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2008 Volvo XC90

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$4,029 — $11,677 USED
13
Photos
Sport Utility
5-7 Seats
16-17 MPG
(Combined)
Key specs of the base trim
 — 
Compare 3 trims

Overview

Is this the car for you?

The Good

  • Abundant safety features
  • Power
  • Cargo versatility

The Bad

  • Difficult access to third-row seat
  • Dated cabin materials
  • Uncommunicative steering at low speeds
  • Droning V-8 exhaust on the highway
2008 Volvo XC90 exterior side view

What to Know

about the 2008 Volvo XC90
  • Standard 235-hp six-cylinder
  • Optional 311-hp V-8
  • Seats five or seven
  • Blind-spot warning system
  • Rollover-resisting stability system

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Our Take

from the Cars.com expert editorial team

Vehicle Overview
Having undergone a number of updates for 2007, the Volvo XC90 sees few changes for 2008. The midsize luxury SUV has an available V-8 and seating for up to seven. Competitors include the Acura MDX, BMW X5 and Cadillac SRX.

The XC90 debuted in 2003 amid doubts about SUV safety, particularly with regard to rollovers. Thanks to an array of advanced safety features — seat belt pretensioners for all seats, side curtain airbags that stay inflated longer during a rollover, and an electronic stability system with rollover mitigation technology — the XC90 largely avoided the concerns that plagued its competitors. More recently, Volvo added swiveling headlights, a rearview camera and the automaker's Blind Spot Information System, which monitors adjacent lanes for unnoticed vehicles. All three are optional.

Trim levels include the six-cylinder — dubbed simply "3.2," as in the engine's size — as well as the V8 and V8 Sport. All-wheel drive is standard on the V8 and V8 Sport; it's optional on the six-cylinder.


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.

The 3.2 has 17-inch wheels, while the V8 has 18-inchers. The V8 Sport comes with a sport suspension and 19-inch rims, as well ...
Vehicle Overview
Having undergone a number of updates for 2007, the Volvo XC90 sees few changes for 2008. The midsize luxury SUV has an available V-8 and seating for up to seven. Competitors include the Acura MDX, BMW X5 and Cadillac SRX.

The XC90 debuted in 2003 amid doubts about SUV safety, particularly with regard to rollovers. Thanks to an array of advanced safety features — seat belt pretensioners for all seats, side curtain airbags that stay inflated longer during a rollover, and an electronic stability system with rollover mitigation technology — the XC90 largely avoided the concerns that plagued its competitors. More recently, Volvo added swiveling headlights, a rearview camera and the automaker's Blind Spot Information System, which monitors adjacent lanes for unnoticed vehicles. All three are optional.

Trim levels include the six-cylinder — dubbed simply "3.2," as in the engine's size — as well as the V8 and V8 Sport. All-wheel drive is standard on the V8 and V8 Sport; it's optional on the six-cylinder.


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.

The 3.2 has 17-inch wheels, while the V8 has 18-inchers. The V8 Sport comes with a sport suspension and 19-inch rims, as well as body-colored fenders, a chrome grille and silver scuff plates.


Interior
The dashboard and instrument panel dome employ slanted, angular themes, as does a three-spoke steering wheel with audio and cruise controls. An optional backup system includes a rearview camera that maps the XC90's projected path on a dashboard screen. Various console knobs have chrome coverings, and an auto-dimming rearview mirror is now standard. The V8 model can now be had with Sapeli wood trim, which covers the shift knob and steering wheel, among other areas. An Executive Package adds upgraded floormats and swaps the standard leather for even softer hides.

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.

The rear seats fold down, as does the front passenger seat. With all seats stowed, maximum cargo volume measures 92 cubic feet in five-seat models and 93.2 cubic feet in seven-seat models.


Under the Hood
A 3.2-liter six-cylinder engine produces 235 horsepower and 236 pounds-feet of torque. The available 4.4-liter V-8 generates 311 hp and 325 pounds-feet of torque. Both engines use a six-speed automatic transmission.

When properly equipped, the XC90 can tow up to 4,960 pounds.


Safety
Offering unmatched safety in its segment, the XC90 comes loaded with four-wheel-disc antilock brakes and an electronic stability system with Roll Stability Control. RSC, now shared with various Ford, Mercury and Lincoln SUVs, anticipates impending rollovers with a gyroscopic sensor. It can attempt to avert them by cutting torque and applying individual brakes.

