Volvo XC90 vs Toyota Highlander

jules81480jules81480 Member Posts: 23
edited March 2014 in Toyota
Has anyone test-driven both of these cars?
I am narrowing my choices down to these two vehicles. However, I have yet have test-drive the Highlander.


  • truffles1truffles1 Member Posts: 20
    We recently bought an XC90 after testing a Highlander. Several issues convinced us to buy the Volvo. We also have owned a 2005 Highlander. Safety is one issue, the other is the very obvious durability features of the Volvo, the car is built like a tank. The Highlander, while offering more features, is an appliance-like car in the way it drives, and is a first year model, which should NEVER be bought irrespective of the sterling reliability rating of Toyotas. The Volvo is in its 6th year of production, is a nonturbo, and will probably cost more to repair, but is incredibly durable and simple to operate. The Volvo is an investment, the Highlander is a snap-fit car that has pretensions of safety, but lacks whiplash seats, a gyroscope to avoid rollovers, and has the government minimum 1x weight rollover crash design in its roof. The Volvo is roof can support 3x its weight. If you have kids, there is not a choice.
  • jules81480jules81480 Member Posts: 23
    thanks for your response. i will definitely take that into consideration while on my test drive.
  • pinkydogpinkydog Member Posts: 14
    I just bought a 2008 Volvo XC90 3.2 FWD due to be delivered soon. Prior to that, I was watching the 2008 Highlander with great anticipation. It looks very nice and I was about 80% sure that I will buy it for my family when I return from my current overseas assignment, because it's within my price range. I have been looking at the XC90 here overseas, but even with special pricing, it's outside my budget. When the price breaks for the 2008 XC90 came up last summer (overseas diplomat/military sales), I grabbed the XC90 instead. It's still a little bit more expensive than a '08 Highlander, but I consider the difference the price of safety.

    Running along the same line as truffles1's point, I went with the XC90's sixth edition of the same model, instead of the all new '08 Highlander. I just hope I'm right. :)
  • jules81480jules81480 Member Posts: 23
    I like the look of the new highlander. however, i have yet to be able to test drive one, because there is only one local toyota dealership where i live and everyone that i have dealt with there is a complete idiot!
    anyway...i'm not sure how long these incentives on the xc90 are going to last - but, i may just get one this weekend.
    i have an 8 year old explorer -- i think it's time..
  • truffles1truffles1 Member Posts: 20
    Through early January there is a 3000 marketing incentive. I bought my car at dealer invoice, less 3000 marketing incentive. There is a large inventory, at least in the northeast, of these cars, so deals on the XC90 can be made.
  • fantomfantom Member Posts: 211
    You will not get near the "deal" you're looking for on an '08 Highlander. They are selling for well over invoice in most places. The Volvo is just a much more solid SUV.

    I compared both and went with a special order XC90, which should arrive in about a month. Invoice + 2%, no dealer prep charges, and $3,000 Volvo to dealer cash (which does end the first week of January).

    The only concern I have is the possibility of Volvo switching from the current slug 3.2L I-6, to the new, and much stronger, Ford 3.7L V-6.
  • truffles1truffles1 Member Posts: 20
    I understand your concern about the 3.2 L I-6. In its favor, however, is its smoothness without balance shafts, its sweet sound, its low positioning in the hood for safety reasons and the fact that it has a chain, not belt, to eliminate $700 belt change at 90k miles. Would the Aisan 6 speed automatic have to be reworked for more torque with the V6?

    Before I purchased my XC90, I have extensive conversations with dealers, mechanics, friends, who said the 3.2 is a robust engine. No problems. The 3.2 is proliferating in the Volvo line, being now in the XC90, S80, XC70 and soon the reworked S60 next fall. It is made in Wales, also in use for Land Rover, so I don't know if any geographical considerations will affect Ford's decision. Also, Ford is thinking of selling Volvo, so that may affect its decision and the XC90 is due for an update after 8 years in 2010, so new engine may find its way into production then. Volvo is quickly leaving the turbo world after many problems.
  • pinkydogpinkydog Member Posts: 14
    truffles1 - Thanks for your informative input. Was not sure about the 3.2 I6 engine when I ordered my XC90. However, still would not make any difference because I can't afford a V8 anyways :blush:
  • jules81480jules81480 Member Posts: 23
    what type of special order? what packages did you select?
  • fantomfantom Member Posts: 211
    Factory order, rather than taking one from stock, which dealers don't like to do. They want to move floor inventory that they have $ tied up in.

    We ordered Premium, Convenience, and Climate Packages, 18" wheels, Bi-Xenon lights, BLIS and All Wheel Drive.

    Christmas present for the wife, exactly the way she wants it. Red bow on top will be gratis.
  • jules81480jules81480 Member Posts: 23
    good deal! how much did you end up spending? if you don't mind me asking?.
  • fantomfantom Member Posts: 211
    Invoice + 2% = $40,169 plus TTL.
  • jules81480jules81480 Member Posts: 23
    sounds like you made a great deal!

    I'm looking for a Volvo XC90, 5 passenger
    Premium Package
    Sirius Satellite Radio
    Wood Steering wheel

    Negotiating right now: I'm down to 35,900.
  • volvomaxvolvomax Member Posts: 5,238
    Volvo has no plans to use any Ford engines.
    Volvo does make a 281 hp Turbo 6 engine that may or may not find its way into the XC90.
  • volvomaxvolvomax Member Posts: 5,238
    Volvo is quickly leaving the turbo world after many problems.
    Volvo has been building turbo engines since 1981.
    They have been quite reliable. Usually, the only issues w/ the turbos come as a result of owner neglect or misuse.
    Volvo has a brand new 3.0L I6 turbo engine that delivers 281hp.
    This engine is in the S80 T6 and will be in the XC70 and V70 next year.
    Also, the Volvo Diesel, the D5 is a turbo powerplant.
    Expect to see this engine in less than 2 yrs in the US.
    As you can see, Volvo isn't abandoning turbo powerplants.
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