Volvo rolled out the XC90 in 2003 and introduced the second-generation model 13 years later. This midsize model is the largest of three Volvo crossovers. Since its 2016 debut, the current-generation XC90 has undergone mild changes. A T5 model and a range-topping T8 Excellence trim were introduced. For 2021, Volvo made blind-spot assist and adaptive headlights standard.
The Volvo XC90 is a midsize crossover sport utility vehicle with standard front-wheel drive and available all-wheel drive. It features a signature grille, Thor’s hammer headlamps, and gentle sculpting. It has the look of a larger crossover, but with minimalist touches. The beltline and roofline flow evenly to the rear which is marked by huge taillamps.
Inside, the XC90 supplies room for six or seven. The cabin is cleanly designed, even stark in base models. Move up through the trim range and beautiful woods and wool seats are included. Black synthetic leather and dark trim mark some models. Overall, the interior is as minimalist as you’ll find in this class.
The front seats are roomy, although thinner than what we’d expect. Nevertheless, they offer all-day driving support. The available lumbar support and leg extenders are features we recommend. The middle-row bench seat can be swapped out for a pair of captain’s chairs, the layout we recommend unless you absolutely need space for seven. Even so, the bench seat holds three adults with ease. The third row is the usual penalty seat, offering sufficient room for young teens, but modest-at-best comfort for small adults.
The XC90 comes with a 9-inch touch-screen display, a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster, and a wireless charging pad. A 14-speaker Harman Kardon audio system, navigation, USB ports, Bluetooth, and Android Auto and Apple CarPlay smartphone integration are included. Among the upgrades are a head-up display and a surround-view camera system.
Volvo equips the XC90 with a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine. That engine makes 250 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque in the T5 edition. With a supercharger added, Volvo ratchets the performance to supply 316 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque in the all-wheel-drive T6 edition. An 8-speed automatic transmission is standard across the model line.
The T8 Recharge uses the same engine as the T6 and adds an electric motor and a battery pack. Combined power reaches 400 horsepower and 472 pound-feet of torque. This model has an 18-mile all-electric range.
Volvo includes a package of standard driver-assist safety tools. Specifically, every trim comes with automatic emergency braking, active blind-spot monitoring, oncoming mitigation by braking, oncoming lane mitigation, run-off road mitigation, and adaptive cruise control. An available Pilot Assist system brings in elements of semi-autonomous driving for improved control and a safer driving experience. The XC90 garnered top scores from the IIHS and the NHTSA.