Side-impact and side curtain airbags for all three rows of seats are standard, with the latter designed to stay inflated longer in rollovers. All seat belts include pretensioners that cut slack in the event of a collision. Most seat belt systems include this provision only in the front seats.

The XC90 also receives Volvo's Blind Spot Information System. BLIS adds a small camera to each outside mirror to measure movement in the driver's blind spot and activate warning lights for the driver when necessary.

Xenon high-intensity-discharge headlights automatically rotate up to 15 degrees based on steering wheel input to illuminate corners better than conventional headlights.


Consumer Reviews

What drivers are saying

4.6
44 reviews — Read All reviews
Exterior Styling
(4.4)
Performance
(4.4)
Interior Design
(4.3)
Comfort
(4.7)
Reliability
(4.4)
Value For The Money
(4.6)

Read reviews that mention:

(4.0)

Great SUV, But there are significant problem areas

by Jeffrey from Oak Park on November 6, 2018

I own a lot of Volvo's , but this is my first xc90 (v8 Sport, loaded). Replaced my '10 MB 350 BluTec which blew up. Problem areas (and it can cost a ton of money)- Radiator leaks into trans cooler. ... Read full review

(3.0)

King of the road

by Zaid from Pittsburgh PA on October 8, 2018

I drove many SUVs the Volvo xc90 v8 is comfort reliable and I feel I drive a tank but needs aerodynamic , the AWD is not reliable on off-road, so complex in maintaining, check engine every time, ... Read full review

Safety

Recalls and crash tests

Recalls

The 2008 Volvo XC90 currently has 9 recalls


Crash and Rollover Test Ratings

Based on 2008 Volvo XC90 3.2

NHTSA rates vehicles using a star rating system from 1-5 stars, with 5 being the highest.

Overall Rollover Rating
4 Star
Driver's
5 Star
Passenger's
5 Star
Side Barrier Rating Driver
5 Star
Side Barrier Rating Passenger Rear Seat
5 Star
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is part of the U.S. Department of Transportation. NHTSA provides vehicle safety information such as front- and side-crash ratings and rollover ratings. Vehicles are rated using a star rating system from 1-5 stars, with 5 being the highest.

Latest 2008 XC90 Stories

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Cars.com Car Seat Check

Certified child passenger safety technicians conduct hands-on tests of a car’s Latch system and check the vehicle’s ability to accommodate different types of car seats. The XC90 received the following grades on a scale of A-F.*
* This score may not apply to all trims, especially for vehicles with multiple body styles that affect the space and design of the seating.

Warranty FAQs

What is a Bumper-to-Bumper warranty?

Often called a basic warranty or new-vehicle warranty, a bumper-to-bumper policy covers components like air conditioning, audio systems, vehicle sensors, fuel systems and major electrical components. Most policies exclude regular maintenance like fluid top offs and oil changes, but a few brands have separate free-maintenance provisions, and those that do offer them is slowly rising. Bumper-to-bumper warranties typically expire faster than powertrain warranties.

What is a Powertrain warranty?

Don't be misled a 10-year or 100,000-mile powertrain warranty doesn't promise a decade of free repairs for your car. It typically covers just the engine and transmission, along with any other moving parts that lead to the wheels, like the driveshaft and constant velocity joints. Some automakers also bundle seat belts and airbags into their powertrain warranties. With a few exceptions, powertrain warranties don't cover regular maintenance like engine tuneups and tire rotations.

What is included in Roadside Assistance?

Some automakers include roadside assistance with their bumper-to-bumper or powertrain warranties, while others have separate policies. These programs cover anything from flat-tire changes and locksmith services to jump-starts and towing. Few reimburse incidental costs like motel rooms (if you have to wait for repairs).

What other services could be included in a warranty?

Some automakers include free scheduled maintenance for items such as oil changes, air filters and tire rotations. Some include consumables including brake pads and windshield wipers; others do not. They are typically for the first couple of years of ownership of a new car.

What does CPO mean?

A certified pre-owned or CPO car has been inspected to meet minimum quality standards and typically includes some type of warranty. While dealers and third parties certify cars, the gold standard is an automaker-certified vehicle that provides a factory-backed warranty, often extending the original coverage. Vehicles must be in excellent condition and have low miles and wear to be certified, which is why off-lease vehicles feed many CPO programs.

See also the latest CPO incentives by automaker

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