Toyota Highlander VS Volvo XC90: Expert comparison review and prices

04/23/2020

Posted by: Henry Egan

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Wondering which of Toyota Highlander or Volvo XC90 to go for? Read this review that highlights the most important factors these two have going.

Overview

Two of the most famous and obviously the most popular auto brands in the world. These two are constantly trying to beat each other to the crown as the number one auto brand across every single category. To this end, they are constantly innovating and evolving to meet the ever dynamic public taste and an ever-growing industry that is hotting up the competition.

Their class-topping offering in the Mid-size SUV category is making sure we have a challenge making a choice for which to go for. Toyota's offering in this category, the world-famous Toyota Highlander, has been around the block since its release in 2001 and has stolen so many hearts; However, the Volvo XC90 came in with the status of a category king causing unexpected disruptions here and there.

Toyota Highlander overview

The Toyota Highlander was one of the very first examples of how a Crossover model could look like and perform. Remember, Crossovers are "SUV" built on a platform of a car, rather than being made on the traditional Truck platform. In the case of the Highlander, its first models released in 2001 came on the same platform utilized in the production of the famous Camry, compared to the Toyota 4Runner which were first built on short Bed truck Chassis used in the Hilux and is currently built on the J150 Platform the same as what is used in the Toyota Prado.

toyota-highlander-front-view

The Toyota Highlander is currently in its fourth Generation

toyota-highlander-rear-angle-view

The Highlander is surely one of the most popular SUVs in Nigeria

The Toyota Highlander is currently in its fourth generation, with the most recent models released sometime last year for the 2021 model year. The Highlander drives on the Front Wheels Drivetrain (FWD) or All Wheels Drivetrain (AWD) depending on the trim chosen. It offers good ground clearance, a moderate wheelbase, and not too wide turn-radius to allow for swiftness in negotiating bends, and an independent suspension system to easily navigate uneven topography or terrain. Trims include the 2021 Toyota Highlander XSE that blends classic styling with aggressive road performance.

Volvo XC90 overview

You could say safety is embedded in the DNA of the VOLVO manufacturing company, as this is obvious with what is obtainable in the latest version of the company's mid-size Crossover SUV offering, the Volvo XC90. Not everyone will be able to afford the Volvo XC90 Armoured SUV, still, its less customized cousin, the Volvo XC90 is still a heck of an SUV. 

The Volvo XC90 first introduced in 2002 for the 2003 model year falls in the crossover category as its first models were built on a car platform, the Volvo P2 Platform, shared by several other car models.

The second generation of the Volvo XC90, the production of which began in 2014, comes on the Volvo Scalable Product Architecture (SPA) platform, a platform currently shared by various car models like the Volvo S90, Volvo S60, and the Volvo Polestar.

With a car like this, you surely won't be perusing FAQs about starting and engine smoking problem as this model will guarantee performance and quality from get-go.

volvo-xc90-front-angle-view

The current ceneration of the Volvo XC90 is built on the SPA Platform

volvo-xc90-rear-angle-view

Volvo uses the SPA Platform for the production of Current Generations of the Volvo XC90

The 2019 Models of the Volvo XC90 operate on 4-cylinders, V6, and V8 engines with turbo and supercharger systems installed according to trims.  The XC90's have been evolving since the earlier models, keeping abreast of changing customer desires while infusing the best offerings from the world of technology. The Volvo XC90 comes with Front Wheel Drive that you can easily find in the lower trims or the All-Wheel-Drive obtainable in the higher trims. There is an option of an 8-speed automatic transmission or the car can be controlled through a manual transmission system.

NOTE: The following comparison will be done using the 2019 models of the two Crossover SUVs under consideration, EXCEPT STATED OTHERWISE.

Meanwhile, check out this video of the Volvo XC90 below:

Video: Things to know about the 2020 Volvo XC90

Toyota Highlander VS Volvo XC90: The Comparison

  • Pricing

The 2019 Toyota Highlander is offered in 17 different styles with the Manufacturer Suggested Retail Price for the base trims the LE I4 FWD starting at about ₦11.6 Million compared to the same Base trim of the 2019 Volvo XC90, the T5 FWD Momentum, which starts at about ₦16.38 Million.

