2021 Volvo XC90 vs. 2020 Lincoln Nautilus

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 2020/10/29

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 Nautilus doesn’t offer pre-crash pretensioners.

For enhanced safety, the front and middle seat shoulder belts of the Volvo XC90 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 Lincoln Nautilus has only front height-adjustable seat belts.

Both the XC90 and Nautilus 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 Nautilus’ 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. Lincoln doesn’t offer the convenience and security of a built-in child booster seat in the Nautilus. 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 Nautilus’ 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 Nautilus doesn’t offer a whiplash protection 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 Nautilus doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

Both the XC90 and the Nautilus 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, 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 and available 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 XC90 the rating of “Top Pick” for 2019, a rating granted to only 132 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The Nautilus was last qualified as a “Top Pick” in 2017.

Warranty

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The XC90’s corrosion warranty is 7 years longer than the Nautilus’ (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. Lincoln only pays for the first scheduled maintenance visit on the Nautilus.

Reliability

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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 Nautilus’ battery is in the hot engine compartment.

Engine

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The XC90 has more powerful engines than the Nautilus:

Horsepower

Torque

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.

Nautilus 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder

250 HP

280 lbs.-ft.

Nautilus 2.7 turbo V6

335 HP

380 lbs.-ft.

As tested in Motor Trend the XC90 T6 is faster than the Lincoln Nautilus 2.3 turbo:

XC90

Nautilus

Zero to 60 MPH

6.7 sec

7.3 sec

Quarter Mile

15.1 sec

15.6 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

90.4 MPH

88.8 MPH

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 2020/10/29

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

MPGe

XC90

AWD

Electric Motor

58 city/53 hwy

Nautilus

MPG

FWD

2.0 turbo 4-cyl.

21 city/26 hwy

AWD

2.0 turbo 4-cyl.

20 city/25 hwy

2.7 turbo V6

19 city/26 hwy

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

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

Nautilus

FWD

2.0 turbo 4-cyl.

21 city/26 hwy

AWD

2.0 turbo 4-cyl.

20 city/25 hwy

2.7 turbo V6

19 city/26 hwy

The XC90 Recharge can drive on battery power alone for up to 18 miles. The Nautilus 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 Nautilus doesn’t offer a regenerative braking system.

Brakes and Stopping

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

XC90 Recharge

Nautilus

Front Rotors

14.4 inches

13.6 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 standard on the Nautilus are solid, not vented.

The XC90 stops shorter than the Nautilus:

XC90

Nautilus

60 to 0 MPH

113 feet

117 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 Nautilus (275/45R20 vs. 265/40R21).

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 Nautilus’ standard 60 series tires. The XC90’s optional tires have a lower 35 series profile than the Nautilus’ optional 40 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the XC90 has standard 19-inch wheels. Smaller 18-inch wheels are standard on the Nautilus. The XC90’s optional 22-inch wheels are larger than the 21-inch wheels optional on the Nautilus.

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 Nautilus doesn’t offer a load leveling suspension.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the XC90’s wheelbase is 5.3 inches longer than on the Nautilus (117.5 inches vs. 112.2 inches).

For better handling and stability, the average track (width between the wheels) on the XC90 is 1 inch wider in the front and 1.1 inches wider in the rear than the track on the Nautilus.

The XC90 T6 AWD handles at .85 G’s, while the Nautilus Reserve AWD pulls only .81 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

The XC90 T6 AWD executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver quicker than the Nautilus Reserve AWD (26.8 seconds @ .65 average G’s vs. 27.6 seconds @ .65 average G’s).

For better maneuverability, the XC90 w/19” wheels’ turning circle is .6 feet tighter than the Nautilus’ (38.7 feet vs. 39.3 feet).

Passenger Space

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The XC90 has standard seating for 7 passengers; the Nautilus can only carry 5.

The front step up height for the XC90 is 1.7 inches lower than the Nautilus (15.8” vs. 17.5”). The XC90’s rear step up height is 2 inches lower than the Nautilus’ (16” vs. 18”).

Cargo Capacity

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

XC90

Nautilus

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

21.8”/49.6”/80.3”

n.a./41.5”/75”

Max Width

54.7”

45”

Min Width

44.5”

45”

Height

35”

31”

Towing

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The XC90’s minimum standard towing capacity is much higher than the Nautilus’ (4000 vs. 2000 pounds).

Ergonomics

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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 Nautilus doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

The power windows standard on both the XC90 and the Nautilus have locks to prevent small children from operating them. When the lock on the XC90 is engaged the driver can still operate all of the windows, for instance to close one opened by a child. The Nautilus prevents the driver from operating the rear windows just as it does the other passengers.

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 Nautilus’ cruise control 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 Nautilus’ standard 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 Nautilus 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 Nautilus 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 Nautilus’ 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 Nautilus doesn’t offer headlight washers.

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 Nautilus 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 Nautilus’ mirrors don’t automatically adjust for backing.

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 Nautilus only retains 35.03% to 40.81%.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the XC90 is less expensive to operate than the Nautilus because typical repairs cost much less on the XC90 than the Nautilus, including $131 less for a muffler and $467 less for a timing belt/chain.

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 2020/10/29

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

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

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

The Volvo XC90 outsold the Lincoln MKX/Nautilus by 13% during 2019.

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

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