The Volvo XC90 is a luxury crossover vehicle that offers safety, a smooth ride, sophisticated interior, and superior driving dynamics. There are three trim levels available. They are the XC90 3.2, XC90 3.2 R-Design, and the XC90 V-8. All-wheel drive is available on the 3.2 and 3.2 R-Design models, and it is standard on the V-8 model.
The third row in the XC90 cuts into the second row legroom, but it is there for drivers who need a third row, unlike the Lexus RX and Volkswagen Toureg. Neither of these competitors have third-row seating. The Volvo XC90 is high on style and safety. The second row has integrated booster seats and can be adjusted so that it’s closer to the front seats, making this an appealing car to families. The ride is smooth and not sporty for those who are looking for a more luxurious feel. Pet owners will like that the vehicle is ventilated all over.
Body Styles: crossover SUV
Engines: 3.2-liter inline six-cylinder, 4.4-liter V-8 engine
Transmissions: six-speed automatic transmission with manual control
Models: Volvo XC90 3.2, Volvo XC90 3.2 R-Design, Volvo XC90 V-8
New for this year are satellite radio and Bluetooth. The inline-six engine has five more horsepower, and all models have wrist-watch inspired instrument faces. The 2011 Volvo XC90 has more standard features than previous years.
The exterior is distinctively Volvo but has a more modern look with smoother body angles. Front fog lights, heated and powered mirrors, and power moon roof are all standard. Side mirrors and door handles are body colored, but the roof rails are silver. Alloy wheels in 18-inch, 19-inch and 20-inch are available. Also available are headlight washers and swiveling bi-xenon headlights. The V-8 model features twin dual exhaust pipes.
The Volvo XC90 has seating for five in the front two rows and a standard third row seat that makes the total capacity seven. The back row is a tight squeeze and Volvo recommends that it be used by passengers who are less than five foot and three inches. The second row seating built in booster seats and can be adjusted forward to keep second row passengers close to the first row.
There are 101 cubic feet of passenger space and 11.1 cubic feet of cargo space behind the third row of seating. Both rear seats and the front passenger seats can be folded down to provide the vehicle with 85.1 cubic feet of cargo space.
The Volvo XC90 has available leather and premium leather seating, as well as available wood or aluminum trim. Ventilated, heated, and massaging front seats are also available. Dual-zone climate control is standard. More interior options include a 12-speaker audio system, rear-seat entertainment system with dual screens, and an optional navigation system.
Performance & Handling
The 3.2 models have front-wheel drive standard and can be upgraded to all-wheel drive. The V-8 model has standard all-wheel drive. The XC90 3.2 and 3.2 R-Design have 3.2-liter inline-six engines that provide 236 lb-ft of torque and 240 horsepower. The V-8 model sports a 4.4-liter V-8 with 325 lb-ft of torque and 311 horsepower. All models have a six-speed automatic transmission that has manual shift selection.
The XC90 V-8 can make it from zero to 60 mph in 7.4 seconds, but the 3.2 models are not nearly as quick.
Safety features that are standard on the 2011 Volvo XC90 are anti-whiplash front seats, stability control, anti-lock brakes, full-length side curtains, and front seat side airbags.
The XC90 has Roll Stability Control that cuts torque and applies individual breaks to stop a rollover after it starts. A lower front cross member makes SUV to car impacts safer. Safety options include a blind spot warning system and windshield wipers that deflect rain.
EPA Fuel Economy
Volvo XC90 3.2:16/22 mpg city/highway
Volvo XC90 R-Design: 16/22 mpg city/highway
Volvo XC90 V-8: 14/21 mpg city/highway
- Smooth ride
- Supportive and comfortable front seats
- Upscale interior
You Won't Like
- Unimpressive base engine
- Reduced second row room due to third row
Sophisticated vehicle with upscale feel and smooth ride.
If You Like This Vehicle
- BMW X5
- Cadillac SRX
- Acura MDX