Many SUV enthusiasts consider the 2021 Volvo XC90 to be a master work of sport utility design. It's simple yet sophisticated cabin, easy to use tablet touchscreens and world class safety have garnered praise. But how does it compare to the 2021 Tesla Model X, a state of the art electric SUV with formidable performance, crystal clear displays and a comfortable and stylish cabin?

Design & Style

The Tesla Model X is distinctive for its bulbous exterior profile, with thick doors that open like the wrings of a falcon. It shares many design characteristics with the Tesla Model S, including the rakish appearance, concave sides and minimalist interior. The touchscreens are vertically oriented, and unlike other SUVs all the essential controls are located within it. The Volvo XC90 has a sleek interior with a cabin that is also minimalist. It blends standard lines with materials that are airy and light, and the cabin is covered in leather, polished metal and plastics which are soft to the touch. Those who have had the pleasure of sitting in it have described the experience as being serene.

Technology & Safety

The Volvo XC90 has received outstanding crash test grades, including a five star NHTSA review. Safety features include lane and cruise control, the ability to automatically recognize road signs, protection against rear impacts and a mechanism which prevents the vehicle from moving into traffic which is oncoming. Cabin luxuries include four zone climate control, digital style gauge cluster, nine inch touch screens and wood trim that is open pore with leather that is perforated. The NCAP has given the Tesla Model X a 5 star rating, and its safety features include blind area monitoring, an Auto pilot suite, emergency automatic brakes and auto parking. It also has air filtration, heated steering, voice control and a sound system with nine speakers.

Performance

The Tesla Model X is powered by a large, one hundred kWh battery that allows it to accelerate from zero to sixty in 4.4 seconds, and it can achieve a top speed of 155 miles per hour. The Volvo XC90 is powered by a turbo 4, 2 liter engine that uses an automatic eight speed transmission and which can generate 250 horsepower, which allows it to go from zero to sixty in under six seconds.

The Bottom Line

While the Volvo XC90 and Tesla Model X share some characteristics, they differ in other ways.  The falcon doors featured on the Model X look cool and futuristic on paper, but in reality they've been problematic and the interior is a bit underwhelming given the price tag, so the Volvo XC90 wins.

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