Volvo XC90 Vs. Toyota Highlander: Battle Of The Three-Row SUVs

Volvo XC90 vs. Toyota Highlander Comparison

The Volvo XC90 vs. Toyota Highlander matchup is a contest between two sleek three-row SUVs that blend utility and performance that is sure to impress drivers. Each vehicle offers plenty of seating for you and your loved ones while also promising savings at the pump and a luxurious experience in their feature-filled SUV cabins. Only one can emerge victorious, however.

As we compare Volvo XC90 and Toyota Highlander, we will examine these vehicles' performance specifications, dimensions, cargo and passenger spaces, safety technology, and more. We aim to help you figure out which of these two powerful SUVs will best serve you and your family. Read on to experience our Toyota Highlander vs. Volvo XC90 deep-dive.

Volvo XC90 vs. Toyota Highlander Performance & Specs

The 2022 Toyota Highlander has two different available engines. The base option is a 3.5-liter V-6 that makes 295 horsepower. It pairs with an eight-speed automatic transmission and front-wheel drive, though all-wheel drive is available. It takes less than 7 seconds to jump from 0 to 60, which is respectable enough for a vehicle in this size class.

The other powertrain is a hybrid one. This is an important dimension of our 2022 Volvo XC90 vs. 2022 Toyota Highlander comparison. Both of these vehicles have fuel-efficient hybrid options, which are attractive because they offer savings at the pump during an era of high fuel prices. The Toyota Highlander Hybrid has a 2.5-liter four-cylinder with a battery-and-motor system for 243 horsepower. It uses continuously variable automatic transmission and front- or all-wheel drive.

Those options are impressive enough, but the 2022 Volvo XC90 has a stronger engine lineup. The standard engine, part of the T5 powertrain, is a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder that makes 250 horsepower. It comes standard with front-wheel drive but has all-wheel drive available.

The T6 powertrain is the next step up. It adds a supercharger to the engine described above, raising its horsepower output to 316. The hybrid Volvo XC90 uses the T6 engine but adds a powerful battery and a pair of motors to the configuration for a total of 455 horsepower with the extended range upgrade. Your new 455-horsepower SUV will blow by folks holding things up on the highway.

The Volvo XC90 has a more compelling range of engine options than the Toyota Highlander. In our Volvo XC90 vs. Toyota Highlander battle, we have to give this round to the Volvo SUV.

Volvo XC90 vs. Toyota Highlander Performance
Toyota Highlander vs. Volvo XC90 Fuel Economy

Toyota Highlander vs. Volvo XC90 Fuel Economy

There are about half a dozen different fuel economy ratings for the 2022 Toyota Highlander because it's available with two other engines that can both use front- or all-wheel drive. We'll share a couple of them to give you an idea of what you can expect from the Toyota SUV.

A Toyota Highlander with the base 3.5-liter engine and front-wheel drive gets an EPA-estimated 20/28/23 MPG (city/highway/combined).1 A hybrid version of the car with all-wheel drive makes an EPA-estimated 35/35/35 MPG (city/highway/combined).1 These numbers can help you save a bit at the pump.

The 2022 Volvo XC90 also has several fuel economy ratings. A Volvo XC90 with the T5 engine and front-wheel drive gets an EPA-estimated 21/30/25 MPG (city/highway/combined).2 This base model gets better gas mileage than the base model of the Toyota Highlander. This holds up for the hybrid models, too: a Volvo XC90 with the extended range upgrade on its plug-in hybrid powertrain makes an EPA-estimated 66 MPGe (combined).3

In this part of our comparison, whether we're looking at the gasoline-only models or the Volvo XC90 hybrid vs. Highlander hybrid matchup, the Volvo XC90 comes out on top. Perhaps the Toyota Highlander will stack up better in a different category.

Volvo XC90 vs. Toyota Highlander Size, Dimensions & Cargo Space

As three-row SUVs, both of these vehicles are large. There are some key differences between their sizes, however. The Toyota Highlander is 194.9 inches long, 76 inches wide (without its mirrors), and 68.1 inches tall.

