2021 Volvo XC90 vs. 2020 GMC Acadia

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 2020/10/26

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 GMC Acadia doesn’t offer pretensioners for the middle seat belts.

Both the XC90 and Acadia 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 Acadia’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 XC90 offers an optional built in child booster seat. It’s more crash worthy than an added child seat because of its direct attachment to the seat. GMC doesn’t offer the convenience and security of a built-in child booster seat in the Acadia. Their owners must carry a heavy booster seat in and out of the vehicle; XC90 owners can just fold their built-in child seat up or down.

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 Acadia’s airbags don’t have smart features and will always deploy full force.

The XC90 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 Acadia doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.

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 Acadia 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’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 Acadia doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

Both the XC90 and the Acadia 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, blind spot warning systems, rearview cameras, rear cross-path warning and available around view monitors.

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 GMC Acadia:

XC90

Acadia

Passenger

STARS

5 Stars

4 Stars

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

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 GMC Acadia:

XC90

Acadia

Front Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

51

106

Chest Movement

.7 inches

.9 inches

Abdominal Force

153 G’s

155 G’s

Rear Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

94

263

Spine Acceleration

40 G’s

42 G’s

Hip Force

608 lbs.

896 lbs.

Into Pole

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Max Damage Depth

12 inches

14 inches

HIC

209

319

Spine Acceleration

29 G’s

33 G’s

Hip Force

383 lbs.

673 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 Acadia has not been fully tested, yet.

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 Acadia’s 3-year/36,000-mile basic warranty expires 1 year and 14,000 miles sooner.

The XC90’s corrosion warranty is 6 years and unlimited miles longer than the Acadia’s (12/unlimited vs. 6/100,000).

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. GMC only pays for the first scheduled maintenance visit on the Acadia.

Reliability

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To reliably power the ignition and other systems and to recharge the battery, the XC90 has a 210-amp alternator. The Acadia’s standard 150-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 Acadia’s 660-amp battery isn’t as powerful.

The battery on the XC90 is in the trunk, which protects it from hot underhood temperatures that can degrade battery life. By keeping the XC90’s battery 20 to 30 degrees cooler, its life is increased by years. The Acadia’s battery is in the hot engine compartment.

Engine

© 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 2020/10/26

The XC90 has more powerful engines than the Acadia:

Horsepower

Torque

XC90 T5 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder

250 HP

258 lbs.-ft.

XC90 T6 2.0 turbo/supercharged 4-cylinder

316 HP

295 lbs.-ft.

XC90 Recharge 2.0 turbo/supercharged 4-cylinder hybrid

400 HP

472 lbs.-ft.

Acadia 2.5 DOHC 4-cylinder

193 HP

188 lbs.-ft.

Acadia 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder

230 HP

258 lbs.-ft.

Acadia 3.6 DOHC V6

310 HP

271 lbs.-ft.

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 2020/10/26

On the EPA test cycle the XC90 Recharge running on electricity gets better fuel mileage than the Acadia:

MPGe

XC90

AWD

Electric Motor

58 city/53 hwy

Acadia

MPG

FWD

2.5 DOHC 4-cyl.

21 city/27 hwy

2.0 turbo 4-cyl.

21 city/28 hwy

3.6 DOHC V6

19 city/27 hwy

AWD

2.0 turbo 4-cyl.

21 city/27 hwy

3.6 DOHC V6

18 city/25 hwy

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

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

Acadia

FWD

2.5 DOHC 4-cyl.

21 city/27 hwy

2.0 turbo 4-cyl.

21 city/28 hwy

3.6 DOHC V6

19 city/27 hwy

AWD

2.0 turbo 4-cyl.

21 city/27 hwy

3.6 DOHC V6

18 city/25 hwy

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

Brakes and Stopping

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

XC90 T5/T6

XC90 Recharge

Acadia

Front Rotors

13.6 inches

14.4 inches

12.6 inches

Rear Rotors

12.6 inches

13.4 inches

12.4 inches

The XC90 stops much shorter than the Acadia:

XC90

Acadia

70 to 0 MPH

167 feet

173 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

113 feet

126 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

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For better traction, the XC90’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Acadia (275/45R20 vs. 255/65R17).

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 Acadia’s standard 65 series tires. The XC90’s optional tires have a lower 35 series profile than the Acadia’s optional 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 Acadia. The XC90’s optional 22-inch wheels are larger than the 20-inch wheels optional on the Acadia.

Suspension and Handling

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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 Acadia doesn’t offer a load leveling suspension.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the XC90’s wheelbase is 5 inches longer than on the Acadia (117.5 inches vs. 112.5 inches).

For better handling and stability, the average track (width between the wheels) on the XC90 is 1.3 inches wider in the front and 1.3 inches wider in the rear than the track on the Acadia.

The XC90’s front to rear weight distribution is more even (51.7% to 48.3%) than the Acadia’s (56.5% to 43.5%). This gives the XC90 more stable handling and braking.

The XC90 T6 AWD handles at .85 G’s, while the Acadia SLT AWD pulls only .82 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

For greater off-road capability the XC90 has a 1.1 inches greater minimum ground clearance than the Acadia (8.3 vs. 7.2 inches), allowing the XC90 to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged. The XC90 w/Air Suspension’s minimum ground clearance is 2.1 inches higher than on the Acadia All Terrain (9.9 vs. 7.8 inches).

Passenger Space

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The front step up height for the XC90 is 2.2 inches lower than the Acadia (15.8” vs. 18”). The XC90’s rear step up height is 3 inches lower than the Acadia’s (16” vs. 19”).

Cargo Capacity

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A low lift-over cargo hatch design makes loading and unloading the XC90 easier. The XC90’s cargo hatch lift-over height is 30.8 inches, while the Acadia’s liftover is 32 inches.

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

XC90

Acadia AT4

Acadia

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

21.8”/49.6”/80.3”

n.a./48”/83”

18.5”/48”/83”

Max Width

54.7”

50”

50”

Min Width

44.5”

42.5”

42.5”

Height

35”

33”

33”

The XC90 has a standard third row seat which folds flat into the floor. This completely clears a very large cargo area quickly. The Acadia doesn’t offer seats that fold into the floor.

A standard locking glovebox (which can’t be accessed with the valet key) keeps your small valuables safer in the XC90. The Acadia doesn’t offer locking storage for small valuables.

Towing

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

Ergonomics

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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. An easy entry system costs extra on the Acadia, and is not available on all models.

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 Acadia doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

The XC90’s front power windows open or close with one touch of the switches, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths, or when talking with someone outside of the car. The Acadia’s front passenger window doesn’t close 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 Acadia can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

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 Acadia’s intermittent wipers change speed with vehicle speed, but can’t turn on and off or change speed based on changing rainfall.

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 Acadia 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 XC90 has standard headlight washers to keep headlight output high. The Acadia doesn’t offer headlight washers.

To help drivers avoid possible obstacles, the XC90 has standard cornering lights to illuminate around corners when the turn signals are activated. The Acadia 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 Acadia doesn’t offer a rear sunshade.

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 Acadia.

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 Acadia 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 Acadia only retains 39.37% to 43.59%.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the XC90 is less expensive to operate than the Acadia because it costs $164 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost much less on the XC90 than the Acadia, including $44 less for a muffler, $38 less for front brake pads, $632 less for a timing belt/chain and $33 less for a power steering pump.

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 2020/10/26

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

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

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

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

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