2004 Volvo XC90

  • 2004 Volvo XC90 2.5T Sport Utility

    2.5T Sport Utility

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    • SEATS
    • ENGINE
      2.5L I5
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  • 2004 Volvo XC90 T6 Sport Utility

    T6 Sport Utility

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      2.9L I6
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2004 Volvo XC90 Review

Sweden’s contribution to the luxury SUV market.

Reviewed by Automotive on


The 2004 Volvo XC90 classifies as a midsize luxury crossover SUV manufactured by Volvo Cars. The XC90 launched at the 2002 Detroit Motor Show, and it uses the P2 chassis that appears on the first generation S80 and other, bigger Volvos.

Although it released only last year, the XC90 already has a formidable customer base and a number of fans that include Volvo enthusiasts as well as critics. This popularity seems evident from the fact that it has already won many awards.

The Range

Body Styles: four-door SUV
Engines: 2.5-liter turbocharged five-cylinder, 2.9-liter six-cylinder
Transmissions: five-speed automatic, four-speed automatic
Models: Volvo XC90 2.5T, Volvo XC90 T6

What's New

The XC90 is now two years old with an explosive first year behind it. Naturally, changes remain minimal, except for a wheel and tire upgrade and some new exterior color choices. Standalone options include a leather shift knob, aluminum dash inlays, and a wood steering wheel.


According to the chief designer, the XC90 intends to be ""muscular, but not aggressive"" and ""masculine, but not macho."" The 2004 Volvo XC90 has a wheelbase of 112.6 inches and ground clearance of 8.6 inches. The SUV has wide track dimensions in order to improve stability. The XC90 uses unique styling elements, including an accentuated, V-shaped hood; tall taillights; a dark, upright egg crate grille; and a cockpit-like forward profile. The 70/40-split tailgate provides a sporty look that adds to the overall design of the 2004 Volvo XC90.


The 2004 Volvo XC90 seats either five or seven people, depending on the addition of the third row. The seats in the second row have a 40/20/40-split, so they can be folded down when necessary. A seven-passenger configuration adds a child booster sliding mechanism to the second row. The optional third row comes with two separate seats that can also be folded.

Seats in front feel wide and comfortable, with lots of legroom and headroom. Memory settings come standard on the driver’s seat, and so does the manual tilt and telescopic steering wheel. The driver’s seat seems slightly elevated, which makes visibility good. Entry and exit for the front seats seems easy, but it gets difficult for the second row because of the narrow doors that do not open wide enough. The second row should hold three, but it actually suits two better. Three people find it difficult to enter and exit the vehicle, unless the occupants are children.

Performance & Handling

The 2004 Volvo XC90 can be fitted with a light-pressure, 2.5-liter, turbocharged five-cylinder, which generates 208 horsepower and mates with a five-speed automatic transmission. Another engine, a twin-turbo, 2.9-liter six-cylinder, delivers 268 horsepower to a four-speed automatic transmission. With the six-cylinder engine, the all-wheel-drive model goes from zero to 60 mph within 8.8 seconds. The 2.5-liter, five-cylinder engine completes the same feat in 9.2 seconds. This is as good as its competitors, even though the 2.5-liter engine struggles to keep up with acceleration demands on the highway, especially with lots of cargo inside.

The ride quality feels firm but comfortable, despite the fact that the 18-inch tires get a little jumpy around sharp turns and pavement breaks. In fact, the smooth and solid ride of the 2004 Volvo XC90 recalls that of a European sedan. Control feels precise, with the XC90 managing to twist and turn like a car even along winding roads. Steering response at low speeds might be slow and heavy, but it increases with speed. Nevertheless, the steering feels a bit numb at all times.


The Volvo XC90 comes with the company’s own Roll Stability Control system that uses a gyro-sensor. If the rollover risk runs high, it triggers the Dynamic Stability Traction Control. Inflatable side-curtain airbags are present across the full length. Overall, the 2004 Volvo XC90 provides one of the safest SUVs in its class.

EPA Fuel Economy

Volvo XC90 2.5T, 2.5-liter five-cylinder, automatic: 16/22 mpg city/highway
Volvo XC90 T6, 2.9-liter six-cylinder, automatic: 14/19 mpg city/highway

You'll Like

  • Lots of safety
  • Comfortable ride
  • Easy to drive
  • High-quality interior
  • Lots of cargo space

You Won't Like

  • Turbocharged V-6 not built for an SUV
  • Third-row seat makes the second row cramped

Sum Up

Sweden’s contribution to the luxury SUV market.

If You Like This Vehicle

  • Acura MDX
  • BMW X5
  • Infiniti FX35
  • Lexus RX330
  • Lincoln Aviator

See the New 2018 XC90.

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