Toyota Highlander

Volvo XC90

Models

Price (₦)

Models

Price

Highlander LE I4 FWD

₦11.6 Million 

T5 FWD Momentum 

₦16.38 Million 

Highlander LE V6 FWD

₦12.38 Million

 XC90 T5 AWD Momentum

₦18.35 Million 

Highlander LE V6 AWD

₦12.92 Million

 XC90 T5 FWD R-Design

₦20.08 Million 

Highlander LE Plus V6 FWD

₦13.44 Million

 XC90 T6 AWD Momentum

₦20.58 Million 

Hybrid LE V6 AWD

₦13.71 Million

 XC90 T5 AWD R-Design

₦21.00 Million 

Highlander LE Plus V6 AWD

₦13.97 Million

 XC90 T6 AWD R-Design

₦22.39 Million 

Highlander XLE V6 FWD

₦14.52 Million

 XC90 T6 AWD Inscription

₦22.79 Million 

Highlander SE V6 FWD

₦14.96 Million

 XC90 T8 eAWD Plug-In Hybrid Momentum

₦24.49 Million 

Highlander XLE V6 AWD

₦15.05 Million

 XC90 T8 eAWD Plug-In Hybrid R-Design

₦26.30 Million 

Highlander SE V6 AWD

₦15.50 Million

XC90 T8 eAWD Plug-In Hybrid Inscription 

₦26.70 Million

Hybrid XLE V6 AWD

₦15.56 Million

XC90 T8 eAWD Plug-In Hybrid Excellence 

₦38.34 Million

Highlander Limited V6 FWD

₦15.69 Million

 

 

Highlander Limited V6 AWD

₦16.22 Million

 

 

Limited Platinum V6 FWD

₦16.83 Million

 

 

Hybrid Limited V6 AWD

₦16.84 Million

 

 

Limited Platinum V6 AWD

₦17.36 Million

 

 

Hybrid Limited Platinum V6

₦17.98 Million

 

 

>>> Read further: 

When it comes to fuel efficiency, both models might actually contend among the top fuel economy luxury cars as they post really impressive numbers. For instance, the base trims of both models are solid when it comes to fuel economy. However, Volvo XC90 base trim seems to top Toyota base trim offering, with XC90's base trim posting fuel economy of 21 mpg city and 29 mpg Highway, sufficiently outclassing Toyota Highlander on the highway. 

  Toyota Highlander

  Volvo XC90

Models

Fuel Economy

(City/Highway)

Models

Fuel Economy

(City/Highway)

 Highlander LE I4 FWD

20/24

T5 FWD Momentum 

21/29

Highlander LE V6 FWD

20/27

 XC90 T5 AWD Momentum

20/27

Highlander LE V6 AWD

19/26

 XC90 T5 FWD R-Design

21/29

Highlander LE Plus V6 FWD

21/27

 XC90 T6 AWD Momentum

19/26

Hybrid LE V6 AWD

30/28

 XC90 T5 AWD R-Design

20/27

Highlander LE Plus V6 AWD

20/27

 XC90 T6 AWD R-Design

19/26

Highlander XLE V6 FWD

21/27

 XC90 T6 AWD Inscription

19/26

Highlander SE V6 FWD

21/27

 XC90 T8 eAWD Plug-In Hybrid Momentum

---

Highlander XLE V6 AWD

20/26

 XC90 T8 eAWD Plug-In Hybrid R-Design

---

Highlander SE V6 AWD

20/26

XC90 T8 eAWD Plug-In Hybrid Inscription 

---

Hybrid XLE V6 AWD

29/27

XC90 T8 eAWD Plug-In Hybrid Excellence 

---

Highlander Limited V6 FWD

21/27

 

Highlander Limited V6 AWD 20/26
Limited Platinum V6 FWD 21/27
Hybrid Limited V6 AWD 29/27
Limited Platinum V6 AWD 29/27
  • Interior

Both Crossover models are sufficiently spacious inside, offering three-row seats for passengers' convenience. Toyota Highlander offers more seat space (8 passengers) compared to Volvo XC90 (7 passengers). However, Volvo XC90 offers better third-row legroom (31.9 Inches) compared to what you will find in the Toyota Highlander (27.7 Inches).

