Volvo XC90 is First Produced
The Volvo XC90 is a mid-size luxury crossover SUV produced by Volvo Cars since it was unveiled at the Detroit Motor Show 2002.
It is based on the P2 platform, shared with the first generation Volvo S80 and other large Volvo cars. As Volvo's top-selling vehicle in the United States, the XC90 is also Volvo's best selling model worldwide with 85,994 cars sold in 2005.
At its launch as a 2003 model, it was presented with a choice of two models, the 2.5T and the T6. The 2.5T was the entry level version and offered a 2.5L 20 valve turbocharged inline 5 engine putting out 210 hp (160 kW; 210 PS) and 236 ft·lbf (320 N·m) mated to an Aisin co-developed AW55-50/51 5 speed automatic. The T6 offered a 2.9L 24 valve twin turbocharged inline 6 with 272 hp (203 kW; 276 PS) and 280 ft·lbf (380 N·m) mated to a GM-sourced, Volvo modified 4T65EV/GT 4 speed automatic. While the 2.5T came standard with front wheel drive, a Haldex Traction all wheel drive system was optional. The T6 was offered only with the AWD system.
A new Ford/Yamaha V8 engine was added in 2005. This 4.4 L Volvo V8 engine produced 292 hp for the first few models later upgraded to 311 hp (232 kW; 315 PS) and 325 ft·lbf (441 N·m) of torque. The XC90 V8 will be priced at just over US$45,000 and it is expected that more than 15,000 would be sold per year.
The XC90 won the North American Car of the Year award and Motor Trend magazine's Sport/Utility of the Year for 2003.
The XC90 was updated for 2007 with a restyled front and rear and a revised interior. The 235 hp (175 kW; 238 PS) 3.2 L SI6 straight-6 engine replaced the 208 hp (155 kW; 211 PS) B524T2 straight-5 in the base model for the US market. The 2007 XC90 debuted in April 2006 at the New York Auto Show.
The XC90 is produced at Volvo's Torslanda Plant (Torslandaverken) in Sweden.
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 System (BLIS), which monitors images from a pair of cameras mounted in the side mirrors and warns the driver via an indicator light when another vehicle moves into the XC90's blind spot. Of course, the XC90 also provides staples like side curtain airbag protection for all three rows, anti-whiplash seats and an emergency communications system. Volvo crash safety is legendary, and indeed, this midsize SUV has scored well in NHTSA and IIHS testing.
In reviews, we've found that the XC90 drives just as you'd expect a safe, heavy Volvo SUV to drive. Ride quality is smooth and the cabin stays quiet, while handling is competent but not particularly sporty. Equipped with AWD, the XC90 makes an excellent snow vehicle but isn't intended for serious off-road romps. V8-powered models are considerably more satisfying to drive than six-cylinder XC90s.
Despite its advancing age, the seven-passenger Volvo XC90 is one of our top recommendations for families shopping for an SUV. Although its on-road performance is merely average as luxury SUVs go, the XC90 still offers a winning combination of safety, solidity and style.
Used Volvo XC90 Models
The XC90 debuted for the 2003 model year. Changes have been limited over the years. The V8 joined the fray in 2005, while the 3.2-liter six-cylinder engine debuted in 2007 as a replacement for the 208-hp, 2.5-liter turbocharged inline five-cylinder (known as the 2.5T) offered through 2006. Used XC90 shoppers will also come across T6 models (sold from 2003-'05), which had a 268-hp, twin-turbocharged, 2.8-liter inline six-cylinder. Although acceleration was adequate with either of these turbo engines, their power bands really weren't well suited for duty in a heavy SUV. However, if you test-drive a used XC90 T6 or 2.5T and find its performance to your liking, there's no reason not to buy it.
The Volvo XC90 offers classic Volvo attributes in a midsize SUV. An IIHS Top Safety Pick 3 years running it's safe, comfortable, and practical. New for 2010 is standard rear park assist and third row seating.
The XC90 seats up to seven people. Rear and front passenger seats fold down to provide more cargo room. A second-row child booster seat is standard equipment. The 235-hp 3.2-liter inline-six is available with front-wheel or all-wheel drive. The 311-hp 4.4-liter V8 engine is available with all-wheel drive. Both engines are matched with a Geartronic six-speed automatic transmission, allowing driver selectable shifting. When equipped for towing it can tow up to 5,000 pounds. Safety features include electronic stability control, side-impact and side curtain airbags, Roll Stability Control, Blind Spot Information System, and all-disc anti-lock brakes with electronic brake-force distribution.