Volvo XC60 vs XC90: What’s The Difference?

Volvo crossover SUVs have gained a reputation for refinement, safety, and reliability. They’re often pitted against various German rivals, but if you’ve already decided on buying a new Volvo, you’ll have to make the difficult choice between the Volvo XC40, XC60, and XC90.

For many, the subcompact XC40 is too small, leaving behind the Volvo XC60 and Volvo XC90. Unsurprisingly, the Volvo XC90 is the bigger and more powerful Volvo SUV, but with the Volvo XC60 offering ample room for the average family, the decision isn’t a straightforward one. In this Volvo XC60 vs Volvo XC90 comparison, we’ll be comparing the two models across multiple aspects.

Quick Summary

Key differences lie in price and size. The Volvo XC90 is a bigger midsize SUV that offers room for up to seven passengers, whereas the compact XC60 can only accommodate 5. Because the smaller XC60 offers equal engine horsepower, it’s a bit more exciting and engaging to drive.

Volvo XC60 2022 rear 3/4 view
2022 Volvo XC90 rear 3/4 view

Hybrid Overload

Before we dive into our comparison, it’s important to get comfortable with some hybrid terminology. Volvo has made the pledge to sell 50% fully electric vehicles by 2025, and is charging ahead (pun ahead) with the electrification of its vehicles.

Only the Volvo XC40 has a pure electric form (XC40 electric recharge), but Volvo is heavily pushing the plug-in hybrid XC60 and XC90 models for new buyers.

In fact, only the Volvo XC90 has a pure old-school gasoline model, and for most buyers, it’s a good idea to make the switch to hybrid now if you haven’t already.

The Volvo XC60 either comes as a ‘mild-hybrid’ (think Toyota Prius) or a plug-in hybrid. No pure gasoline model is available.


The Volvo XC60 mild-hybrid versions begin at $42,650 as a manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP). The Volvo XC60 Recharge plug-in hybrid with the T8 powertrain starts at $54,250.

For the Volvo XC90, the gasoline versions begin at $49,900, whereas the plug-in hybrid version – XC90 Recharge – starts at $63,800.

All in all, expect to pay around $7000-$10000 more for the Volvo XC90.

Volvo XC60 2022 side view
2022 Volvo XC90 side view

Exterior Styling

On the exterior, the most noticeable difference is the size. The Volvo XC90 is built to carry up to 7 people compared to 5 in the Volvo XC60, so it’s not surprising that the exterior dimensions are different. The XC90 is 4.6 inches taller at 69.9 inches, and 10.4 inches longer at 195 inches. It’s also an inch wider, and its 117.5-inch wheelbase is almost 5 inches longer than the XC60.

Besides the dimensions, both SUVs are designed in quite a similar fashion. They retain some of the signature straight edges and boxy dimensions you might expect on a Volvo but with more curvature and rounding than the smaller XC40 Volvo SUV. The front-end LED light signature, for instance, is the same, and the front grilles also look similar. There is some difference in the design of the bumper and intakes, however. What’s more, at the rear end, the Volvo XC60 has a more pronounced slope giving it a slightly sportier look than the XC90.

Related: Volvo XC40 vs XC60

Interior Styling

On the inside, the Volvo XC90 features a third seating row, but it’s not a great fit for adult passengers. Having said that, it’s better than many third-row options from competing models. Both feature at least two rows of comfortable adult-friendly seating, though, which is typically enough for a family car. The third row is fine for kids and young teens, or simply fold the seats and use the extra cargo space.

Volvo XC60 2022 interior view
2022 Volvo XC90 interior view

Where the two are quite evenly matched is in their interior materials. The XC90 may appear to be a step up, but the fact is that Volvo haven’s skimped on anything in either XC60 or XC90. The high-quality materials are found in every corner, with no cheap plastic in sight. Fine details abound, from the crystal gear shift, the wood inlays on the dash, and piano black finishes around the technology, to the installation of top-notch gear like a premium sound system (more below).


The main engine in all XC60 and XC90 models is Volvo’s 2.0L inline-4 unit but tweaked in different ways. First, the B5 and B6 powertrains in the XC60 work with a 48-volt mild-hybrid system generating 247-hp and 295-hp respectively. Both are paired with 8-speed automatic transmissions, with both front wheel drive (FWD) and all wheel drive (AWD) drivetrains available. The more powerful T8 plug-in hybrid powertrain is boosted by dual electric motors delivering 415-hp combined and an AWD drivetrain.

