2006 Volvo XC90

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$35,640

starting MSRP

2006 Volvo XC90

Key specs

Base trim shown

Overview

The good:

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

The bad:

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

3 trims

Starting msrp listed lowest to highest price

Wondering which trim is right for you?

Our 2006 Volvo XC90 trim comparison will help you decide.

Notable features

  • Roll Stability Control
  • Available V-8
  • Five- or seven-passenger capacity
  • Side-curtain airbags
  • AWD standard with V-8

2006 Volvo XC90 review: Our expert's take

By

The verdict:

Versus the competiton:

For 2006, Volvo addresses the only persistent gripe connected with its luxury sport utility vehicle: modest engine power.

A powerful and refined V-8 engine is now optional for the XC90, putting this fine craft on equal footing with high-end SUVs from Mercedes, BMW, Infiniti, Lincoln and Cadillac.

The 4.4-liter, 311-horsepower engine is the first V-8 ever offered by Volvo and available only in the largest vehicle ever offered by Volvo. It replaces the previous 268-horsepower inline six, while the base model’s 2.5-liter turbocharged four remains in the lineup.

In this global marketplace, the engine comes to the big Swede from the other side of the world. Yamaha, the Japanese manufacturer of motorcycles and musical instruments, builds the compact V-8 for Volvo.

This is not the first time Yamaha has supplied a V-8 for Ford, which owns Volvo. The high-performance Taurus SHO of the early 1990s received its muscle from a similar Yamaha V-8. The Japanese company currently supplies high-revving four-cylinder engines for the performance versions of Toyota Matrix/Pontiac Vibe.

Naturally, the V-8 comes at a premium, adding nearly $10,000 to the price of the turbo-four XC90, although that includes a passel of luxury features and standard all-wheel drive. The new engine vastly widens the appeal of the Volvo for U.S. luxury drivers, who are accustomed to the silky muscle of powerful V-8s.

Newfound performance, excellent drivability and, of course, Volvo’s longtime emphasis on safety moves XC90 to the head of the class.

PERFORMANCE: The V-8 engine may be small (gearhead note: 4.4 liters is about 270 cubic inches) but has plenty of power, making this gentle giant feel light and lively. This advanced 32-valve engine includes variable intake and exhaust timing for power over a wide range of rpm.

Acceleration is strong and smooth, with a subdued growl under the hood. Freeway cruising is seamless.

XC90 delivers relatively good fuel mileage, considering the SUV’s 4,600-pound bulk and is rated by the EPA as an Ultra Low Emissions Vehicle.

The six-speed automatic was usually on the ball, though sometimes shifting with a noticeable thunk. Like the engine, the transmission is made in Japan.

DRIVABILITY: Handling, steering and braking are all top drawer, especially for a heavy, high-profile vehicle. The XC90 challenges both BMW X5 and Mercedes-Benz M-Class in every aspect of drivability.

Electronic safety includes four-wheel ventilated disc brakes with antilock, brake-force distribution and brake assistance, Dynamic Stability Traction Control and Roll Stability Control.

STYLING: XC90 looks suitably muscular without macho affectations. Some people thought it looked too bulbous, more like a minivan than an SUV.

INTERIOR: Comfortable, accommodating and stylish and with a high level of standard safety features, including full airbag and side-curtain protection, seat-belt pre-tensioners and whiplash protection.

Leather seats, moonroof and a host of luxury gear come standard. XC90 seats seven, but the third row of seats is strictly for kids.

The dashboard controls are still somewhat haphazard and weird looking.

BOTTOM LINE: The V-8 option enhances an already superb SUV. The pricing is competitive, undercutting BMW and Mercedes with the same level of style, features and performance.

Pricing

Vehicle type: Seven-passenger, four-door SUV, all-wheel drive.

Engine: 4.4-liter V-8, 311 horsepower at 5,850 rpm, 325 pound-feet of torque at 3,900 rpm.

Transmission: Six-speed automatic.

Wheelbase: 112.6 inches.

Overall length: 188.9 inches.

Curb weight: 4,610 pounds.

EPA rating: 15 city, 21 highway.

Highs: Engine refinement, lush interior, overall drivability.

Lows: Teeny rear seat, transmission thunks, haphazard controls.

Base price: $45,840.

Price as tested: $49,480.

OPTIONS

Touring package, with alloy wheels, premium audio, wood steering wheel and trim, leather shift knob, $1,795.

Climate package, with heated front seats, headlamp washers, $675.

Metallic paint, $475.

Shipping, $695.

Consumer reviews

Rating breakdown (out of 5):
  • Comfort 4.6
  • Interior design 4.5
  • Performance 4.5
  • Value for the money 4.4
  • Exterior styling 4.6
  • Reliability 4.6

Most recent consumer reviews

4.4

First car that feels like my home

You don't take the car with you, the car brings you, you sit in the chair, not on it. First two gears are short, which confuse people behind you, expecting to be faster away at traffic lights. But from 3rd gear on it just goes. Its like sailing a ship, tiny bit waggly but smooooooth. I own a D5, it's my second home.

5.0

Love My XC90

I purchased this vehicle new in March 2006 with 2 miles on it, paid $42k, color Blue Magic. This is the vehicle I have owned the longest in my life. It has not gone out of style. It has held up incredibly and it only in the last six months have I had to have some work done on it, the positive crank valve, other than tires, oil changes, one battery and wiper blades. I am constantly asked by strangers is that a new vehicle. My mechanic at the Volvo dealer always asks me to sell it to him when I’m in for an oil change! I dread the day that I have to give it up however I’m hoping to drive it up to 400K miles! I love my bluebird of happiness!

4.6

Very reliable, turbo performer. 8 passengers AWD

Great comfort and capacity. Feels safe in any weather. Volvos just keep going. Seats are great. Very practical car. Full size SUV that gets 18mpg average with city and highway driving.

See all 48 consumer reviews

Warranty

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
Powertrain
N/A
Dealer certification required
170- plus point inspection
Roadside assistance
Yes
View all cpo program details

Have questions about warranties or CPO programs?

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