2021 Volvo XC90 vs. 2020 Toyota Land Cruiser

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

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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 Toyota Land Cruiser doesn’t offer pretensioners for the middle seat belts.

Both the XC90 and Land Cruiser 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 Land Cruiser’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. Toyota doesn’t offer the convenience and security of a built-in child booster seat in the Land Cruiser. 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 Land Cruiser’s airbags don’t have smart features and will always deploy full force.

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 Land Cruiser 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.

For better protection of the passenger compartment, the XC90 uses safety cell construction with a three-dimensional high-strength frame that surrounds the passenger compartment. It provides extra impact protection and a sturdy mounting location for door hardware and side impact beams. The Land Cruiser uses a body-on-frame design, which has no frame members above the floor of the vehicle.

Both the XC90 and the Land Cruiser have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, height adjustable front shoulder belts, plastic fuel tanks, 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, driver alert monitors 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 Land Cruiser has not been 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 Land Cruiser’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 Land Cruiser’s (12 vs. 5 years).

Volvo pays for scheduled maintenance on the XC90 for 1 year and 11000 miles longer than Toyota pays for maintenance for the Land Cruiser (3/36,000 vs. 2/25000).

Reliability

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To reliably start during all conditions and help handle large electrical loads, the XC90 has a standard 800-amp battery. The Land Cruiser’s 650-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 Land Cruiser’s battery is in the hot engine compartment.

Engine

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The XC90 Recharge’s standard 2.0 turbo/supercharged 4-cylinder hybrid produces 19 more horsepower (400 vs. 381) and 71 lbs.-ft. more torque (472 vs. 401) than the Land Cruiser’s 5.7 DOHC V8.

As tested in Car and Driver the Volvo XC90 is faster than the Toyota Land Cruiser:

XC90 T6

XC90 Recharge

Land Cruiser

Zero to 60 MPH

6 sec

5.3 sec

6.7 sec

Zero to 100 MPH

15.5 sec

14.6 sec

17.6 sec

Passing 30 to 50 MPH

3.4 sec

n/a

3.9 sec

Passing 50 to 70 MPH

4.6 sec

n/a

5.1 sec

Quarter Mile

14.6 sec

14 sec

15.1 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

97 MPH

98 MPH

93 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 2020/10/30

On the EPA test cycle the XC90 Recharge running on electricity gets better fuel mileage than the Land Cruiser (58 city/53 hwy MPGe vs. 13 city/17 hwy).

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

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

Land Cruiser

AWD

5.7 DOHC V8

13 city/17 hwy

The XC90 Recharge can drive on battery power alone for up to 18 miles. The Land Cruiser 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 Land Cruiser 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 Land Cruiser 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 Land Cruiser 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 Toyota Land Cruiser (3). This means the XC90 produces up to 24.5 pounds less smog-producing pollutants than the Land Cruiser every 15,000 miles.

Brakes and Stopping

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

XC90 Recharge

Land Cruiser

Front Rotors

14.4 inches

14 inches

The XC90 stops much shorter than the Land Cruiser:

XC90

Land Cruiser

70 to 0 MPH

167 feet

184 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

113 feet

127 feet

Motor Trend

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

137 feet

158 feet

Consumer Reports

Tires and Wheels

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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 Land Cruiser Heritage Edition’s standard 65 series tires. The XC90’s optional tires have a lower 35 series profile than the Land Cruiser’s 60 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the XC90 has standard 19-inch wheels. Only 18-inch wheels are available on the Land Cruiser. The XC90 offers optional 22-inch wheels.

Suspension and Handling

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For superior ride and handling, the Volvo XC90 has fully independent front and rear suspensions. An independent suspension allows the wheels to follow the road at the best angle for gripping the pavement, without compromising ride comfort. The Toyota Land Cruiser has a solid rear axle, with a non-independent rear suspension.

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 Land Cruiser’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 Land Cruiser 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 Land Cruiser (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 1.3 inches wider in the rear than the average track on the Land Cruiser.

