This midsize luxury SUV has an available V-8 and seating for up to seven. Trim levels include 3.2, 3.2 R-Design and V8. All-wheel drive is standard on the V8 and optional on six-cylinder models. Competitors include the Acura MDX, BMW X5 and Cadillac SRX.
For 2010, the XC90 drops the V8 R-Design trim and adds standard heated front seats, headlamp washers and rain-sensing windshield wipers to the V8 model. The base 3.2 also gains a standard third row seat and moonroof.
The XC90 carries Volvo’s familiar face — not the previous boxy angles, but the smoother, friendlier look that’s been present since the early 2000s. The door handles and side mirrors are body-colored, and the mirrors incorporate turn signals. The roof rails are trimmed in black or aluminum. The R-Design trim changes the look of the grille and adds rear skid plates. The V8 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, also the narrowest.
- Available 18-, 19- or 20-inch alloy wheels
- Standard front fog lights
- Standard power, heated mirrors with integrated turn signals
- Standard power moonroof
- Optional headlight washers
- Optional bi-xenon headlights with articulating lenses
The dashboard and instrument panel dome employ slanted, angular themes, as does the three-spoke steering wheel with audio and cruise controls. Various console knobs have chrome coverings, and an auto-dimming rearview mirror is standard. The XC90 seats five people in two rows and a third-row seat is standard with the base model. It bumps seating capacity 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 101 cubic feet — the same as the X5. Cargo volume behind the third row is 11.1 cubic feet. The rear seats fold down, as does the front passenger seat. With all seats stowed, maximum cargo volume measures 85.1 cubic feet, which is the best of the group.
- Available leather or premium leather seating
- Available aluminum or real wood trim
- Available massaging and ventilated front seats
- Available Sirius Satellite Radio
- Available rear seat refrigerator
- Standard automatic dual-zone climate control
- Standard audio and cruise controls on steering wheel
- Optional heated front seats
- Optional 650-watt, 12-speaker audio system
- Optional dual-screen rear-seat entertainment system
- Optional navigation system with real-time traffic
The XC90 has two powertrain offerings, including a rare-for-Volvo V-8. The R-Design model gets a sport-tuned suspension with thicker front/rear stabilizer bars and firmer springs and struts.
- 235-horsepower, 3.2-liter six-cylinder with 236 pounds-feet of torque
- 311-hp, 4.4-liter V-8 with 325 pound-feet of torque
- Front- or all-wheel drive
- Standard six-speed automatic with manual shift functionality
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 front cross member that makes for safer SUV-to-car impacts.
- Standard front, side-impact and side curtain airbags
- Standard antilock braking system with brake assist
- Standard electronic stability and traction control
- Optional rain-sensing windshield wipers
- Optional blind spot warning system