Generally, Toyota seems to offer more passenger space considering that the number stands at 144.9 ft³ compared to XC90's 103.8 ft³. But when it comes to cargo space, Volvo XC90 beats the Highlander; it offers about 85.7 ft³ compared to Highlanders's 83.7 ft³ and this can be attributed to the fact that XC90 is built on a larger wheelbase of 117.5 Inch compared to Highlander's 109.8-inch wheelbase.

When it comes to seat materials, the Highlander maintains its fabric materials for the seats compared to XC90, which makes use of Leatherette as standard seat materials and offers leather seat materials as an optional package. Most people will prefer the fabric seats compared to the Leatherette materials that are known to get very hot when left in the sun compared to the fabric seats.

toyota-highlander-front-seats

The 2019 Toyota Highlander Seats generally come with fabric material as standard

volvo-xc90-rear-passenger-seats

The 2019 Volvo XC90 Seats are made of Leatherette 

Ultimately, the Volvo XC90 presents an air of luxury quite more than that offered by the Toyota Highlander. However, Nigerians will always be inclined towards a Toyota brand, but on a fair basis, the Volvo XC90 seems to offer more interior functionality and style, especially with the class topping infotainment system. As an example, the Volvo XC90 offers support for Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, but this feature is lacking in the Highlander.

  • Engine and transmission

When it comes to engine options available in both models, it ranges from the base Inline-4 Cylinder engine to the higher trim V6 engines. For example, the base trims of both models (Highlander LE FWD Trim and the T5 FWD Momentum), utilize an Inline-4 cylinder engine which offers varying performance output. Highlander base trim outputs 185 hp compared the T5 FWD Momentum that pumps out 250 hp.

Also, the XC90 offers better torque rating if we consider the base trims, with figures standing at 258 lb-ft compared to Highlander LE FWD's 184 lb-ft. This comparison seems to go through across the different trims, with the class topping trims from Volvo XC90 offering better outputs compared to Toyota Highlander trims.

Both models operate on an 8-speed automatic transmission, offering both a Front-Wheel Drivetrain, especially found on their base trims, and the All-Wheel-Drivetrain, which you can easily find on the higher trims.

  • Safety

This is the area Volvo XC90 really outclasses the Highlander, offering several safety features as standard which are lacking in the Highlander. For instance, in the 2020 models of both Crossover SUVs, the Volvo XC90 offers safety features like Rear Parking Aid, Cross-Traffic Alert, and Blind Spot Monitor as standard features but these features are lacking in the various models of the 2020 Toyota Highlander.

Conclusion

So, you've seen a close look at some of the most important features of both models and we are certain you will be better informed to make a purchase decision between these two solid Crossover SUVs. However, you should carefully consider the following questions,

  • Can I easily find an auto mechanic for my car in case of a breakdown?
  • Does this vehicle have second-hand value?
  • Is it spacious?
  • Will it ply our rugged Nigerian roads?
  • If I must get a Hybrid Trim, do I have the technology and tools required to charge the battery?
  • Does it have a good fuel economy?

Well, I say your answers will determine what you will go for. Ponder over them and act wisely. Good luck with that.

>>> More car comparisons to check out:

>>> Visit Naijauto.com for the latest updates on Car news, Car Tips and advice, Car Prices, and Car reviews!

Henry Egan

Henry Egan

reviews

Henry Egan a poet, essayist, content writer, blogger and technical writer who is willing to read just that last material to develop the best content possible. Henry feels he is more of a new generation writer with a sassy and swanky style. You can be sure you'll get all the facts in and never get bored with his articles.

He has got a flair for technical reviews on automobile and cars. He studied Mechanical Engineering but his first love remains Literary Art.

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