The XC90 T6 AWD handles at .84 G’s, while the Land Cruiser pulls only .74 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

The XC90 T6 AWD executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 2.1 seconds quicker than the Land Cruiser (26.8 seconds @ .65 average G’s vs. 28.9 seconds @ .58 average G’s).

For greater off-road capability the XC90 w/Air Suspension has a greater minimum ground clearance than the Land Cruiser (9.9 vs. 8.9 inches), allowing the XC90 to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged.

Chassis

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The Volvo XC90 may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 700 to 1400 pounds less than the Toyota Land Cruiser.

Unibody construction lowers the XC90’s center of gravity significantly without reducing ground clearance. This contributes to better on the road handling and better off-road performance and stability. In addition, unibody construction makes the chassis stiffer, improving handling and reducing squeaks and rattles. The Land Cruiser uses body-on-frame design instead.

The design of the Volvo XC90 amounts to more than styling. The XC90 has an aerodynamic coefficient of drag of .33 Cd. That is lower than the Land Cruiser (.35) and many sports cars. A more efficient exterior helps keep the interior quieter and helps the XC90 get better fuel mileage.

As tested by Car and Driver while under full throttle, the interior of the XC90 T6 AWD is quieter than the Land Cruiser (71 vs. 74 dB).

Cargo Capacity

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

XC90

Land Cruiser

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

21.8”/49.6”/80.3”

16.5”/46”/66.5”

Max Width

54.7”

56”

Min Width

44.5”

40”

Height

35”

41.5”

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

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

The XC90’s liftgate lifts up in one piece, completely out of the way of loading and unloading, while sheltering the cargo loading area. The Land Cruiser’s tailgate’s top part raises up, but the bottom part lowers, getting in the way of loading and making an uneven surface for sliding cargo.

To make loading groceries and cargo easier when your hands are full, the XC90’s liftgate can be opened and closed just by kicking your foot under the back bumper, leaving your hands completely free. The Land Cruiser doesn’t offer a hands-free gesture to open its tailgate, forcing you to put cargo down if your hands are full.

Servicing Ease

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The XC90 has a maintenance free battery for long life without checking the battery’s water level. The Land Cruiser doesn’t have a maintenance free battery, so the water level in the battery’s cells must be checked often to prevent damage.

Ergonomics

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The XC90 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 Land Cruiser doesn’t offer a remote starting 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 Land Cruiser 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 Land Cruiser has a lever-type parking brake that has to be strenuously raised to engage properly. It has to be lifted up more and a button depressed to release it.

The power windows standard on both the XC90 and the Land Cruiser 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 Land Cruiser prevents the driver from operating the other 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 Land Cruiser’s cruise control switches are unlit, making them difficult to find at night and operate safely.

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 Land Cruiser doesn’t offer heated windshield washer nozzles.

To help drivers avoid possible obstacles, the XC90 has standard cornering lights to illuminate around corners when the turn signals are activated. The Land Cruiser 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 Land Cruiser doesn’t offer a rear or rear side window sunshades.

The XC90’s power mirror controls are mounted on the armrest for easy access. The Land Cruiser’s power mirror controls are on the dash where they are possibly hidden by the steering wheel and are awkward to manipulate.

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 Land Cruiser.

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 Land Cruiser doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

Model Availability

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The XC90 is available in both front-wheel drive and four-wheel drive configurations. The Land Cruiser doesn’t offer a two-wheel drive configuration.

Economic Advantages

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Insurance will cost less for the XC90 owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the XC90 will cost $2475 to $5990 less than the Land Cruiser over a five-year period.

IntelliChoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the Volvo XC90 will be $11123 to $29779 less than for the Toyota Land Cruiser.

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 2020/10/30

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

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

The XC90 was chosen as one of Automobile Magazine’s “All Stars” in 2016. The Land Cruiser hasn’t been picked since 2002.

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

The Volvo XC90 outsold the Toyota Land Cruiser by over 10 to one during 2019.

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