Greene Ford Compares 2016 Ford Explorer VS 2014 Volvo XC90 Near Cumming, GA

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2016 Ford Explorer

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2014 Volvo XC90

Safety Comparison

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.

The Explorer (except Base/XLT) offers an optional collision warning system, which detects an impending crash through forward mounted sensors and flashes a bright light and sounds a loud, distinctive tone to warn the driver to brake or maneuver immediately to avoid a collision. The system also pre-charges the brakes to begin deceleration more quickly. The XC90 doesn't offer a collision warning system.

When descending a steep, off-road slope, the Explorer 4WD’s standard Hill Descent Control allows you to creep down safely. The XC90 doesn’t offer Hill Descent Control.

The Explorer (except Base/XLT/Sport)’s optional lane departure warning system alerts a temporarily inattentive driver when the vehicle begins to leave its lane and gently nudges the vehicle back towards its lane. The XC90 doesn’t offer a lane departure warning system.

The Explorer XLT/Limited/Sport/Platinum has standard Reverse Sensing System to help warn the driver about vehicles, pedestrians or other obstacles behind or, optionally, in front of the vehicle. The XC90 doesn’t offer a front parking aid.

To help make backing safer, the Explorer (except Base)’s optional cross-path warning system uses wide-angle radar in the rear bumper to alert the driver to vehicles approaching from the side, helping the driver avoid collisions. The XC90 doesn’t offer a cross-path warning system.

The Explorer has standard SYNC ®, which uses a global positioning satellite (GPS) receiver and a cellular system to get turn-by-turn driving directions or send emergency personnel to the scene if any airbags deploy. The XC90 doesn’t offer a GPS response system, only a navigation computer with no live response for emergencies, so if you’re involved in an accident and you’re incapacitated help may not come as quickly.

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, available all wheel drive and blind spot warning systems.

Warranty Comparison

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.

The Explorer’s corrosion warranty is unlimited miles longer than the XC90’s (unlimited vs. 100,000 miles).

There are over 11 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.

Reliability Comparison

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2015 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 12th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 13 more problems per 100 vehicles, Volvo is ranked 19th, below the industry average.

Engine Comparison

The Explorer’s optional 2.3 turbo 4 cyl. produces 40 more horsepower (280 vs. 240) and 74 lbs.-ft. more torque (310 vs. 236) than the XC90’s 3.2 DOHC 6 cyl. The Explorer’s standard 3.5 DOHC V6 produces 50 more horsepower (290 vs. 240) and 19 lbs.-ft. more torque (255 vs. 236) than the XC90’s 3.2 DOHC 6 cyl. The Explorer Sport/Platinum’s standard 3.5 turbo V6 produces 125 more horsepower (365 vs. 240) and 114 lbs.-ft. more torque (350 vs. 236) than the XC90’s 3.2 DOHC 6 cyl.

Fuel Economy and Range Comparison

To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Ford Explorer with its standard engine uses regular unleaded gasoline. The XC90 requires premium for maximum efficiency, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.

The Explorer 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 XC90 doesn’t offer a cap-less fueling system.

Brakes and Stopping Comparison

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



Front Rotors

13.85 inches

13.2 inches

Rear Rotors

13.5 inches

12.1 inches

Tires and Wheels Comparison

For better traction, the Explorer has larger standard tires than the XC90 (245/60R18 vs. 235/60R18).

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Explorer offers optional 20-inch wheels. The XC90’s largest wheels are only 19-inches.

Suspension and Handling Comparison

The Explorer has standard front and rear gas-charged shocks for better control over choppy roads. The XC90’s suspension doesn’t offer gas-charged shocks.

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the Explorer is 2.7 inches wider in the front and 3.1 inches wider in the rear than on the XC90.

For better maneuverability, the Explorer Base/XLT/Limited’s turning circle is 1.1 feet tighter than the XC90’s (38.9 feet vs. 40 feet).

Chassis Comparison

The Ford Explorer may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs up to about 200 pounds less than the Volvo XC90.

The front grille of the Explorer uses electronically controlled shutters to close off airflow and reduce drag when less engine cooling is needed. This helps improve highway fuel economy. The XC90 doesn’t offer active grille shutters.

