Volvo does things a little differently from other premium brands in the automotive world. For this Swedish manufacturer, safety and kid-friendliness are just as important as luxury amenities and driving performance, and in no vehicle is this more apparent than the Volvo XC90, a midsize seven-passenger SUV.
Innovative safety features aside, the XC90 is merely adequate relative to the premium midsize SUV competition. Zestier performance is available elsewhere, as are more cavernous cargo holds. With more and more modern competitors measuring up to Volvo's high safety standards, the aging XC90 isn't the slam dunk for families that Volvo products used to be. It remains capable, though, and arguably safer than ever thanks to some new tricks.
Current Volvo XC90
The Volvo XC90 is available in two versions: 3.2 and V8. Available with front- or all-wheel drive, the 3.2 is the entry-level model and carries a 3.2-liter inline six-cylinder engine rated for 235 horsepower. Mileage suffers a bit on the XC90 V8, but the 311-hp 4.4-liter V8 provides strong acceleration, moving this 4,600-pound SUV to 60 mph in 7.6 seconds. All-wheel drive is standard with the V8.
The 3.2 comes with five-passenger seating (with the third-row seat optional), while the V8 comes with seven-passenger seating. As this is a premium SUV, almost all major safety and convenience features are included, even on the base model. Major options include a rear entertainment system with dual screens, a DVD-based navigation system, a Dolby Pro Logic II surround-sound audio system and an interior air quality system, as well as an ultra-luxurious executive package for the V8 model.
Easily one of the safest SUVs on the market, the Volvo XC90 pioneered Roll Stability Control. This bit of technology uses a gyro sensor to identify every SUV owner's greatest fear, a potential rollover, and activates the stability control system to try to avert it. Another interesting feature is the Blind Spot Information S...