This midsize luxury crossover has an available V-8 and seating for up to seven. Trim levels include 3.2, 3.2 R-Design and V8. All-wheel drive is standard on the V8 and optional on six-cylinder models. Competitors include the Acura MDX, BMW X5 and Cadillac SRX.
New for 2011
For 2011, the output of the XC90's standard six-cylinder engine has increased slightly to 240 horsepower, and the crossover gains more standard features, including Bluetooth and Sirius Satellite Radio.
The XC90 carries Volvo's familiar face — not the previous boxy angles, but the smoother, more modern look that's been present since the early 2000s. The door handles and side mirrors are body-colored, and the mirrors incorporate turn-signal lights. The roof rails are silver-colored. The R-Design trim changes the look of the grille and adds rear skid plates. The V8 adds twin dual exhaust pipes. Exterior features include:
- Available 18-, 19- or 20-inch alloy wheels
- Standard front fog lights
- Standard power-operated and heated mirrors
- Standard power moonroof
- Optional headlight washers
- Optional bi-xenon headlights with swiveling lenses
The dashboard and instrument panel dome employ slanted, angular themes, as does the three-spoke steering wheel with audio and cruise controls. Various console knobs have chrome coverings, and an auto-dimming rearview mirror is standard.
The XC90 seats five people in two rows, and a standard third-row seat bumps total seating capacity 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 booster seat in the second row adjusts forward up to 12 inches to keep children closer to adults up front.
Passenger volume comes in at 101 cubic feet. Cargo volume behind the third row is 11.1 cubic feet. The rear seats fold down, as does the front passenger seat. With all seats stowed, maximum cargo volume measures 85.1 cubic feet. Interior features include:
- Available leather or premium leather seating
- Available aluminum or real wood trim
- Available massaging and ventilated front seats
- Standard automatic dual-zone climate control
- 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. The R-Design model gets a sport-tuned suspension with thicker front/rear stabilizer bars and firmer springs and struts. Mechanical features include:
- 240-hp, 3.2-liter six-cylinder with 236 pounds-feet of torque
- 311-hp, 4.4-liter V-8 with 325 pounds-feet of torque
- Front- or all-wheel drive
- Standard six-speed automatic with clutchless-manual mode
- Both engines run on regular gas
The XC90 comes loaded with safety features. One notable feature is standard Roll Stability Control, which attempts to stop a rollover once it has started by cutting torque and applying individual brakes. There's also a lower front cross member that makes for safer SUV-to-car impacts. Other safety features include:
- Standard front, front-seat side-impact and side curtain airbags
- Standard antilock brakes with brake assist
- Standard electronic stability and traction control
- Optional rain-sensing windshield wipers
- Optional blind spot warning system
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