New Volvo XC90 vs used Range Rover Sport: which is best?

Is an ultra practical new Volvo XC90 better than an extremely posh used Range Rover Sport? Read our test to find out...

New Volvo XC90 vs used Range Rover Sport: which is best?

Luxury SUVs used to fall into different niches. Some were more family-focused with seating for seven people and space in the back for buggies, while others were designed to be sporty and have a more aggressive looking exterior. 

The first generation Volvo XC90 was like that: big on practicality but soft and safe to drive. All that changed with the current generation car because it manages to feel much less like a heavy truck and more like a tall estate car. It doesn’t even roll all that much for a big SUV in the corners, either. It’s still one of the safest cars on the road, though, and it majors on being a very versatile family vehicle as well.

New Volvo XC90 vs used Range Rover Sport: which is best?

That couldn’t be said of the first Range Rover Sport because if you wanted more passenger space, you needed to go for a Discovery instead. Today, with the second generation Sport, you can find plenty of used examples for similar money to a brand new Volvo XC90 with a third row in the back because Land Rover needed to tempt more family buyers into a Sport. What’s more, it’ll have a more refined 3.0-litre diesel engine and the added desirability of the Land Rover brand behind it. Of course, the pay-off is the standard pitfalls that come with buying a used car – but should you accept those and take the plunge on an opulent, two-old Range Rover Sport instead of the safe and sensible XC90? Read on to find out.

Volvo XC90 B5 Momentum List Price: £53,285 Target price: £48,625 Official fuel economy: 47.3mpg (NEDC) Emissions: 158g/km CO2 Power: 235bhp 0-62mph: 7.4sec Top speed: 137mph 

Range Rover Sport 3.0 SDV6 HSE Price new: £63,545 Price today: £43,517* Official fuel economy: 40.4mpg (NEDC) Emissions: 185g/km CO2 Power: 302bhp 0-62mph: 6.8sec Top speed: 130mph 

*Price today is based on a 2017 model with average mileage and a full service history

New Volvo XC90 vs used Range Rover Sport – interior & equipment

One of the major reasons you buy a luxury SUV against a more utilitarian one is because you want a finely crafted interior filled with the softest leathers and plastics. For the most part, there isn’t much to pick between the two. If you like physical buttons, then you’ll prefer the Sport because the majority of the functions inside the XC90 are controlled by the large 9.0in portrait touchscreen. 

This is both a blessing and a curse since it gives the dash a very uncluttered look, but means you have to divert your attention to a screen when you want to do something quite straightforward, such as increasing the temperature. 

New Volvo XC90 vs used Range Rover Sport: which is best?

Mind you, the infotainment in the Sport can be difficult to navigate and slow to respond. You won’t have Apple CarPlay, either which might discount the Range Rover from some smartphone addicts lists.

The Volvo in entry-level Momentum spec has adaptive cruise control and LED headlights against the more basic cruise control and xenon headlights that come as standard on a HSE version of the Sport. But the Sport adds a reversing camera on top of the regular parking sensors to assist when reversing, and it also has heated rear seats so your passengers can be warmed, too. Sat nav, lane-keeping assistance and automatic emergency braking are fitted to both cars. 

New Volvo XC90 vs used Range Rover Sport – space & practicality

This is the ace in the Volvo’s deck of cards because whichever way you slice it, the Range Rover cannot match the spacious interior of the XC90.

For starters, the XC90 can seat seven actual people and still have luggage room behind those rearmost seats. The Sport is hampered by the fact that it is slightly shorter, and barely betters a smaller seven-seat MPV like the Volkswagen Touran for third-row accommodation and boot space.

New Volvo XC90 vs used Range Rover Sport: which is best?

It’s a similar story in the second-row where the XC90 has acres of leg and head room for people to get comfortable. The roofline of the Sport limits rear head space at the expense of a sportier look on the outside. Neither car is found lacking up front, though, since both cars have plenty of adjustments in both the seats and steering wheel. You’ll find the Sport to be a touch more cocooning, though, with a high centre console and dashboard.   

Next: What are they like to drive? >

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