2006 Volvo XC90 Review

Pros & Cons

  • Safe as a bank vault, plush ride, solid performance from V8 model, feels smaller than it is, high-quality interior materials, ample cargo room.
  • Third-row seating takes up too much second-row space.
List Price Range
$2,999 - $7,990

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Edmunds' Expert Review

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.

Vehicle overview

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.

2006 Volvo XC90 models

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.

2006 Highlights

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.

Performance & mpg

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.

Safety

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.

Driving

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.

Interior

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.


Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the Used 2006 Volvo XC90.

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Most helpful consumer reviews

Good times with grandchildren
Dianne Syring,07/10/2005
2.5T 4dr SUV (2.5L 5cyl Turbo 5A)
I wanted safety features. As a grandmother of three that spends time with the children in the car. I love the built in toddler seat. Recently took a beach trip with 2 daughters and 3 grandchildren and we were all very comfortable and had plenty of room for gear.
Excellent Used Car Value
cjbluedevil06,12/16/2013
2.5T 4dr SUV (2.5L 5cyl Turbo 5A)
I purchased my XC90 2.5T in March of 2013 with 74K miles. 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 inputting information can be an annoyance. Update** 2016 It is now three years later and I will say that buying a used XC90 was a great decision. I now have 111K miles on my XC90 and I have been impressed with the reliability of the vehicle. I recently visited the Volvo dealership for regular scheduled maintenance (replacement of the timing belt and drive belt) and spent about $750 for that service. When the dealership completed the maintenance inspection during the visit, they were unable to find anything that needed to be replaced or repaired. They key to buying a used Volvo is to ensure you buy it from a Volvo dealer and research the maintenance history of the vehicle. Aside from buying tires and having oil changes, the most I have spent on the vehicle has been for the timing and drive belt service. I have not had a single issue. It is my hope that I am able to put 200,000 miles on my XC90. Once I am done with this one, I do plan on buying another XC90 or an XC60. When it comes to safety, reliability, and quality, I find it hard to beat. It is an excellent road trip vehicle and is the perfect size to accommodate passengers and cargo. I do wish the fuel economy was a little better, but I do have to keep in mind that for a 2006, it falls in the more fuel efficient range of most SUV's for that time. As a final note, if you are looking for a used XC90 for whatever reason, it is best to stay away from the T6 (2.9 liter I-6 cylinder turbo engine) variants made from 2003-2005 and the V8 engines. The 2.5T's (I-5 cylinder turbo engines) were discontinued in 2006 and did not suffer from the transmission issues of the T6 and V8 engines. The years 2007+ models with the 3.2 I-6 cylinder engines are also very reliable. I mentioned this in my review a three years ago, but it bears repeating since I can't stress it enough :-) 5/13/2019 Long Term Update Overall, my XC90 2.5T has continued to be reliable and I love it as much as I did when I first bought it. I am now at 136,900 miles to date. Additional repairs since my last update (written above three years ago) include a new alternator, one new motor mount, and new Variable Valve Timing Hubs (Expensive!!!). Overall the only expensive unexpected repair since buying the vehicle in 2013 has been the Varible Valve Timing Service. (I expected I would have to replace the alternator at some point). I would buy it all over again. The rest of the costs have been spent on maintenance (new gas cap, proactive replacement of my mass air-flow sensor, and Ignition coils, and cabin air filter, all which I replaced myself). Just as a note, I actually got my parents to buy a XC90, a 2005 2.5T with 80K miles a little over a year ago. My parents love! It has been consistently reliable. Mine is Front Wheel Drive and theirs is All Wheel Drive. If you are on the market for a used XC90, I would suggest skipping the AWD versions all together unless you absolutely need AWD. It is another point of maintenance that can become expensive and my parents started experiencing issues with their AWD. This is typical and not a surprise. Their vehicle is still reliable despite that issue. I intentionally selected a FWD version to eliminate that point of maintenance and I am happy I did! Even after 13+ years, I still get people who are so surprised my Volvo is the age that it is. I attribute that to it being in such great condition (paint, interior, leather, etc). When I took my vehicle into my new mechanic for the first time for an oil change he said “Wow! Your car looks brand new underneath!” And then when he put it out on his lot waiting for me to pick it up, two people stopped by his shop asking if my XC90 was for sale. :-) since he also sells vehicles.
xc90 work car
Richard Fryman,03/21/2016
2.5T 4dr SUV (2.5L 5cyl Turbo 5A)
I bought it mostly for work and trips to Florida. So far a great car, plenty of get up and go. The spacious interior and driver conforts were just what I was looking for. Now I have put 60K miles on it, I still very much like this car. A few Maintenance issues that took i care of myself but most people would have taken to a shop.( Struts,brakes,timing Belt And Plugs\coil Packs) At 156000 And Take It On Long Trips Frequently. Very Reliable And A Pleasure To Drive. Does Very Well In Snow.
not so sure about this car
Cleen,10/12/2010
2.5T 4dr SUV (2.5L 5cyl Turbo 5A)
Bought this car used from the local Volvo dealer. With only 38,000kms on it & half the price of a new one it seemed like a no brainer. It also came with the entertainment package & third row seating. I want to love this car. I think it is the best looking SUV out there. It handles beautifully it's unassuming & overall a great family vehicle. But. I can't get over how loud the engine is, and how poorly it accelerates. Go up a slight incline it sounds like the transmission is slipping. Coming down a decline, it does the same thing and clunks into gear. It really bothers me. I keep thinking it has transmission problems. Also, at 2500 rpm it revs really loud! It's being traded in for an LR4.

