The Volvo XC90 is a midsize, luxury crossover SUV that went into production in 2003. The 2008 models underwent a moderate redesign, gaining a more powerful engine as well as a few improved safety features. Among consumers and industry experts, the Volvo XC90 is known best for its comfort and safety.
Body Styles: crossover SUV
Engines: 3.2-liter six-cylinder, 4.4-liter V-8
Transmissions: six-speed automatic with overdrive and auto-manual
Models: Volvo XC90 3.2 front-wheel drive, Volvo XC90 3.2 all-wheel drive, Volvo XC90 V-8 all-wheel drive, Volvo XC90 V-8 Sport all-wheel drive
The Volvo XC90 underwent a significant redesign for the 2007 model year. As such, changes for the 2008 models are more moderate. A couple of changes include a slightly improved engine that comes with an optional V-8, as well as improved safety technologies.
The 2008 Volvo XC90 boasts a smoother profile than many of Volvo’s other models, which are usually more boxy and plain. The XC90’s door handles and side mirrors are the same color as the body, and turn signals are incorporated into the side mirrors. The roof rails have black or aluminum trim. The body has a wide stance and sits high. The 3.2 models come with 17-inch wheels standard, the V-8 comes with 18-inch wheels standard, and the Sport V-8 has 19-inch wheels. The XC90 is available in many different finishes.
The XC90 seats up to five people in two rows, and an optional third row increases maximum occupancy to seven. Both back rows can be a tight fit for adults, and the optional third row is recommended for children or those under five-foot-three. It comes with a built-in child seat, which can be moved forward up to a foot. The rear seats and front passenger seat can fold down for increased cargo space.
Inside, the instrument panel and the dashboard have slanted and angular themes. Audio and cruise controls are located on the three-spoke steering wheel. A rearview camera that maps out the project path on the display panel is optional. It has chrome trim throughout the interior on various controls and knobs. An auto-dimming rearview mirror is standard. The V-8 model has additional wood trims available for the shifter, steering wheel and other areas. Leather seating is standard, and with the Executive Package, consumers get softer leather and upgraded floor mats.
Performance & Handling
The 3.2-liter, 235-hp six-cylinder can produce up to 236 lb-ft of torque while the 4.4-liter V-8 with 311-hp can produce up to 325 lb-ft of torque. When fully equipped, it has a maximum towing capacity of 4960 pounds. It offers a smooth ride and good acceleration and handles well in city driving and off road. Passengers will remain comfortable even on long trips.
The XC90 is one of the safest vehicles in its class. It has four-wheel-disc anti-lock brakes and electronic stability with Roll Stability Control, which can sense a possible rollover and adjust brakes individually while cutting torque. Side-impact and side curtain airbags are standard on all models for all three rows, and the side curtain airbags are specifically designed to remain deployed in the event of a rollover. While most vehicles only include pretensioners in the front seatbelts, the XC90 uses it in all seatbelts. It has Volvo’s Blind Spot Information System warning drivers of vehicles that may not be visible, and Xenon high-intensity lights that swivel around corners for a better view.
EPA Fuel Economy
Volvo XC90 3.2, 3.2 Special Edition: 14/20 mpg city/highway
Volvo XC90 V8, V8 Sport: 13/19 mpg city/highway
- More powerful engine
- Optional third row
- Cargo space
- Safety features
You Won't Like
- Maneuverability at slow speeds
- V-8 exhaust noise on the freeway
- Cabin materials
A versatile crossover with great safety features and a comfortable ride.
If You Like This Vehicle
- Audi Q7
- BMW X3
- Cadillac SRX