Inside the vehicle, this translates into plenty of passenger space with 42 inches of front legroom and 41 inches in the second row. Folks stuck in the third row have just 27.7 inches of legroom, which the kids won't appreciate much once they're tweens.

The Volvo XC90 is 195 inches long, 75.7 inches wide (without the mirrors), and 69.9 inches tall. The exterior dimensions of these vehicles are quite comparable. The cabin of the Volvo XC90 boasts legroom that is better apportioned throughout all three rows. The first row has 40.9 inches, the second has 37 inches, and the third row enjoys 31.9 inches.

Now, the first and second rows here lose out to the Toyota Highlander, but the additional 4.2 inches of room in the third row may be worth it. If you're getting a three-row SUV, you're probably planning to use all of the seats, so investing in a vehicle that won't see the kids complain (as much) is worth it.

The Toyota Highlander does have a little more cargo space than the Volvo XC90. It can fit 16 cubic feet of cargo behind its third row, compared to 12.6 cubes in the Volvo XC90. However, that difference isn't major, and you can fold down the third row or strap cargo to the roof if need be. We think that this category of our Volvo XC90 vs. Toyota Highlander comparison is a wash: the Volvo XC90 offers a more spacious third row, while the Toyota Highlander has a better cargo capacity.

Volvo XC90 vs. Toyota Highlander Dimensions
Volvo XC90 vs. Toyota Highlander Interior

Volvo XC90 vs. Toyota Highlander Interior & Features

The cabins of these SUVs are both well-designed and full of creature comforts. Volvo Cars, however, is known to make luxurious vehicles that embrace Scandinavian minimalism that many drivers find elegant and refined. We'll see if the Toyota Highlander can keep up.

The interior of the Volvo XC90 is rich with features and luxuries. Every model enjoys a 12.3-inch digital gauge cluster, at least two USB ports, a panoramic moonroof, wireless device charging, keyless entry, a 10-speaker sound system, and more. If you opt for one of the mid- or higher-tier trims, you'll be sitting in leather upholstery, clutching a heated steering wheel, and truly enjoying yourself.

The Toyota Highlander also has a nice interior, but it falls short compared to the Volvo XC90. One doesn't start to find luxuries like leather upholstery until you reach some of the top-tier – and therefore most expensive – trims.

It seems that the Toyota Highlander springs from a glut of available vehicle versions; there are seven different trims, many of which are also available as hybrids. That may sound good initially, but it means that jumping from one trim to the next will just net you one or two new features.

The Volvo XC90 handily wins this category of our Volvo XC90 vs. Toyota Highlander battle. The refined and sophisticated design of the Volvo car makes for a more compelling cabin design, and each trim's lineup of features is incredibly comprehensive. If you've been convinced that the sleek new Volvo SUV is the car for you, then check out our new Volvo XC90 for sale.

Volvo XC90 vs. Toyota Highlander Safety & Reliability

Both the Volvo XC90 and Toyota Highlander have great suites of standard safety features. Each vehicle comes with automated emergency braking with pedestrian detection, forward-collision warning, blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alerts, lane-departure warning, and a lane-keeping assist mechanism.

Volvo Cars and Toyota both offer excellent warranty coverage for these vehicles as well. Volvo Cars does, however, handily win this category: its limited warranty covers five years or 60,000 miles, while the Toyota coverage only extends for three years or 36,000 miles. The safety and coverage category of our Volvo XC90 vs. Toyota Highlander matchup goes to the Volvo SUV.

Volvo XC90 vs. Toyota Highlander Safety
2022 Volvo XC90 vs. 2022 Toyota Highlander

2022 Volvo XC90 vs. 2022 Toyota Highlander: Conclusion

Our Volvo XC90 vs. Toyota Highlander comparison has been an intense one, but it's one that the Volvo XC90 wins. It has a better lineup of engines, a more compelling interior, and better warranty coverage. If you and your family need a new ride, this is the vehicle for you. You can drive a new Volvo XC90 for a low monthly payment if you lease a Volvo XC90, or you can purchase the vehicle outright.