Safety

NHTSA Overall Rating

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    Driver5 / 5
    Passenger4 / 5
  • Side Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
  • Side Barrier Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    Driver5 / 5
    Passenger5 / 5
  • Combined Side Barrier & Pole Ratings
    Front SeatNot Rated
    Back SeatNot Rated
  • Rollover
    Rollover4 / 5
    Dynamic Test ResultNo Tip
    Risk Of RolloverNot Rated
IIHS Rating
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.
  • Side Impact Test
    Good
  • Roof Strength Test
    Not Tested
  • Rear Crash Protection / Head Restraint
    Good
  • IIHS Small Overlap Front Test
    Not Tested
  • Moderate Overlap Front Test
    Good

More about the 2006 Volvo XC90

Used 2006 Volvo XC90 Overview

The Used 2006 Volvo XC90 is offered in the following submodels: XC90 SUV. Available styles include 2.5T 4dr SUV (2.5L 5cyl Turbo 5A), V8 4dr SUV AWD (4.4L 8cyl 6A), and V8 Volvo Ocean Race Edition 4dr SUV AWD (4.4L 8cyl 6A).

What's a good price on a Used 2006 Volvo XC90?

Price comparisons for Used 2006 Volvo XC90 trim styles:

  • The Used 2006 Volvo XC90 2.5T is priced between $2,999 and$4,500 with odometer readings between 159080 and246663 miles.
  • The Used 2006 Volvo XC90 V8 is priced between $7,990 and$7,990 with odometer readings between 100706 and100706 miles.

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Which used 2006 Volvo XC90s are available in my area?

Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap new, used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 2006 Volvo XC90 for sale near. There are currently 3 used and CPO 2006 XC90s listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as $2,999 and mileage as low as 100706 miles. Simply research the type of car you're interested in and then select a used car from our massive database to find cheap prew-owned vehicles for sale near you. Once you have identified a used vehicle you're interested in, check the AutoCheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the Used 2006 Volvo XC90.

Can't find a used 2006 Volvo XC90s you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a used Volvo XC90 for sale - 4 great deals out of 10 listings starting at $16,445.

Find a used Volvo for sale - 9 great deals out of 17 listings starting at $24,212.

Find a used certified pre-owned Volvo XC90 for sale - 8 great deals out of 18 listings starting at $7,707.

Find a used certified pre-owned Volvo for sale - 10 great deals out of 10 listings starting at $21,646.

Should I lease or buy a 2006 Volvo XC90?

Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.

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