Greene Ford Compares 2017 Ford Explorer VS 2017 Volvo XC90 Near Cumming, GA

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2017 Ford Explorer

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2017 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.

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:





Front Seat


5 Stars

5 Stars

Hip Force

214 lbs.

255 lbs.


Rear Seat


5 Stars

5 Stars

Spine Acceleration

36 G’s

40 G’s

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

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.

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

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.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2016 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 11th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 50 more problems per 100 vehicles, Volvo is ranked 30th, below the industry average.

Engine Comparison

As tested in Car and Driver the Explorer Sport/Platinum 3.5 turbo V6 is faster than the XC90 T6 2.0 DOHC 4 cyl.:




Zero to 30 MPH

2.2 sec

2.3 sec

Zero to 60 MPH

6 sec

6.4 sec

Zero to 80 MPH

10 sec

10.5 sec

Zero to 100 MPH

15.8 sec

17.3 sec

5 to 60 MPH Rolling Start

6.3 sec

7.4 sec

Passing 30 to 50 MPH

3 sec

3.4 sec

Passing 50 to 70 MPH

4.4 sec

4.7 sec

Quarter Mile

14.6 sec

15 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

96 MPH

94 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range Comparison

The Explorer has 5.4 gallons more fuel capacity than the XC90 Hybrid’s standard fuel tank (18.6 vs. 13.2 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

Brakes and Stopping Comparison

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



XC90 T5

XC90 T6

Front Rotors

13.85 inches

13.2 inches

13.6 inches

Rear Rotors

13.5 inches

12.1 inches

12.6 inches

The Explorer stops much shorter than the XC90:





70 to 0 MPH

166 feet

184 feet

Car and Driver

Tires and Wheels Comparison

For better traction, the Explorer has larger standard tires than the XC90 (245/60R18 vs. 235/55R19).

Suspension and Handling Comparison

The front and rear suspension of the Explorer uses coil springs for better ride, handling and control than the XC90, which uses transverse leafs springs in the rear. Coil springs compress more progressively and offer more suspension travel for a smoother ride with less bottoming out.

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the Explorer is 1.2 inches wider in the front and 1.2 inches wider in the rear than the average track on the XC90.

The Explorer Sport 4WD handles at .83 G’s, while the XC90 T6 AWD pulls only .77 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

Chassis Comparison

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.

As tested by Car and Driver, the interior of the Explorer Sport 4WD is quieter than the XC90 T6 AWD:




At idle

37 dB

48 dB


73 dB

74 dB

Passenger Space Comparison

The Explorer has 2.5 inches more front headroom, 2 inches more front legroom, 1.3 inches more front hip room, 3.8 inches more front shoulder room, 2.1 inches more rear headroom, 2.5 inches more rear legroom, .3 inches more rear hip room, 4.5 inches more rear shoulder room, 1.5 inches more third row headroom, 1.4 inches more third row legroom and 3.9 inches more third row shoulder room than the XC90.

Cargo Capacity Comparison

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




Behind Third Seat

21 cubic feet

16 cubic feet

Third Seat Folded

43.9 cubic feet

42 cubic feet

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 second row seats.

Ergonomics Comparison

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, and its Volvo On Call can’t unlock the doors if the vehicle doesn’t have cell phone reception or the driver can’t contact the service.

To shield the driver and front passenger’s vision over a larger portion of the windshield and side windows, the Explorer has standard extendable sun visors. The XC90 doesn’t offer extendable visors.

Recommendations Comparison

The Ford Explorer outsold the Volvo XC90 by almost 12 to one during the 2016 model year.

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