Volvo's seven-passenger crossover gets a top-to-bottom redesign this year with obsessive attention to interior quality and fuel efficiency. We think this long-awaited rebirth puts the XC90 back in contention with the best of its class.

Pricing and Equipment

Volvo XC90 InteriorZoom

Like the XC90 itself, trim levels are all-new this year:

  • The base T6 Momentum stickers at $48,900, which includes things like navigation, a panoramic sunroof and a collision mitigation system. The $1,900 Momentum Plus package adds wood trim, digital instrumentation and upgraded lighting throughout.
  • At $52,900, the T6 R-Design brings sportier trimmings such as specific 20-inch wheels, front sport seats and paddle shifters.
  • The $54,500 T6 Inscription gets a high-lux interior treatment and special styling touches.

All trim levels are eligible for a $1,600 Vision package with a suite of advanced safety technology, and an $1,800 Convenience package featuring adaptive cruise control and a self-parking system. The Climate package ($1,050) adds heating to the rear seats, steering wheel and windshield.

Performance Pros

All trim levels carry a turbocharged and supercharged (yes, both!) 2-liter four-cylinder, paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission. Output is terrific for an engine of this size at 316 horsepower. The XC90 accelerates just as well as many competitors with larger V6 engines. (The hybrid version of the XC90, dubbed T8, is reviewed separately.)

Performance highlights include:

  • All-Wheel Drive: It's standard on all models, along with an off-road driving mode.
  • Steering/Handling: We found the XC90 surprisingly nimble for a large crossover. It negotiates curves without drama, and is no more challenging to handle than your average passenger car.
  • Fuel Efficiency: You can expect 20 mpg around town and 25 mpg on the highway, outstanding figures for a 4,600-pound vehicle with all-wheel drive. The XC90's Eco driving mode pushes efficiency even further, albeit at the expense of performance.

Performance Cons

  • While the 2-liter engine offers an admirable balance of power and efficiency, it can't compete with the V8 engines offered in some competitors.
  • Volvo recommends premium fuel for XC90, which takes some of the luster off its efficiency.

Interior Pros

Volvo XC90 SeatsZoom

Like the XC90 itself, trim levels are all-new this year:

  • With its tall windows and massive sunroof, the XC90 feels large and airy on the inside.
  • This year's redesign brings a giant leap forward in interior design and refinement. High-quality materials, tastefully arranged, result in a rather splendid environment.

Interior Cons

  • Interior color choices are limited to all black, or black with neutral or beige upholstery. That's a far cry from the designer palettes we're used to seeing on many competing vehicles.
  • Power-folding rear seats are not offered. You'll have to shove them down yourself.

The Most Pleasant Surprise

The XC90's interior transformation is evident from the moment you open the door. We don't normally see this level of inner elegance in a vehicle that starts at under $50,000.

The Least Pleasant Surprise

The R-Design doesn't offer anything extra in the way of actual performance, and the Inscription is purely a style upgrade. From our perspective, that makes the base Momentum the most logical choice.

The Bottom Line

If you've been wanting a luxury crossover, but not the typical glitz and thirst, the new XC90 will seem like it was built just for you.