2021 Volvo XC90 vs. 2021 Dodge Durango

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 2020/10/30

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 Durango 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 Durango 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 Dodge Durango doesn’t offer height-adjustable middle seat belts.

Both the XC90 and Durango 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 Durango’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. Dodge doesn’t offer the convenience and security of a built-in child booster seat in the Durango. 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 Durango’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 Durango 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.

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

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 Durango only offers a rear monitor and front and rear parking sensors that beep or flash a light. That doesn’t help with obstacles to the sides.

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 Durango doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

Both the XC90 and the Durango 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, daytime running lights and rearview cameras.

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 Durango:

XC90

Durango

OVERALL STARS

5 Stars

4 Stars

Driver

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 Durango:

XC90

Durango

Overall Evaluation

GOOD

MARGINAL

Restraints

GOOD

ACCEPTABLE

Head Neck Evaluation

GOOD

GOOD

Head injury index

37

119

Peak Head Forces

0 G’s

0 G’s

Steering Column Movement Rearward

0 cm

9 cm

Chest Evaluation

GOOD

GOOD

Max Chest Compression

16 cm

26 cm

Hip & Thigh Evaluation

GOOD

ACCEPTABLE

Femur Force R/L

.4/.7 kN

5.3/2.5 kN

Hip & Thigh Injury Risk R/L

0%/0%

6%/0%

Lower Leg Evaluation

GOOD

POOR

Tibia index R/L

.24/.41

1.53/.59

Tibia forces R/L

1.1/.2 kN

1.9/1.4 kN

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 Durango:

XC90

Durango

Front Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Chest Movement

.7 inches

1.1 inches

Into Pole

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Max Damage Depth

12 inches

14 inches

Spine Acceleration

29 G’s

39 G’s

Hip Force

383 lbs.

666 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 Durango 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 Durango’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 Durango’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 Durango.

Reliability

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For smoother operation, better efficiency and fewer moving parts, the engines in the XC90 have an overhead cam design, rather than the old pushrod design of the 5.7 V8 in the Durango.

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

Engine

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The XC90 has more powerful engines than the Durango:

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.

Durango 3.6 DOHC V6

293 HP

260 lbs.-ft.

Durango Dual Exhaust 3.6 DOHC V6

295 HP

260 lbs.-ft.

Durango 5.7 V8

360 HP

390 lbs.-ft.

As tested in Car and Driver the XC90 T6 is faster than the Durango Dual Exhaust V6:

XC90

Durango

Zero to 30 MPH

2.3 sec

2.6 sec

Zero to 60 MPH

6 sec

7.8 sec

Zero to 100 MPH

15.5 sec

20.9 sec

5 to 60 MPH Rolling Start

7.1 sec

8.3 sec

Passing 30 to 50 MPH

3.4 sec

4.2 sec

Passing 50 to 70 MPH

4.6 sec

5.7 sec

Quarter Mile

14.6 sec

16 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

97 MPH

88 MPH

Top Speed

132 MPH

117 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

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

MPGe

XC90

AWD

Electric Motor

58 city/53 hwy

Durango

MPG

RWD

3.6 DOHC V6

19 city/26 hwy

5.7 OHV V8

14 city/22 hwy

AWD

3.6 DOHC V6

18 city/25 hwy

5.7 OHV V8

14 city/22 hwy

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

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

Durango

RWD

3.6 DOHC V6

19 city/26 hwy

5.7 OHV V8

14 city/22 hwy

AWD

3.6 DOHC V6

18 city/25 hwy

5.7 OHV V8

14 city/22 hwy

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

Regardless of its engine, the XC90’s engine automatically turns off when the vehicle is stopped, saving fuel and reducing pollution. (Start/Stop isn’t accounted in present EPA fuel mileage tests.) Dodge only offers an automatic engine start/stop system on the Durango V6.

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 Durango 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 Durango (3 to 7). This means the XC90 produces up to 24.5 pounds less smog-producing pollutants than the Durango every 15,000 miles.

Brakes and Stopping

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

XC90

Durango

Front Rotors

13.6 inches

13 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 Durango V6 are solid, not vented.

The XC90 stops much shorter than the Durango:

XC90

Durango

70 to 0 MPH

167 feet

190 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

113 feet

142 feet

Motor Trend

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

137 feet

160 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 Durango SXT’s standard 60 series tires. The XC90’s optional tires have a lower 35 series profile than the Durango R/T’s optional 45 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the XC90 has standard 19-inch wheels. Smaller 18-inch wheels are standard on the Durango SXT. The XC90’s optional 22-inch wheels are larger than the 20-inch wheels optional on the Durango.

Suspension and Handling

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The XC90 has standard front and rear stabilizer bars, which help keep the XC90 flat and controlled during cornering. The Durango’s suspension doesn’t offer a rear stabilizer bar.

For better handling and stability, the average track (width between the wheels) on the XC90 is 1.9 inches wider in the front and 1.8 inches wider in the rear than the track on the Durango.

The XC90 T6 AWD handles at .84 G’s, while the Durango GT pulls only .75 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

The XC90 T6 AWD executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 2 seconds quicker than the Durango GT 4x4 (26.8 seconds @ .65 average G’s vs. 28.8 seconds @ .58 average G’s).

For better maneuverability, the XC90 w/19” wheels’ turning circle is 2.3 feet tighter than the Durango’s (38.7 feet vs. 41 feet). The XC90 w/22” wheels’ turning circle is 1.3 feet tighter than the Durango’s (39.7 feet vs. 41 feet).

For greater off-road capability the XC90 has a greater minimum ground clearance than the Durango (8.3 vs. 8.1 inches), allowing the XC90 to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged. The XC90 w/Air Suspension’s minimum ground clearance is 1.8 inches higher than on the Durango (9.9 vs. 8.1 inches).

Chassis

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The Volvo XC90 may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 250 to 350 pounds less than the Dodge Durango.

The XC90 is 6.2 inches shorter than the Durango, making the XC90 easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

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 Durango (.36) 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 Durango GT 4x4 (71 vs. 76 dB).

Passenger Space

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The XC90 has .6 inches more front legroom, 1 inch more rear hip room and 2.5 inches more third row hip room than the Durango.

The front step up height for the XC90 is 3.7 inches lower than the Durango (15.8” vs. 19.5”). The XC90’s rear step up height is 3.5 inches lower than the Durango’s (16” vs. 19.5”).

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 Durango’s liftover is 32.2 inches.

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

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 Durango doesn’t offer a hands-free gesture to open its liftgate, forcing you to put cargo down if your hands are full.

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 Durango, 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 Durango 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 Durango’s parking brake has to released manually.

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 Durango’s standard 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 Durango doesn’t offer heated windshield washer nozzles.

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 Durango’s headlights are rated “Marginal.”

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 Durango 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 Durango 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 Durango doesn’t offer a rear or rear side window sunshades.

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 Durango.

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 Durango doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

Economic Advantages

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According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the XC90 is less expensive to operate than the Durango because typical repairs cost much less on the XC90 than the Durango, including $103 less for front struts and $406 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 2020/10/30

The Car Book by Jack Gillis recommends the Volvo XC90, based on economy, maintenance, safety and complaint levels.

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

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

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

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