2013 Volvo XC90 Review

Pros & Cons

  • Upscale and stylish interior
  • supportive front seats
  • practical packaging and features
  • optional all-wheel drive
  • smooth ride.
  • Third-row seating cuts into second-row room
  • underwhelming power
  • antiquated navigation system is difficult to use.
List Price Range
$10,995 - $14,950

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Edmunds' Expert Review

Although the 2013 Volvo XC90 remains a fairly competent luxury crossover SUV, more modern rivals might prove more appealing.

Vehicle overview

Most folks looking for an SUV who appreciate Volvo's styling and comfort would likely be well-served by the brand's XC60 midsize crossover. However, those who need something with greater passenger and cargo capacities might want to consider the 2013 Volvo XC90. Though it is getting rather long in the tooth -- it debuted back in 2003 and hasn't had a major redesign since -- this roomy model has aged well and still has solid appeal with its combination of good looks, comfortable seating and strong reputation for safety. And there's even a sport-tuned version -- the R-Design -- to cater to those looking for a more involving, buttoned-down drive.

Still, there's no denying the XC90's considerable age in a few key areas. As the full-size crossover market has expanded considerably since its debut, the Volvo doesn't offer as much space within as the 2013 Buick Enclave and 2013 Ford Flex (although the Flex and the Ford Explorer are indeed based on this Volvo's architecture). It also lacks many of the advanced safety technologies available from its newer Volvo siblings, not to mention it soldiers on with an older and generally obtuse navigation system, and although adequate, the XC90's performance is lacking compared to more spirited rivals that also manage to offer better fuel economy.

As such, most of the Volvo XC90's more modern competitors are better all-around choices. In addition to the two mentioned earlier, there's also the 2012 Acura MDX, which is the closest in terms of size and price and beats the Volvo in terms of power, driving dynamics and features. If you don't need a third-row seat, the Lexus RX 350, Volkswagen Touareg and Volvo's own XC60 are other strong alternatives. However, if you're just looking for a Euro-style alternative to the pricey family-sized crossovers from Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz, then the 2013 Volvo XC90 still represents a solid choice.

2013 Volvo XC90 models

The 2013 Volvo XC90 is a seven-passenger luxury crossover SUV that comes in two different models: the 3.2 and the sportier R-Design.

The 3.2 includes 18-inch alloy wheels, foglamps, heated mirrors, headlight washers, rain-sensing windshield wipers, a sunroof, roof rails, rear privacy glass, rear parking sensors and keyless entry. Inside there's dual-zone automatic climate control, cruise control, leather upholstery, eight-way power front seats with driver-seat memory settings and lumbar adjustment, a fold-flat front passenger seat, 40/20/40-split second-row seats with a built-in center child booster seat, a 50/50-split third-row seat, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, a trip computer, Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity, and an eight-speaker sound system with a CD player, satellite radio, an auxiliary audio jack and an iPod/USB audio interface.

The 3.2 R-Design is identical, though it includes 19-inch alloy wheels, adaptive xenon headlights, sport-tuned suspension and steering, a self-leveling rear suspension, distinctive exterior and interior styling touches, unique leather upholstery, unique gauges and a sport steering wheel.

Opting for the Premier Plus package gets you adaptive xenon headlights (3.2), a rearview mirror-mounted compass, upgraded leather upholstery and redwood cabin accents. The Platinum package includes the contents of the Premier Plus and adds a navigation system, a rearview camera and a 12-speaker premium audio system. The Climate package contains heated front seats and an interior air quality sensor. Stand-alone options include a blind spot warning system and a rear-seat video entertainment system.

2013 Highlights

For 2013, the Volvo XC90 sees a mild refresh that brings a monotone paint scheme, LED running/taillights and headlight washers to the exterior. Inside the cabin, the updates include newly available redwood accents along with a handy leather pull-down strap for the tailgate.

Performance & mpg

All 2013 Volvo XC90 models are powered by a 3.2-liter inline-6 engine that puts out 240 horsepower and 236 pound-feet of torque. A six-speed automatic with manual shift control is the only transmission offered. Front-wheel drive is standard and all-wheel drive is available as an option. Properly equipped, the XC90 can tow up to 3,970 pounds.

According to Volvo, the XC90 will go from zero to 60 mph in 8.7 seconds, which is on the slow side for the class. EPA fuel economy estimates are just average for the category at 16 mpg city/23 mpg highway and 19 mpg combined for front-wheel-drive models, while all-wheel drive lowers the combined number to 18.