Passenger Space Comparison

The Explorer has 20.6 cubic feet more passenger volume than the XC90 (151.6 vs. 131).

The Explorer has 1.7 inches more front headroom, 1.9 inches more front legroom, 1.9 inches more front hip room, 3.2 inches more front shoulder room, 2.2 inches more rear headroom, 4.9 inches more rear legroom, 2.7 inches more rear hip room, 3.6 inches more rear shoulder room, 2.3 inches more third row headroom and 3.2 inches more third row legroom than the XC90.

For enhanced passenger comfort on long trips the Explorer’s middle row seats recline. The XC90’s middle row seats don’t recline.

Cargo Capacity Comparison

The Explorer’s cargo area provides more volume than the XC90.



Behind Third Seat

21 cubic feet

8.8 cubic feet

Third Seat Folded

43.9 cubic feet

43.3 cubic feet

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



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



Max Width



Min Width






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

To make loading and unloading groceries and cargo easier when your hands are full, the Explorer’s cargo door can be opened just by kicking your foot under the back bumper, leaving your hands completely free. The Explorer also (except Base) offers an optional power cargo door, which opens and closes automatically by pressing a button or just by kicking your foot under the back bumper. The XC90 doesn’t offer a power or hands-free opening cargo door.

Ergonomics Comparison

The Explorer offers a 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 XC90 doesn’t offer a remote starting system.

In case you lock your keys in your vehicle, or don’t have them with you, you can let yourself in using the Explorer XLT/Limited/Sport/Platinum’s exterior keypad. The XC90 doesn’t offer an exterior keypad entry system.

Intelligent Access standard on the Explorer XLT/Limited/Sport/Platinum allows you to unlock the driver’s door, cargo door and start the engine all without removing a key from pocket or purse. This eliminates searching for keys before loading groceries, getting in the vehicle in bad weather or making a hurried start to your trip. The Volvo XC90 doesn’t offer an advanced key system.

While driving with high beams on, sensitive light sensors available for the Explorer (except Base/XLT/Sport) detect other vehicles which could be blinded and automatically switch to low beams. The XC90 doesn’t offer automatic dimming high beams.

Both the Explorer and the XC90 offer available heated front seats. The Explorer Limited/Platinum also offers optional heated second row seats to keep those passengers extremely comfortable in the winter. Heated second row seats aren’t available in the XC90.

Optional air conditioned seats in the Explorer (except Base/XLT) keep the driver and front passenger comfortable and take the sting out of hot seats in Summer. The XC90 doesn’t offer air conditioned seats.

On extremely cold Winter days, the Explorer’s optional (except Base) heated steering wheel provides comfort, allowing the driver to steer safely and comfortably before the vehicle heater warms up. The XC90 doesn’t offer a heated steering wheel.

To keep a safe, consistent following distance, the Explorer (except Base/XLT) offers an optional Adaptive Cruise Control, which alters the speed of the vehicle without driver intervention. This allows the driver to use cruise control more safely without constantly having to disengage it when approaching slower traffic. The XC90 doesn’t offer an adaptive cruise control.

Standard SYNC AppLink for the Explorer allows the driver and passengers access to select programs on their smartphones, including playing internet radio stations and other connected activities without taking their eyes off the road or their hands from the wheel. The XC90 doesn’t offer factory integrated smartphone program access.

With optional voice command, the Explorer offers the driver hands free control of the radio, climate controls and the navigation computer by simply speaking. The XC90 doesn’t offer a voice control system.

The Explorer (except Base/XLT) offers an optional 115-volt a/c outlet on the center console, allowing you to recharge a laptop or run small household appliances without special adapters that can break or get misplaced. The XC90 doesn’t offer a house-current electrical outlet.

The Explorer (except Base/XLT/Sport)’s optional Enhanced Active Park Assist can parallel park or back into a parking spot by itself, with the driver only controlling speed with the brake pedal. The XC90 doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

Recommendations Comparison

The Ford Explorer outsold the Volvo XC90 by over 53 to one during 2014.

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