2009 Volvo XC90 Reviews
This midsize luxury SUV has an available V-8 and seating for up to seven. Trim levels include 3.2 and 3.2 R-Design (a new sporty trim), as well as V8 and V8 R-Design. All-wheel drive is standard on the V8 and V8 R-Design, and it's optional on the six-cylinder. Competitors include the Acura MDX, BMW X5 and Cadillac SRX.
New for 2009
The XC90 is now available with an R-Design appearance package on some models. A new optional Executive Package (on V-8 models) adds premium leather and heated front and rear seats, plus ventilation and massaging functions for the front seats.
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. R-Design trims change the look of the grille and add rear skidplates. The V8 trim adds twin dual exhaust pipes.
The vehicle is 189.3 inches long and 74.7 inches wide. It's the shortest of its competitors and, with the exception of the SRX, is also the narrowest.
The dashboard and instrument panel dome employ slanted, angular themes, as does a three-spoke steering wheel with audio and cruise controls. Various console knobs have chrome coverings, and an auto-dimming rearview mirror is now standard. 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.
Passenger volume comes in at 102.4 cubic feet — the same as the X5. Cargo volume behind the third row is 8.8 cubic feet. The rear seats fold down, as does the front passenger seat. With all seats stowed, maximum cargo volume measures 93.2 cubic feet, which is the best of the group.
Under the Hood
The XC90 has two powertrain offerings, including a rare-for-Volvo V-8. When properly equipped, the XC90 can tow up to 4,960 pounds. R-Design models get a sport-tuned suspension with thicker front/rear stabilizer bars and firmer springs and struts.
Offering unmatched safety in its segment, the XC90 comes loaded with safety features. One notable feature, especially on an SUV, is the standard Roll Stability Control, which attempts to stop a rollover once it's started by cutting torque and applying individual brakes. There's also a lower frontcross member that provides for safer SUV-to-car impacts.