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.
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.
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 :-)
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.
After having a new baby, my wife and I went looking for a better SUV with 3rd row seating. We had looked at Land Rover LR3 and Lexus GX470 but we settled with the Volvo XC90. Besides the excellent safety features of XC90 that my wife had strongly leaned-on, it had better gas mileage 17 city-23 hiway, smartly engineered 3rd row seating setup/folddown, middle seat booster conversion feature, premium sound, wider screen DVD (8.5in), ULEV-2 engine, and a luxurious ride. This is an all-weather and light off-roading vehicle with luxury that is more fitting to a family. The way this SUV is built - it's a best buy for a reasonable price. But then there really is no price for safety for your family.