2006 Volvo XC90 SUV Review | Edmunds.com

2006 Volvo XC90 SUV


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Volvo XC90 Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 4.4 L V 8-cylinder
  • Drivetrain All Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 6-speed Automatic
  • Horse Power 311 hp @ 5850 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 13/19 mpg
  • Bluetooth No
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats Yes

Review of the 2006 Volvo XC90

  • The 2006 Volvo XC90 is easy to drive and easy on the eyes. Volvo's first foray into the SUV arena has everything it needs to compete in the crowded midsize category.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Safe as a bank vault, plush ride, solid performance from V8 model, feels smaller than it is, high-quality interior materials, ample cargo room.

  • Cons

    Third-row seating takes up too much second-row space.

  • What's New for 2006

    The T6 model and its turbocharged inline six-cylinder engine have been deleted from the Volvo XC90 lineup for 2006. A new…

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

  Average Consumer Rating (95 total reviews)

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Excellent used car value

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Vehicle: 2006 Volvo XC90 2.5T 4dr SUV (2.5L 5cyl Turbo 5A)

I purchased my XC90 2.5T in March. It is the third Volvo that I have owned and is by far my favorite. I traded in my 2004 S60 to buy the XC90. Many people say that the 2.5T engine is underpowered, but I feel that its 208hp feels peppy and is perfectly matched to the transmission. The handling feels confident and the seats are very comfortable. As far as cargo spaces is concerned, I am pleased. Fuel economy is decent for a vehicle of its size. I average about 17 in town and 23-24 on the highway. The cabin is quiet and the interior is composed of high quality materials. My vehicle has the optional navigation system, which is nice, but inputing information can be an annoyance.

19 of 34 people found this review helpful

Don't buy a volvo

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Vehicle: 2006 Volvo XC90 V8 4dr SUV AWD (4.4L 8cyl 6A)

My XC-90 is horrible, front to back. Friends don’t let friends buy volvo’s. Treatment from the volvo dealerships in Houston is horrible, unless you are super rich, they will certainly hook you up, otherwise, bring your checkbook. You pay out the nose to own a volvo. My xc-90? 3 sets of wheel bearings burned out, the rear end went out, the fuel pump has already been replaced, the CURRENT check engine light issue will cost me $1,000, just put $1,500 into it to get the steering column to work again, the Houston dealership seriously jacked me over. you HAVE to take it to the dealership. They know they've got you by the throat. OBTW, my windshield leaks. Headlights fogged from inside. $500 each

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

Would never ever recommend or

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Vehicle: 2006 Volvo XC90 V8 4dr SUV AWD (4.4L 8cyl 6A)

Purchased a used 2006 Volvo XC90 AWD V8 a year ago, had 77K miles on it, but was in excellent condition and we thought very safe for our family. We didn't know it had a transmission that COULD NOT be repaired ONLY REPLACED. The Volvo dealership informed us that this particular transmission was not repairable. Unfortunately our warranty company wouldn't ok the replacement so we had to transfer the car to a transmission repair facility to try and rebuild it. They were able to get all the parts needed but 1 and Volvo wouldn't sell the 1 part that would fix our car. SO we had to purchase a USED transmission for $5,700.00 (new would have been $7,500).

Gas Mileage


  • 13
  • cty
  • 19
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs

Full 2006 Volvo XC90 Review

What's New for 2006

The T6 model and its turbocharged inline six-cylinder engine have been deleted from the Volvo XC90 lineup for 2006. A new computer-controlled all-wheel-drive system debuts as does a new optional 18-inch wheel design. New SAE testing procedures have dropped the horsepower rating on the V8 engine from 315 to 311. Midway through the model year, Volvo introduces a sailing-inspired Ocean Race Edition V8 model, which provides upgraded trim inside and out.


Safety is so ingrained into Volvo's image that it could offer a detachable sidecar made of cardboard for its vehicles and most customers probably wouldn't think twice about hopping in. This unassailable reputation for passenger protection is just one of the many reasons Volvo knew it could compete in the fiercely contested realm of the premium midsize SUV. This class includes some of the best-selling sport-utilities on the market, namely the MDX, X5, RX 330 and M-Class.