Standard safety features on the 2013 Volvo XC90 include antilock brakes, stability control, front-seat side-impact airbags, full-length side curtain airbags, anti-whiplash front seats and a handy child booster seat built into the second row. A blind-spot warning system is optional on all models, but the XC90 is not available with the multitude of advanced accident prevention technologies available on other Volvo models.

In crash tests conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, the XC90 earned the organization's top "Good" rating in the frontal-offset, side-impact and roof strength tests.


The 3.2-liter six-cylinder delivers only adequate acceleration; one of Volvo's turbocharged engines would certainly be welcome at least as an option. The standard comfort-oriented suspension should be just fine for most folks, though we have to admit we prefer the more confident handling offered by the R-Design's sport-tuned suspension. All in all, the 2013 Volvo XC90 feels more nimble than you'd expect a tall seven-passenger vehicle to be, and continues to drive quite well despite its advancing years.


Inside, the 2013 Volvo XC90 offers a passenger cabin that's stylish, comfortable and quiet. Front seats offer good support and a generous amount of room, but the second- and third-row seats are a little tighter than those on several competitors. A child booster seat built into the center section of the middle row slides forward to put young ones within easy reach of mom and dad, though Volvo's XC60 and XC70 are available with two booster seats. Gauges and controls are nicely arranged, but the latter aren't the most advanced. The navigation system included in the Platinum level is antiquated and relies on obtuse controls located behind the steering wheel or on a remote control. Most other Volvo models have a more advanced infotainment system.

The XC90's interior can also handle its share of cargo. Folding down the 40/20/40-split second-row and 50/50-split third-row seatbacks results in a flat load floor and 85.1 cubic feet of cargo room. This is pretty good for a luxury crossover, but larger three-row crossovers like the Buick Enclave and Ford Flex will hold much more. Another downside is the fact that there's just 8.8 cubic feet of space behind the third-row seat, which means carrying seven people and their luggage is unlikely unless you invest in a rooftop cargo carrier.

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the Used 2013 Volvo XC90.

Trending topics in reviews

Most helpful consumer reviews

My Second Volvo
3.2 4dr SUV (3.2L 6cyl 6A)
I love this SUV. Looks great, good gas mileage, comfortable. The Dealership is awful. I'm going to the other dealer.
Best vehicle for New England driving
3.2 R-Design 4dr SUV (3.2L 6cyl 6A)
Incredible in winter, goes through mounds of snow without a pause.
LOVE My New Volvo!
Christina Carter,05/10/2018
3.2 R-Design 4dr SUV (3.2L 6cyl 6A)
Beautiful car and very fun to drive! Lots of storage space even with third row up. Climate controls for all zones and a multitude of cup holders :-)
XC 90
Cliff Baseler,01/28/2016
3.2 4dr SUV (3.2L 6cyl 6A)
Electronics sometimes will malfunction. Bluetooth is not great at times. Park assist is not accurate most of the time.


NHTSA Overall Rating

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    DriverNot Rated
    PassengerNot Rated
  • Side Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
  • Side Barrier Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    DriverNot Rated
    PassengerNot Rated
  • Combined Side Barrier & Pole Ratings
    Front SeatNot Rated
    Back SeatNot Rated
  • Rollover
    Rollover4 / 5
    Dynamic Test ResultNo Tip
    Risk Of Rollover19.1%
IIHS Rating
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.
  • Side Impact Test
  • Roof Strength Test
  • Rear Crash Protection / Head Restraint
  • IIHS Small Overlap Front Test
    Not Tested
  • Moderate Overlap Front Test

More about the 2013 Volvo XC90

Used 2013 Volvo XC90 Overview

The Used 2013 Volvo XC90 is offered in the following submodels: XC90 SUV. Available styles include 3.2 4dr SUV (3.2L 6cyl 6A), and 3.2 R-Design 4dr SUV (3.2L 6cyl 6A). The Used 2013 Volvo XC90 comes with front wheel drive. Available transmissions include: 6-speed shiftable automatic. The Used 2013 Volvo XC90 comes with a 4 yr./ 50000 mi. basic warranty, a 4 yr./ unlimited mi. roadside warranty, and a 4 yr./ 50000 mi. powertrain warranty.

What's a good price on a Used 2013 Volvo XC90?

Price comparisons for Used 2013 Volvo XC90 trim styles:

  • The Used 2013 Volvo XC90 3.2 is priced between $10,995 and$14,950 with odometer readings between 94239 and181938 miles.

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Which used 2013 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) 2013 Volvo XC90 for sale near. There are currently 3 used and CPO 2013 XC90s listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as $10,995 and mileage as low as 94239 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 2013 Volvo XC90.

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Find a used Volvo XC90 for sale - 7 great deals out of 20 listings starting at $8,122.

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Should I lease or buy a 2013 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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