The XC90 also has 3 available powertrains. First, there’s the T5 which delivers up to 250-hp and is turbocharged paired with a FWD drivetrain (AWD also optional). Next, there’s the T6 that offers an up to 316-hp turbocharged system. Finally, there’s the T8 plug-in hybrid getting up to 400-hp. All these are paired with an 8-speed automatic transmission.

On the road, the addition of optional air suspension in the XC90 makes an extremely quiet and comfortable ride only susceptible to very harsh bumps in the road. The XC60 is the more exciting to drive of the two, and handles itself well on the road, perhaps better than Volvo cars are given credit for. Having said that, it’s no sports car and doesn’t like being thrown about the road.

Volvo XC90 seat configuration
The extra seating the XC90 can provide is perhaps its biggest differentiating factor

Fuel Economy

The Volvo XC60 mild-hybrid versions can get about 23-mpg in the city, 30-mpg on the highway and a combined rating of 26-mpg. The small electric motor helps, but it’s hardly groundbreaking. The T8 plug-in hybrid gets a much better 57-MPGe, and has an electric-only range of 19 miles.

The Volvo XC90 gasoline versions get about 21-mpg in the city, 30-mpg on the highway, and 25-mpg combined. Surprisingly, that’s very close to the XC60’s fuel efficiency. The plug-in hybrid gets 55-MPGe and has up to 18 miles electric range.

Charging Time For Plug-In Hybrid Variants

When it comes to charging for the plug-in hybrids, they’re based on the same basic powertrain so charging times are very similar. You can charge it fully overnight with a level-1 120-volt charging system that’s normally factory issued. A home wall box with level-2 charging should complete a full charge in under 4 hours. There’s no option for DC fast charging.


For storage and cargo, both models are somewhat disappointing in their interior storage cubbies. Many owners reveal that cubby space is surprisingly limited, which for the XC90 is a particular blow as the larger of the two vehicles.

For maximum cargo capacity, however, the XC90 offers far more at 85.7 cubic feet compared to just 63.3 on the XC60. It can also tow up to 4,000-lbs compared to just 3,500-lbs on the XC60. The increased space for passengers and cargo is perhaps the biggest differentiator between the XC60 and XC90 Volvo SUVs.

Technology & Key Features

Volvo doesn’t tend to discriminate when it comes to technology offerings in their new models. All XC60 and XC90 models come loaded with their new infotainment system powered by Google technology. The buttons are a little fiddly on-screen while driving, but the system itself is very intuitive and easy to use.

Both get the optional benefit of a Bowers & Wilkins premium sound system, as well as access to “Hey, Google” voice commands to access the many Google services for navigation and entertainment. Each is fitted with a 12.3-inch customizable digital instrument cluster offering a flawless display of all drive, navigation and other info, and there’s also a large vertically oriented central infotainment touchscreen.

Safety Features

Volvo also doesn’t discriminate when it comes to ADAS and safety technology. The packages are very similar on both XC60 and XC90 models, including collision avoidance, 360-degree parking camera, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, adaptive cruise control, and lane-keep assist.

Key Rivals

The Volvo XC60 faces some stiff German competition in the Mercedes GLC, Audi Q5 and BMW X3. Other recommended vehicles include comparable Japanese luxury SUVs, such as the Acura RDX and all-new Lexus NX.

As the Volvo XC90 SUV exists in the bigger size segment, it competes directly with the Mercedes GLE, Audi Q7, and BMW X5.

Volvo XC60 vs XC90: Verdict

It’s hard to declare one of these models an outright winner when they have such different things to offer. The Volvo XC60 is smaller but more dynamic and fun to drive compared to the smoother, more balanced, and calm ride of the XC90. Which luxury SUV is better is more a question of personal taste. The interiors are well-matched, with nothing to really set either apart.

For more comfortable rear seats and increased cargo capacity, one would naturally go with the XC90, but neither has a more practical advantage in fuel economy or even electric range. On top of that, they’re equally furnished with technology and ADAS features, so in the end, the result has to be: choose the XC60 for a more enjoyable drive, but choose the XC90 for the added size and space.

