles are optional on the XC90 to prevent washer fluid and nozzles from freezing and help continue to keep the windshield clear in sub-freezing temperatures. The Journey doesn’t offer heated windshield washer nozzles.

To improve rear visibility by keeping the rear window clear, the XC90 has a standard rear fixed intermittent wiper with a full on position. The rear wiper standard on the Journey only has an intermittent setting, so in a hard rain visibility isn’t as good.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) conducts detailed tests on headlights for their range both straight ahead and in curves and to be certain they don’t exceed acceptable amounts of glare to oncoming drivers. The XC90’s headlights were rated “Acceptable” by the IIHS, while the Journey’s headlights are rated “Poor.”

In poor weather, headlights can lose their effectiveness as grime builds up on their lenses. This can reduce visibility without the driver realizing. The XC90 has standard headlight washers to keep headlight output high. The Journey doesn’t offer headlight washers.

While driving with high beams on, sensitive light sensors standard on the XC90 detect other vehicles which could be blinded and automatically switch to low beams. The Journey doesn’t offer automatic dimming high beams.

To help drivers avoid possible obstacles, the XC90 has standard cornering lights to illuminate around corners when the turn signals are activated. The Journey doesn’t offer cornering lights. The XC90 also has standard adaptive headlights to illuminate around corners automatically by reading vehicle speed and steering wheel angle.

A manual rear sunshade and rear side window sunshades are optional in the XC90 to help block heat and glare for the rear passengers. The Journey doesn’t offer a rear or rear side window sunshades.

When the XC90 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 Journey’s mirrors don’t automatically adjust for backing.

The XC90’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 Journey has an automatic rear view mirror, but its side mirrors don’t dim.

Both the XC90 and the Journey offer available heated front seats. The XC90 also offers optional heated second row seats to keep those passengers extremely comfortable in the winter. Heated second row seats aren’t available in the Journey.

Standard air-conditioned seats in the XC90 Inscription keep the driver and front passenger comfortable and take the sting out of hot seats in Summer. The Journey doesn’t offer air-conditioned seats.

The XC90 Inscription offers optional massaging front seats in order to maximize comfort and eliminate fatigue on long trips. Massaging seats aren’t available in the Journey.

To keep a safe, consistent following distance, the XC90 has a standard Adaptive Cruise Control, which alters the speed of the vehicle without driver intervention. This allows the driver to use cruise control more safely without constantly having to disengage it when approaching slower traffic. The Journey doesn’t offer an adaptive cruise control.

Bluetooth wireless connectivity is standard on the XC90, connecting the driver and passenger’s cell phones to the vehicle systems. This allows them to use the vehicle’s stereo and hand controls to place calls safely and easily. Bluetooth costs extra on the Journey.

The XC90 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 Journey doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

Economic Advantages

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The XC90 will cost the buyer less in the long run because of its superior resale value. The IntelliChoice estimates that the XC90 will retain 45.56% to 49.47% of its original price after five years, while the Journey only retains 41.27% to 42.51%.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the XC90 is less expensive to operate than the Journey because typical repairs cost much less on the XC90 than the Journey, including $884 less for a muffler, $30 less for a fuel pump, $6 less for front struts and $397 less for a timing belt/chain.

Recommendations

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The Car Book by Jack Gillis recommends the Volvo XC90, based on economy, maintenance, safety and complaint levels. The Dodge Journey isn't recommended.

Motor Trend selected the XC90 as their 2016 Sport Utility of the Year. The Journey has never been chosen.

The XC90 was chosen as one of Automobile Magazine’s “All Stars” in 2016. The Journey has never been an “All Star.”

A group of representative automotive journalists from North America selected the XC90 as the 2016 North American Truck of the Year. The Journey has never been chosen.

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