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2004 Volvo XC90

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starting MSRP

Key specs

Base trim shown


Body style


Seating capacity

188.9” x 70.2”


All-wheel drive



The good:

  • Reputation for safety
  • Handling
  • T6 performance
  • Base-model ride comfort
  • Instruments

The bad:

  • Step-up height
  • Ride comfort of T6
  • Meager third-row space
  • Over-left-shoulder visibility
  • Windshield-pillar grab handles

2 trims

Starting msrp listed lowest to highest price

Wondering which trim is right for you?

Our 2004 Volvo XC90 trim comparison will help you decide.

See also: Find the best SUVs for 2024

Notable features

  • Roll Stability Control System
  • AWD
  • Five- or seven-passenger capacity
  • Side-curtain airbags
  • Five- or six-cylinder

2004 Volvo XC90 review: Our expert's take

By Kristin Varela

Let me take a moment to introduce myself. I am not an automotive expert or car buff. I am a mother of two young children, and I spend my glamorous days in sweats, driving car pool and running errands. Sadly, I spend more time in my car than any other place. It’s this admission that fuels my quest to find the ultimate “mom-mobile.”

My first impression of the Volvo XC90 is that it’s not your typical SUV. It appears very sophisticated and expensive. I’m a little weary about throwing kids in the backseat, knowing it will soon be littered with cracker crumbs.

My fist task is to install my kids’ car seats. The Latch connectors are on the two outer seats of the second row, making car seat installation a cinch. I’m thrilled that I can easily fit a third car seat in the middle if I need to. My test vehicle arrived with an optional pop-up booster seat, which slides forward for easy access to your child. My daughter thinks this is cool and is extremely distraught that she does not yet meet the 33-pound minimum weight requirement for it. This particular version of the XC90 is a seven-seater with room for two more small people in the third row.

Next I load up the cargo space. I am hugely impressed by the versatility of the Volvo XC90’s cargo area. With the third-row seats up I still have plenty of room for an umbrella stroller and all essential baby gear. The level of the cargo area is perfect for changing diapers when you’re on the run with no proper changing table in sight. I’m finally ready to jump in. The driver’s seat adjusts in eight ways and easily accommodates my towering 5-foot-2 stature (and has memory to store my seating configuration). The steering wheel not only tilts up and down, but telescopes in and out as well. I’m disappointed, though, that the foot pedals don’t adjust in height. That is the only thing that would make the Volvo XC90 more comfortable to drive.

The storage compartments in the test vehicle are plentiful. The center console has room for two coffee cups (or sippy cups), eight CDs and a pack of gum. Dual net compartments on the back of the front seats make storing coloring books effortless. I love the additional dry cleaning hooks in the cargo area. I can use these without the dry cleaning bags hanging over my children, risking imminent suffocation.

When pulling out of the garage, the optional reverse warning system (an addition $400) comes in handy. If I get within 5 feet of an object it starts to beep, and it warns me when I come within one foot of the object. This is particularly useful for avoiding Fido on my way out.

There is one last fabulous family-friendly feature available on the Volvo XC90 that I want to rave about. The rear headphone outlets (standard if you have a third-row seat) are heaven-sent for parents. You can have up to four children in back listening to Barney, and the best part is you don’t have to hear a single note of it. A car full of silent children is priceless for an overworked parent.

Overall, the Volvo XC90 makes a lovely mom’s car. It has the flexibility to grow with you and your family from birth to college, and it will do it all in high style and comfort. Stay tuned for more of my quest for the perfect family car. Next up: A road trip adventure in the highly publicized Nissan Quest.

*For addition information on the Volvo XC90 and its safety features, visit

Photo of Kristin Varela
Former Senior Family Editor Kristin Varela blends work and family life by driving her three tween-teen girls every which way in test cars. Email Kristin Varela

Consumer reviews

Rating breakdown (out of 5):
  • Comfort 4.6
  • Interior 4.3
  • Performance 4.0
  • Value 4.0
  • Exterior 4.4
  • Reliability 3.8
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Most recent consumer reviews


The most comfortable vehicle I have owned

This car has been awesome. I’ve always felt safe with my family in it. I’ve surfed through 2 feet of snow in it. I would recommend this vehicle to any of my family members.


Biggest piece of junk I ever owned do not buy it

Unreliable, costly repairs, rarely gets over 100000 miles. Purchased a 2004 with 95000 miles on it, paid in cash. 1 day later check engine light went on, 500 dollars for tune up, spark plugs and oil change, 1 week later needed to go back for check engine light and the shop could not determine what was wrong. 1 month later the first gear of transmission stopped working, still at under 100,000 miles, was quoted 5,000 to fix transmission. 1 week later the electrical system failed So we junked it taking a 3000 dollar lose. Do your research, this model has transmission issues and Volvo was sued about it and they still don’t recall this model. Don’t be deceived by how nice the interior and exterior of this model is.


Dim unit aka cluster

This should be a recall so many people with these volvos complaining about the dim clusters messing up srs airbag urgent light on cluster shuts off car goes into limp mode no shifting no lights on gauges everything fails paid 3500 for my 04 xc90 now its a nice driveway ornament because of this issue had a equinox regret selling n buying volvo junk shame on you for this it should be recalled with all these customers with same issue

See all 51 consumer reviews


New car and Certified Pre-Owned programs by Volvo
Certified Pre-Owned program benefits
Maximum age/mileage
Less than 5 years/less than 80,000 miles
Basic warranty terms
5 years/unlimited miles , upgradeable up to 10 years
Dealer certification required
170- plus point inspection
Roadside assistance
View all cpo program details

Have questions about warranties or CPO programs?

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