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2013 Volvo XC90

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2013 Volvo XC90 Review

Reviewed by Automotive on

The 3013 Volvo XC90 is one of the most dated designs in Volvo’s lineup, as well as one of the most dated designs in the luxury crossover sport utility vehicle segment. It is a competent vehicle that is aging well, but aging nonetheless, and is failing to keep pace with its competition. The Volvo has retained its original adequate performance capabilities, but these have been overtaken by its competition, which also manage to provide better gas mileage in their vehicles. It also does not provide as much cargo or passenger space, due to the outdated interior. Still, the XC90 provides a solid vehicle with a record of reliability and value behind it. The available R-Design iteration of the XC90 provides some upgrades that modernize the model.

New For 2013

The XC90 has received minor redesigns over the years, and nothing in the 2013 Volvo XC90 is a big deal either, just some very minor updates. These include:

  • Monotone paint scheme with body-color bumpers
  • LED running lights and taillights
  • Leather tailgate pull-down strap
  • Available redwood accents for the interior
  • Rain-sensing windshield wipers


The outside of the 2013 Volvo XC90 is clearly a sport utility vehicle, and there is a definite similarity with the rest of the Volvo family, especially with the front end, which looks like it could have been copied from any other Volvo. 18-inch wheels are standard, although the R-Design gets 19-inch alloy wheels, as well as updated xenon headlights and a few other minor touches. Other standard features on the XC90 are rain-sensing windshield wipers, headlight washers, a sunroof, roof rails, and heated mirrors.

Interior & Cargo

The interior of the 2013 Volvo XC90 is comfortable and stylish, with plenty of leg and head room in the front. The second and third rows are a little less spacious, and are a tighter squeeze for average adults than in many competitors. Also, the amount of cargo space is limited, extremely so with all the seats in the upright position. There is only 8.8 cubic feet behind the third row seat, which is about the equivalent of many compact cars. With the second and third row seats folded down, the XC90 suddenly has over 85 cubic feet of cargo space.

There are plenty of features and amenities inside of the 2013 Volvo XC90, although some of them are a bit outdated. The gauges, displays, and navigation systems all could use an update, as they are behind other Volvos as well as the competitors of the XC90. What you do get as standard equipment includes dual-zone climate control, cruise control, leather upholstery, and power adjustable front seats with memory settings and lumbar adjustment. Standard electronics are trip computers, CD sound system, satellite radio, and Bluetooth phone, and audio connectivity. The XC90 R-Design adds on some extra interior touches as well as different leather upholstery, updated gauges and a sport steering wheel. A Climate package gives the XC90 heated front seats and an interior air quality sensor, while a rear-seat video entertainment system can be added independently of any package.


Volvo has always been at the front of the line when it comes to safety. Much of what is looked at as common features today were pioneered and perfected by the company. The 2013 Volvo XC90 includes a great deal of standard safety features as well as accident prevention features. Included in these accident prevention features is stability control, traction control, anti-lock brakes with brake assist and electronic brake force distribution, roll-stability control, rollover mitigation, and rear park assist. All these prevention measures allow the driver to have a safe ride, with plenty of help from the systems to counter poor weather, poor roads, or poor driving habits. An additional available prevention feature is the Blind Spot Information System, which monitors the blind spots and alerts the driver when a vehicle enters those spots.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has given the Volvo the top rating of ""good"" for frontal-offset, side-impact and roof strength test, as well as for overall safety. The model has consistently been an IIHS Top Safety Pick, and this year is no different.

Driving Experience

The 3.2-liter, six cylinder power plant underneath the hood of the 2013 Volvo XC90 is adequate at best, and would do well with getting one of Volvo’s many turbocharged engines if the model is to stay around for a long while. The engine only puts out 240 horsepower and 236 lb-ft of torque, which places the XC90 in the lower range of the class. It’s not particularly sluggish, and cruises just fine, but the performance is not particularly inspiring and the towing capability is only a bit over 3900 pounds. In trying to tow that amount, the XC90 definitely has to work hard. The suspension provides a fairly smooth ride, but combined with the steering, it does not produce a very nimble vehicle. The R-Design adds a sport-tuned suspension and steering as well as a self-leveling rear suspension that gives the XC90 greater maneuverability, but merely brings it up to par with the standard models of many competitors.

Key Competitors For The 2013 Volvo XC90

  • Acura MDX
  • Volkswagen Touareg
  • Buick Enclave

See the New 2014 XC90.

Front & Driver Side View