Like its competition, the Volvo XC90 is a car-based SUV designed to offer all the comforts of a luxury sedan in a package that's versatile enough to accommodate an active family. There's seating for up to seven, loads of cargo room and a sophisticated all-wheel-drive system designed to keep the XC90 headed in the right direction no matter how deep the snowdrifts get. As expected, the Volvo XC90 has an extensive list of protective measures to cocoon you and your family from harm, and it was the first to introduce some additional safety features that are only now finding their way into the competition. Most prominently, there is Roll Stability Control (RSC) that activates the DSTC (Dynamic Stability and Traction Control) to help prevent rollovers. And just in case there is a rollover, the roof of the XC90 is composed of Boron steel, which Volvo notes is four times stronger than conventional steel. Furthermore, its side curtain airbags extend all the way to the rear, rather than just covering the first two rows.

Safe, easy to get in, easy to maneuver, smooth on the highway or about town, the 2006 Volvo XC90 is hard not to like. With the addition of an optional V8 last year, the new Volvo SUV has also mitigated one of its few faults -- sluggish off-the-line performance. While it still doesn't have as much room in the second row as we would like, only the most discerning buyers are likely to be let down by its size.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The Volvo XC90 comes in two models, 2.5T and V8. The 2.5T comes with 17-inch alloy wheels, a power driver seat with memory, dual-zone automatic climate control, a CD player and 12 cupholders. A premium package adds leather upholstery, a moonroof, a power passenger seat, an in-dash CD changer and an auto-dimming mirror. In addition to this, the V8 model gets 18-inch wheels, body-colored door handles, aluminum interior trim and built-in, second-row child booster seats. Individual options include a DVD-based navigation system, bi-HID headlamps, parking sensors and a DVD entertainment system. A special Ocean Race Edition package is available on V8 models. It provides special blue paint, silver exterior moldings, upgraded leather upholstery and unique wood interior accents.

Powertrains and Performance

The 2.5T model comes with a turbocharged 208-horsepower, 2.5-liter inline five-cylinder mated to a five-speed automatic transmission. This engine is adequate around town, but once on the highway, you may wish for more power. The top-of-the-line V8 model gets a 4.4-liter V8 with 311 hp and a standard six-speed automatic for optimum performance. You can choose either front- (2WD) or all-wheel drive on 2.5Ts, while V8s come standard with AWD.


Standard safety features include a full menu of side airbags to protect the heads and torsos of outboard occupants in all three rows, seatbelt pre-tensioners in all seating positions and anti-whiplash seats. The XC90's standard Roll Stability Control system uses a gyro-sensor to calculate the SUV's roll speed and angle; if it's determined that a rollover is imminent, the stability control system is activated. In the event the vehicle does roll over, an inflatable curtain covers all three rows. Unlike most SUVs, the XC90 is equipped with a front crossmember that's compatible with a car's bumper height. In the event of a collision, this crossmember strikes the oncoming car's protective structure, activating its crumple zone to give the car's occupants maximum protection. The Volvo was named a "Best Pick" in IIHS frontal-offset crash testing. In government crash tests, the XC90 earned a perfect five stars in passenger- and driver-side impact and frontal driver protection, and four stars in rollover and frontal passenger protection.

Interior Design and Special Features

You can order the Volvo XC90 as a five- or seven-seater; in both variations, the second row (and third row if equipped) folds down to create a flat floor. The middle seat in the second row can be equipped with an integrated child booster cushion; in seven-seaters, the child seat slides forward, allowing for contact between parents and tykes. Legroom in the third row is better than in many competitors, although the second row is a little cramped as a result. Cargo capacity tops out at a generous 92 cubic feet.

Driving Impressions

The 2006 Volvo XC90 rides on the same underpinnings as most of Volvo's sedans. Appropriately, ride quality is soft and comfortable. It lacks the silky, fluid quality of the Lexus RX 330 and the quasi-sport sedan demeanor of a BMW X5, but like the Acura MDX, it offers an appealing compromise of comfort and handling that will satisfy most drivers.

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