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By Cars.com Staff
August 6, 2008
Vehicle Overview This midsize luxury SUV has an available V-8 and seating for up to seven. Trim levels include 3.2 and 3.2 R-Design (a new sporty trim), as well as V8 and V8 R-Design. All-wheel drive is standard on the V8 and V8 R-Design, and it's optional on the six-cylinder. Competitors include the Acura MDX, BMW X5 and Cadillac SRX.
New for 2009 The XC90 is now available with an R-Design appearance package on some models. A new optional Executive Package (on V-8 models) adds premium leather and heated front and rear seats, plus ventilation and massaging functions for the front seats.
Exterior The XC90 carries Volvo's familiar face — not the boxy angles of yore, but the smoother, friendlier look that's been present since the early 2000s. Door handles and side mirrors are body-colored, and the mirrors incorporate turn signals. The roof rails are trimmed in black or aluminum. R-Design trims change the look of the grille and add rear skidplates. The V8 trim adds twin dual exhaust pipes.
The vehicle is 189.3 inches long and 74.7 inches wide. It's the shortest of its competitors and, with the exception of the SRX, is also the narrowest.
Available 18-, 19- or 20-inch alloy wheels
Standard front fog lights
Standard power heated mirrors with turn signals
Standard power moonroof (optional on base 3.2)
Optional headlight washers
Optional bi-xenon headlights with articulating lenses
Interior The dashboard and instrument panel dome employ slanted, angular themes, as does a three-spoke steering wheel with audio and cruise controls. Various console knobs have chrome coverings, and an auto-dimming rearview mirror is now standard. The XC90 seats five people in two rows. An optional third row bumps capacity up to seven, but it's a tight squeeze in back (Volvo recommends the third row for occupants 5 feet, 3 inches or shorter). A built-in child-safety seat in the second row adjusts forward up to 12 inches to keep children closer to adults up front.
Passenger volume comes in at 102.4 cubic feet — the same as the X5. Cargo volume behind the third row is 8.8 cubic feet. The rear seats fold down, as does the front passenger seat. With all seats stowed, maximum cargo volume measures 93.2 cubic feet, which is the best of the group.
Available cloth, leather or premium leather seating
Available aluminum or real wood trim
Standard automatic dual-zone climate control
Standard audio and cruise controls on steering wheel
Optional heated front seats
Optional 650-watt, 12-speaker audio system
Optional dual-screen rear-seat entertainment system
Optional navigation system with real-time traffic
Under the Hood The XC90 has two powertrain offerings, including a rare-for-Volvo V-8. When properly equipped, the XC90 can tow up to 4,960 pounds. R-Design models get a sport-tuned suspension with thicker front/rear stabilizer bars and firmer springs and struts.
235-horsepower, 3.2-liter six-cylinder with 236 pounds-feet of torque
311-hp, 4.4-liter V-8 with 325 pounds-feet of torque
Available front- or all-wheel-drive systems
Standard six-speed automatic with manual shift functionality
Standard self-leveling rear suspension (optional on base 3.2)
Standard speed-sensitive power steering (optional on base 3.2)
Safety Offering unmatched safety in its segment, the XC90 comes loaded with safety features. One notable feature, especially on an SUV, is the standard Roll Stability Control, which attempts to stop a rollover once it's started by cutting torque and applying individual brakes. There's also a lower frontcross member that provides for safer SUV-to-car impacts.
Standard front, side and side curtain airbags
Standard antilock braking system with brake assist
Standard electronic stability and traction control
Optional rain-sensing windshield wipers
Optional blind spot information system
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