Comparison Table

2022 Volvo XC602022 Volvo XC90
Engine2.0L Turbo Inline-4 Gas2.0L Turbo Inline-4 Gas
Horsepower247 hp @ 5400 rpm250 hp @ 5500 rpm
Torque258 lb-ft @ 1800 rpm258 lb-ft @ 1500 rpm
Transmission8-Speed Automatic8-Speed Automatic
DrivetrainFront-Wheel DriveFront-Wheel Drive
Steering TypeRack-PinionRack-Pinion
Rear SuspensionMulti-LinkMulti-Link
Rear Wheel SizeP235/60HR18P235/55HR19
Front SuspensionDouble WishboneDouble Wishbone
Front Wheel SizeP235/60HR18P235/55HR19
Turning Diameter (ft.)37.439.7
Fuel Economy
MPG/MPGe - Hwy3030
MPG/MPGe - City2321
MPG/MPGe - Combined2625
Gas Tank Size (gallons)18.818.8
Cruising Range - Hwy (miles)564.0564.0
Size and Weight
Height (in.)65.369.9
Length (in.)184.6194.9
Weight (lbs)40084374
Max Width (in.)74.979.1
Wheelbase (in.)112.8117.5
Interior Dimensions
Seating Capacity57
Front Seat Leg Room (in.)41.540.9
Front Seat Head Room (in.)38.038.9
Front Seat Hip Room (in.)56.456.0
Front Seat Shoulder Room (in.)58.257.7
Rear Seat Leg room (in.)38.037.0
Rear Seat Head Room (in.)38.038.5
Rear Seat Hip Room (in.)55.456.5
Rear Seat Shoulder Room (in.)56.356.5
Third Row Leg Room (in.)-31.9
Third Row Head Room (in.)-36.3
Third Row Hip Room (in.)-44.9
Third Row Shoulder Room (in.)-46.9
Infotainment Features
HD RadioStandardStandard
MP3 PlayerStandardStandard
WiFi HotspotStandardStandard
Satellite RadioNot AvailableStandard
Bluetooth ConnectionStandardStandard
Entertainment SystemNot AvailableNot Available
Premium Sound SystemOptionalOptional
Auxiliary Audio InputStandardStandard
Smart Device IntegrationNot AvailableStandard
Hard Disk Drive Media StorageNot AvailableNot Available
Interior Trim
Cloth SeatsStandardStandard
Vinyl SeatsStandardStandard
Leather SeatsStandardStandard
Premium Synthetic SeatsStandardStandard
Bucket SeatsStandardStandard
Leather Steering WheelNot AvailableStandard
Woodgrain Interior TrimNot AvailableNot Available
Comfort Features
Rear A/CNot AvailableStandard
Seat MemoryStandardStandard
Seat-MassageNot AvailableNot Available
Keyless EntryStandardStandard
Keyless StartStandardStandard
Cruise ControlStandardStandard
Multi-Zone A/CStandardStandard
Power LiftgateOptionalNot Available
Climate ControlStandardStandard
Head-Up DisplayOptionalOptional
Power Mirror(s)StandardStandard
Automatic ParkingNot AvailableOptional
Navigation SystemNot AvailableStandard
Power Driver SeatStandardStandard
Cooled Rear Seat(s)Not AvailableNot Available
Hands-Free LiftgateNot AvailableNot Available
Heated Rear Seat(s)OptionalOptional
Remote Engine StartStandardStandard
Cooled Front Seat(s)Not AvailableNot Available
Heated Front Seat(s)OptionalOptional
Power Passenger SeatStandardStandard
Remote Trunk ReleaseStandardNot Available
Heated Steering WheelOptionalOptional
Adaptive Cruise ControlOptionalStandard
Navigation from TelematicsNot AvailableNot Available
Universal Garage Door OpenerStandardStandard
Steering Wheel Audio ControlsStandardStandard
Safety Features
Brake AssistStandardStandard
Night VisionNot AvailableNot Available
Rear Parking AidStandardStandard
Traction ControlStandardStandard
Stability ControlStandardStandard
Blind Spot MonitorStandardStandard
Cross-Traffic AlertNot AvailableNot Available
Lane Keeping AssistStandardStandard
Tire Pressure MonitorStandardStandard
Lane Departure WarningStandardStandard
Knee Air BagStandardStandard
Driver Air BagStandardStandard
Seatbelt Air BagNot AvailableNot Available
Passenger Air BagStandardStandard
Rear Head Air BagStandardStandard
Rear Side Air BagNot AvailableNot Available
Front Head Air BagStandardStandard
Front Side Air BagStandardStandard
Basic4 Years / 50,000 Miles4 Years / 50,000 Miles
Corrosion12 Years / Unlimited Miles12 Years / Unlimited Miles
Drivetrain4 Years / 50,000 Miles4 Years / 50,000 Miles
Maintenance3 Years / 36,000 Miles3 Years / 36,000 Miles
Roadside Assistance4 Years / Unlimited Miles4 Years / Unlimited Miles