Pecheles Automotive Compares 2018 Volkswagen Atlas VS 2018 Volvo XC90 Near New Bern, NC

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2018 Volkswagen Atlas

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2018 Volkswagen Atlas

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2018 Volvo XC90

Safety Comparison

Over 200 people are killed each year when backed over by motor vehicles. The Atlas SEL/SEL Premium has standard Maneuver Braking which use rear sensors to monitor and automatically apply the brakes to prevent a rear collision. The XC90 doesn’t offer backup collision prevention brakes.

Both the Atlas and the XC90 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, post-collision automatic braking systems, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available crash mitigating brakes, lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems, around view monitors and rear cross-path warning.

Warranty Comparison

The Atlas comes with a full 6-year/72000-mile basic warranty, which covers the entire truck. The XC90’s 4-year/50,000-mile basic warranty expires 2 years and 22000 miles sooner.

There are over 2 times as many Volkswagen dealers as there are Volvo dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Atlas’ warranty.

Reliability Comparison

The Volkswagen Atlas’ engines use a cast iron block for durability, while the XC90’s engines use an aluminum block. Aluminum engine blocks are much more prone to warp and crack at high temperatures than cast iron.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2017 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Volkswagen vehicles are better in initial quality than Volvo vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Volkswagen 10th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 41 more problems per 100 vehicles, Volvo is ranked 30th, below the industry average.

Fuel Economy and Range Comparison

To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Volkswagen Atlas uses regular unleaded gasoline (premium recommended for maximum performance). The XC90 T5 requires premium, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.

The Atlas 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

The Atlas stops much shorter than the XC90:





70 to 0 MPH

174 feet

184 feet

Car and Driver

Tires and Wheels Comparison

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

Suspension and Handling Comparison

The front and rear suspension of the Atlas 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.

The Atlas’ drift compensation steering can automatically compensate for road conditions which would cause the vehicle to drift from side to side, helping the driver to keep the vehicle straight more easily. The XC90 doesn’t offer drift compensation steering.

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the Atlas is 1.4 inches wider in the front and 2 inches wider in the rear than the average track on the XC90.

The Atlas SEL Premium 4Motion handles at .84 G’s, while the XC90 T6 AWD pulls only .77 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

For better maneuverability, the Atlas’ turning circle is .9 feet tighter than the XC90’s (38.1 feet vs. 39 feet). The Atlas’ turning circle is 1.6 feet tighter than the XC90’s (38.1 feet vs. 39.7 feet).

Chassis Comparison

As tested by Car and Driver while at idle, the interior of the Atlas SEL Premium 4Motion is quieter than the XC90 T6 AWD (41 vs. 48 dB).

Passenger Space Comparison

The Atlas has 2.4 inches more front headroom, .6 inches more front legroom, 2.2 inches more front hip room, 3.8 inches more front shoulder room, 1.9 inches more rear headroom, .6 inches more rear legroom, 1.5 inches more rear hip room, 4.3 inches more rear shoulder room, 2 inches more third row headroom, 1.8 inches more third row legroom, .2 inches more third row hip room and 7.9 inches more third row shoulder room than the XC90.

Cargo Capacity Comparison

The Atlas’ cargo area provides more volume than the XC90.




Behind Third Seat

20.6 cubic feet

15.8 cubic feet

Third Seat Folded

55.5 cubic feet

41.8 cubic feet

Second Seat Folded

96.8 cubic feet

85.7 cubic feet

A low lift-over cargo hatch design makes loading and unloading the Atlas easier. The Atlas’ cargo hatch lift-over height is 29.7 inches, while the XC90’s liftover is 30.8 inches.

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




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



Max Width



Min Width






Ergonomics Comparison

The Atlas’ front and rear power windows all open or close fully with one touch of the switches, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths, or when talking with someone outside the car. The XC90’s rear power window switches have to be held the entire time to open or close them fully.

The Atlas has a standard locking fuel door with a remote release located convenient to the driver. A locking fuel door helps prevent vandalism, such as sugar in the tank and fuel theft. The XC90 doesn’t offer a locking fuel door.

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

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