ford explorer vs volvo

2018 Ford Explorer vs. 2018 Volvo XC90

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

Your buying experience includes.

2018 Ford Explorer

2018 Volvo XC90

The middle row seatbelts optional on the Explorer inflate when a collision is detected, helping to spread crash forces over a much larger area of the body and limiting head and neck movement. This can help prevent spinal and internal injuries. The XC90 doesn’t offer inflatable seatbelts.

Both the Explorer and the XC90 have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, front wheel drive, height adjustable front shoulder belts, plastic fuel tanks, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available all wheel drive, collision warning systems, lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems, front and rear parking sensors and rear cross-path warning.

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, results indicate that the Ford Explorer is safer than the Volvo XC90:

New test not comparable to pre-2011 test results. More stars = Better. Lower test results = Better.

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

Ford’s powertrain warranty covers the Explorer 1 year and 10,000 miles longer than Volvo covers the XC90. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 5 years or 60,000 miles. Coverage on the XC90 ends after only 4 years or 50,000 miles.

There are over 10 times as many Ford dealers as there are Volvo dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Explorer’s warranty.

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

Reliability

The Explorer has a standard “limp home system” to keep drivers from being stranded if most or all of the engine’s coolant is lost. The engine will run on only half of its cylinders at a time, reduce its power and light a warning lamp on the dashboard so the driver can get to a service station for repairs. The XC90 doesn’t offer a lost coolant limp home mode, so a coolant leak could strand you or seriously damage the truck’s engine.

A reliable vehicle saves its owner time, money and trouble. Nobody wants to be stranded or have to be without a vehicle while it’s being repaired. Consumer Reports rates the Explorer’s reliability 20 points higher than the XC90.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2017 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Ford vehicles are better in initial quality than Volvo vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Ford fourth in initial quality, above the industry average. With 48 more problems per 100 vehicles, Volvo is ranked 30th, below the industry average.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports ’ April 2017 Auto Issue reports that Ford vehicles are more reliable than Volvo vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Ford 1 place higher in reliability than Volvo.

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

As tested in Car and Driver the Explorer Sport/Platinum 3.5 turbo V6 is faster than the XC90 T6:

2018 Volvo XC90 vs. 2018 Ford Explorer

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

Your buying experience includes.

2018 Volvo XC90

2018 Ford Explorer

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 Ford Explorer 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 Explorer 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 Ford Explorer doesn’t offer height-adjustable middle seat belts.

Both the XC90 and Explorer 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 Explorer’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. Ford doesn’t offer the convenience and security of a built-in child booster seat in the Explorer. 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 Explorer’s side 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 Explorer doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.

The XC90 has standard City Safety and Collision Warning with Full Auto Brake, which use forward mounted sensors to warn the driver of a possible collision ahead. If the driver doesn’t react and the system determines a collision is imminent, it automatically applies the brakes at full-force in order to reduce the force of the crash or avoid it altogether. The Explorer offers an available collision warning system without the automated brake feature that would prevent or reduce the collision if the driver fails to react.

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 Explorer 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.

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 Explorer 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 Explorer doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

Both the XC90 and the Explorer have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact 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, 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 Ford Explorer: