2012 Volvo XC90

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$9,041–$21,137 Inventory Prices
(4.4) 8 reviews
Key Specs
Our Take
Overview
Photos
Reviews
Safety & Recalls
Warranty & CPO
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Key Specs

of the 2012 Volvo XC90. Base trim shown.

Our Take

From the Cars.com Vehicle Test Team

The Good

  • Abundant safety features
  • Cargo versatility

The Bad

  • Difficult access to third-row seats
  • Dated cabin materials
  • Uncommunicative steering at low speeds
2012 Volvo XC90 exterior side view

Notable Features of the 2012 Volvo XC90

  • 3.2-liter six-cylinder only engine for 2012
  • Seats seven
  • Available blind spot warning system
  • Roll-sensing stability system
  • FWD or AWD

2012 Volvo XC90 Overview

By Cars.com Editors
Vehicle Overview

The XC90 midsize luxury crossover has seating for up to seven people in three rows and offers a choice of front- or all-wheel drive. The V-8 model is no longer offered. Competitors include the Acura MDX and Volkswagen Touareg.

New for 2012
In a sign of the times, the 4.4-liter V-8 engine is no longer offered, so all models come with a 3.2-liter six-cylinder. The number of offerings has expanded with the addition of Premier Plus and Platinum trims. For the regular 3.2 version, the Premier Plus includes a compass integrated into the rearview mirror, a garage door opener and adaptive xenon headlights. The Platinum adds a premium stereo, navigation system with a backup camera and a blind spot monitoring system.

Exterior
The XC90 carries Volvo's familiar face — not the previous boxy angles, but the smoother, more modern look that's been present since the early 2000s. The door handles and side mirrors are body-colored, and the mirrors incorporate turn-signal lights. The roof rails are silver-colored. The R-Design trim changes the look of the grille. Exterior features include:

  • Available 18- or 20-inch alloy wheels
  • Standard front fog lights
  • Standard power-operated heated mirrors
  • Standard power moonroof
  • Optional headlight washers
  • Available bi-xenon high-intensity-discharge headlights with swiveling lenses
  • Optional rain-sensing windshield wipers

Interior
The dashboard and instrument panel dome employ slanted, angular themes, as does the three-spoke st...

Vehicle Overview

The XC90 midsize luxury crossover has seating for up to seven people in three rows and offers a choice of front- or all-wheel drive. The V-8 model is no longer offered. Competitors include the Acura MDX and Volkswagen Touareg.

New for 2012
In a sign of the times, the 4.4-liter V-8 engine is no longer offered, so all models come with a 3.2-liter six-cylinder. The number of offerings has expanded with the addition of Premier Plus and Platinum trims. For the regular 3.2 version, the Premier Plus includes a compass integrated into the rearview mirror, a garage door opener and adaptive xenon headlights. The Platinum adds a premium stereo, navigation system with a backup camera and a blind spot monitoring system.

Exterior
The XC90 carries Volvo's familiar face — not the previous boxy angles, but the smoother, more modern look that's been present since the early 2000s. The door handles and side mirrors are body-colored, and the mirrors incorporate turn-signal lights. The roof rails are silver-colored. The R-Design trim changes the look of the grille. Exterior features include:

  • Available 18- or 20-inch alloy wheels
  • Standard front fog lights
  • Standard power-operated heated mirrors
  • Standard power moonroof
  • Optional headlight washers
  • Available bi-xenon high-intensity-discharge headlights with swiveling lenses
  • Optional rain-sensing windshield wipers

Interior
The dashboard and instrument panel dome employ slanted, angular themes, as does the three-spoke steering wheel with stereo and cruise controls. Various console knobs have chrome coverings, and an auto-dimming rearview mirror is standard.


A standard third-row seat allows for a maximum seating capacity of 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 booster seat in the second row adjusts forward up to 12 inches to keep children closer to adults in the front row. The rear seats fold down, as does the front passenger seat. Interior features include:

  • Standard  leather seats
  • Available aluminum trim
  • Standard automatic dual-zone climate control
  • Optional heated front seats
  • Optional dual-screen rear-seat entertainment system
  • Available navigation system with real-time traffic


Under the Hood
The 2012 XC90 has one engine and transmission offering but is available with front- or all-wheel drive. The R-Design model gets a sport-tuned suspension with thicker front and rear stabilizer bars and firmer springs and struts. Mechanical features include:

  • 240-hp, 3.2-liter six-cylinder with 236 pounds-feet of torque
  • Six-speed automatic with clutchless-manual mode

Safety
The XC90 comes loaded with safety features. One notable feature is standard Roll Stability Control, which attempts to stop a rollover once it has started by cutting torque and applying individual brakes. There's also a lower front cross member that makes for safer SUV-to-car impacts. Other safety features include:

  • Standard front-seat side-impact and side curtain airbags
  • Standard antilock brakes with brake assist
  • Standard electronic stability system and traction control
  • Available blind spot warning system

Latest 2012 XC90 Stories

What Drivers Are Saying

Exterior Styling
(4.1)
Performance
(3.9)
Interior Design
(4.1)
Comfort
(4.9)
Reliability
(4.5)
Value For The Money
(4.4)

Latest Reviews

(5.0)

Great investment

by Dodgerfan on July 23, 2017

I love this car, it is comfortable, big enough to haul furniture and Grandkids. Great on gas and long trips. Read full review

(5.0)

Safety and Value Meet Here

by Ozzieah from Orlando, FL on June 17, 2017

Beautifully styled, but even better in the 2017 model. This car has it all, safety, convenience, luxury and class all in one. Maintain it properly and it will treat you great! Read full review

Safety & Recalls

Recalls

The 2012 Volvo XC90 currently has 1 recall

IIHS Crash and Rollover Test Ratings

Based on 2012 Volvo XC90 3.2

IIHS rates vehicles good, acceptable, marginal, or poor.

Head Restraints and Seats

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

Moderate overlap front

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

Other

Roof Strength
good

Side

Driver Head Protection
good
Driver Head and Neck
good
Driver Pelvis/Leg
good
Driver Torso
good
Overall Side
good
Rear Passenger Head Protection
good
Rear Passenger Head and Neck
good
Rear Passenger Pelvis/Leg
good
Rear Passenger Torso
good
Structure/safety cage
acceptable
Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) is a nonprofit research and communications organization funded by auto insurers.

Manufacturer Warranty

  • Bumper-to-Bumper

    48 months / 50,000 miles

  • Powertrain

    48 months / 50,000 miles

  • Roadside Assistance

    48 months / unlimited distance

CPO Program & Warranty

Certified Pre-Owned by Volvo

Program Benefits

24-hour roadside assistance, trip-interruption services, trip-planning services, Carfax vehicle history report and rental car

  • Limited Warranty

    7 years / 100,000 miles

    7 years/100,000 miles; no deductible
  • Eligibility

    Under 5 years / 80,000 miles

    Vehicles receive a 130 point inspection and reconditioning.

    See inspection details.

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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