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A Closer View of the Volvo XC90

September 4th, 2013

consumer car reviewUntil 2003, Volvo did not offer an SUV option to the market. Teasers and concept cars were released throughout 2001 to allow the company to collect consumer car review information and further solidify the plan for the introduction of an SUV. By 2002, the Volvo XC90 was unveiled at the North American International Auto Show and was available for purchase by 2003.

Throughout the years, the Volvo XC90 has gotten some upgrades, tweaks and even a mild redesign that occurred in 2007. Unfortunately, the luxury SUV and crossover owners that contributed to our consumer car reviews reported that despite minor changes, there are still many improvements needed to make the Volvo XC90 competitive with leading luxury competitors.Volvo is beginning to realize that maintaining virtually the same design for the XC90 for ten years has not helped sales; the company reported that sales of the XC90 were down 21% in 2012 when compared to 2011.

Once the company’s best seller, Volvo is working to reinvent the vehicle. Last year, the company announced that an all-new, completely redesigned Volvo XC90 would be coming soon and is now expected in early 2015.

As it currently stands, the Volvo XC90 was given a low 3.3 out of 5 rating by our consumer car review panel. Nine out of the ten categories ranked by these testers received a Below Average rating. The exterior appearance of this automobile was the only feature that was rated Average. The feedback from our consumer car review panel has also been echoed by numerous media outlets, including Edmunds and Car Connection:

“Innovative safety features aside, the XC90 is merely adequate relative to the premium midsize SUV competition,” Edmunds writes.

“…the interior remains quite dated–and shows its age particularly in the lack of the thin “floating” central console and more minimalist look now found in all other Volvos,” states Car Connection.

Vital stats of the Volvo XC90:

  • 85.1 cu. ft. of cargo space
  • 7-passenger seating
  • 3.2L engine
  • 6 cylinder
  • Comes standard with front wheel drive, but has an optional upgrade to all wheel drive

Standard features that come with the Volvo XC90 3.2 or R-Design:

  • Flat-folding passenger seatconsumer car review
  • Power front seating, driver and passenger
  • Third row air conditioning
  • Power glass moonroof
  • Electronic climate control
  • Volvo On-Call Roadside Assistance
  • Immobilizer and theft-protection locks
  • Second-row child booster seat

If you’re looking to purchase a medium luxury SUV, there are plenty of options on the market. According to our consumer car reviewers, the Acura MDX was the leader in this segment. We will test a new MDX now arriving at Acura dealers later this fall.  Alternatively, those who aren’t looking to immediately purchase a vehicle can wait until the much-anticipated release of the second generation of the Volvo XC90 in 2015.

Are you in the process of purchasing a new vehicle? Check out our comparison tool to learn what our consumer car reviewers had to say about a variety of vehicles, including the Volvo XC90. With real consumer car review insights, we hope that you can make a more educated buying decision.