Whatever your needs, our dealership is our region's premier destination for car shopping. We carry the full lineup of Volvo vehicles and a great selection of used automobiles – we even have a used Toyota Highlander inventory. Visit us today to test drive a sleek new Volvo vehicle.


2023 Volvo XC90

2023 Volvo XC90

Vs.

2022 Toyota Highlander

2022 Toyota Highlander
2.0L Engine displacement 3.5L
Inline 4 Engine configuration V-6
250 hp @ 5,500 rpm Engine power 295 hp @ 6,600 rpm
All-wheel-drive Drivetrain All-wheel-drive
8-speed shiftable automatic Transmission 8-speed shiftable automatic
4,497 lbs. Curb weight 4,145 lbs.
-Blind-Spot Alert
-Emergency & Security Services
-Child Seat Anchors
-Child Door Locks
-Pedestrian Detection System
-Slip Control
-Traction Control
-Side View Cameras
-Surround View Camera
Safety Features -Blind-Spot Alert
-Emergency & Security Services
-Child Seat Anchors
-Child Door Locks
-Pedestrian Detection System
-Slip Control
-Traction Control
-Side View Cameras
-Surround View Camera
-Bluetooth® Wireless Technology
-Cruise Control
-Remote Keyless Entry
-Smartphone Interface
-Internet Access
-Proximity Sensing Keyless Entry
-Push-Button Engine Start
-Navigation System
-Voice Recognition System
-Hands Free Phone
Technology Features -Bluetooth® Wireless Technology
-Cruise Control
-Remote Keyless Entry
-Smartphone Interface
-Internet Access
-Proximity Sensing Keyless Entry
-Push-Button Engine Start
-Navigation System
-Voice Recognition System
-Hands Free Phone
-Remote Keyless Entry
-Cruise Control
-Bluetooth® Streaming Audio
-Heated Mirrors
-Heated Steering Wheel
-Heated Windshield
-Integrated Garage Door Opener
Comfort and Convenience -Remote Keyless Entry
-Cruise Control
-Bluetooth® Streaming Audio
-Heated Mirrors
-Heated Steering Wheel
-Heated Windshield
-Integrated Garage Door Opener
New Volvo XC90 For Sale
Used Toyota Highlander For Sale

FAQ

Which has more cargo size: Toyota Highlander or Volvo XC90?

The 2022 Toyota Highlander has a little more cargo space than the Volvo XC90. The Toyota SUV can fit 16 cubic feet of cargo behind its third row, while the Volvo XC90 has room for 12.6 cubes. The Volvo XC90 does have a more spacious third row, however, which is likely to be a major consideration for anyone buying a large SUV.

Which is more reliable: Toyota Highlander or Volvo XC90?

Both Toyota and Volvo Cars are well-known for making reliable vehicles. Either of these cars could easily break the 200,000-mile mark without needing many repairs, and 300,000 is within reach if you take good care of the SUV. Of course, the Volvo XC90 includes a warranty so you'll be taken care of if something does go wrong.

Which has better fuel economy: Toyota Highlander or Volvo XC90?

The Volvo XC90 has better fuel economy numbers than the Toyota Highlander. The base models demonstrate this well. The Volvo XC90 T5 with front-wheel drive gets an EPA-estimated 21/30/25 MPG (city/highway/combined).2 A Toyota Highlander with the 3.5-liter engine and front-wheel drive only scores an EPA-estimated 20/28/23 MPG (city/highway/combined).1


1Use for comparison purposes only. Your mileage will vary for many reasons, including your vehicle's condition and how/where you drive. See fueleconomy.gov.

2For more information, please visit the official US government source for all fuel economy at www.fueleconomy.gov

3This is a hybrid plug in vehicle. Since electricity is not measured in gallons, a conversion factor is used to translate the fuel economy into miles per gallon of gasoline equivalent (MPGe). Use for comparison purposes only. Your MPGe will vary for many reasons, including but not limited to, driving conditions, how and where you drive, how you maintain your vehicle battery-package/condition, and other factors. For more information, including information on MPGe, see www.fueleconomy.gov

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