Best Bet
  • (4.6) 34 reviews
  • Inventory Prices: $4,457–$13,057
  • Body Style: Sport Utility
  • Combined MPG: 16-17
  • Engine: 235-hp, 3.2-liter I-6 (premium)
  • Drivetrain: All-wheel Drive
  • Seats: 5-7
2008 Volvo XC90

Our Take on the Latest Model 2008 Volvo XC90

What We Don't Like

  • Difficult access to third-row seat
  • Dated cabin materials
  • Uncommunicative steering at low speeds
  • Droning V-8 exhaust on the highway

Notable Features

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

2008 Volvo XC90 Reviews

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

(4.6)

Average based on 34 reviews

Write a Review

Great urban and open road car!

by Grant in Maryland from Maryland on November 21, 2017

I have enjoyed driving this car to work and in the city. While the gas mileage is not the greatest, it handles very well and has roomy front seats. The height, visibility, and fold down rear seats for... Read Full Review

Read All Consumer Reviews

4 Trims Available

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Wondering which configuration is right for you?
Our 2008 Volvo XC90 trim comparison will help you decide.
 

Volvo XC90 Articles

2008 Volvo XC90 Safety Ratings

Crash-Test Reports

IIHS Ratings

Based on Volvo XC90 3.2

Head Restraints and Seats
G
Moderate overlap front
G
Side
G

IIHS Ratings

Based on Volvo XC90 3.2

G Good
A Acceptable
M Marginal
P Poor

Head Restraints and Seats

Dynamic Rating
G
Overall Rear
G
Seat Head/Restraint Geometry
G

Moderate overlap front

Chest
G
Head/Neck
G
Left Leg/Foot
G
Overall Front
G
Restraints
G
Right Leg/Foot
G
Structure/safety cage
G

Side

Driver Head Protection
G
Driver Head and Neck
G
Driver Pelvis/Leg
G
Driver Torso
G
Overall Side
G
Rear Passenger Head Protection
G
Rear Passenger Head and Neck
G
Rear Passenger Pelvis/Leg
G
Rear Passenger Torso
G
Structure/safety cage
A
Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) is a nonprofit research and communications organization funded by auto insurers. IIHS rates vehicles good, acceptable, marginal or poor based on performance in high-speed front and side crash tests. IIHS also evaluates seat/head restraints for protection against neck injuries in rear impacts.

NHTSA Ratings

Based on Volvo XC90 3.2

Overall Rollover Rating

NHTSA Ratings

Based on Volvo XC90 3.2

Overall Rollover Rating
Driver's
Passenger's
Side Barrier Rating Driver
Side Barrier Rating Passenger Rear Seat
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.

Recalls

There are currently 10 recalls for this car.


Safety defects and recalls are relatively common. Stay informed and know what to do ahead of time.

Safety defects and recalls explained

Service & Repair

Estimated Service & Repair cost: $4,100 per year.

Save on maintenance costs and do your own repairs.

Warranty Coverage

Bumper-to-Bumper

48mo/50,000mi

Powertrain

48mo/50,000mi

Roadside Assistance Coverage

48mo/unlimited

Free Scheduled Maintenance

7,500mi/

What you should get in your warranty can be confusing. Make sure you are informed.

Learn More About Warranties

Warranties Explained

Bumper-to-Bumper

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.

Powertrain

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.

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).

Free Scheduled Maintenance

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.

Other Years