The XC90 is the flagship crossover SUV from Volvo. The public interest in the crossover body design has been growing for many years and the latest model of XC90 is sure to be a crowd pleaser. There are only minor changes to the exterior since last year’s model. The XC90 now offers two different engine variations including the 3.2 liter i-6 engine that produces 235 horsepower. The better option is the 4.4 liter V-8 that boosts this crossovers horsepower to 311. Both models come with a six speed automatic transmission with gives a very fluid ride even while shifting. The optional all wheel drive addition only takes away from the XC90s already meager gas mileage. The XC90 is rated at 22 mpg on the highway which puts it behind some of the other competitors in the crossover market.
The XC90 is said to be a very well handling and fun vehicle to drive, but does not offer many of the extras that some sports utility crossover models have. The XC90 is a very attractive model, so for those who are looking for a great looking crossover unibody design, this still may be a great option.
Body style: 4-door SUV
Engines: 3.2L I-6, 4.4L V-8
Transmission: 6-speed automatic
Models: 3.2, 3.2 R-Design, V8 AWD
All three XC90 variants now feature seven seats, a power moonroof, climate control for third row passengers, and numerous leather surfaces, while a child booster seat is integrated into the second row. Offered on all XC90s is a new Multimedia package that combines a premium sound system, navigation with real-time traffic information plus satellite radio. The V8 receives wood inlays, heated headlight washers and front seats, all as new standard features.
The XC90 is a very conservative design compared to Volvo’s recent spurt of flamboyance. Compared to, say, the new XC60, the XC90 is noticeably blocky. However, for some that visually translates into an impression of substance and toughness.
The XC90’s interior is delightfully luxurious-looking. Composed of flowing lines and rich-looking details, it’s also well-executed from an ergonomic perspective, with elegant, easy-to-use controls and excellent seats, although the addition of the third row has impacted second-row room. Speaking of seating, the V8’s Executive package includes massage and ventilation-equipped front seats along and heated rear seats.
The XC90 drives just as you’d expect from its appearance — heavy-feeling but comfortable. The six cylinder-equipped 3.2 accelerates to 60 mph in about 8.7 seconds — swift enough for normal, around-town driving. The V8 accomplishes the same speed in approximately 6.7 seconds. Overall, the slightly remote feeling we’ve observed in some Volvos (save the R-Design editions) is perfectly appropriate here.
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety rewarded the XC90 with ‘Good’ ratings for front, side, rear and rollover tests. Meanwhile, the NHTSA gives the XC90 five stars for front driver and passenger as well as side driver and rear passenger protection, with four stars for roll-over protection.
3.2 and 3.2 R-Design: 15 mpg city/22 mpg highway (FWD); 15 mpg city/ 21 mpg (AWD)
V8: 13 mpg city/19 mpg highway
- Substantial feel
- Room for seven
- Powerful V8 version
- Beautiful, luxurious interior
- Disappointing mileage
- Dated-looking exterior
Seven seats make it a special Volvo
- Audi Q7
- Lincoln MKT
- Volkswagen Touareg