2016 Volvo XC90 Review
2016 Volvo XC90 Review
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Edmunds' Expert Review
by the Edmunds Experts
- Sharp new look and style
- spacious second- and third-row seating
- many standard safety technology features
- confident handling
- available hybrid model.
- Overly busy and firm ride quality
- base engine comes up short on performance and real-world fuel economy
- some touchscreen controls are hard to use.
The 2016 Volvo XC90 is fully redesigned with a new look, a new body structure and more efficient powertrains.
With new style, improved interior space and the latest in safety features, the three-row 2016 Volvo XC90 has been reborn into a pretty desirable luxury crossover SUV.
Calculate my fuel costs
Cost to DriveCost to drive estimates for the 2016 Volvo XC90 T6 Momentum 4dr SUV AWD (2.0L 4cyl Twincharger 8A) and comparison vehicles are based on 15,000 miles per year (with a mix of 55% city and 45% highway driving) and energy estimates of $3.96 per gallon for premium unleaded in Virginia.
Monthly estimates based on costs in Virginia
XC90 T6 Momentum
Avg. Large SUV
The 2016 Volvo XC90 marks the SUV's first comprehensive redesign since its debut in 2003. That made the outgoing version ancient by today's standards -- models typically visit the surgeon about every five years. Advanced safety and understated style have long been Volvo strengths, but the quick evolution and expansion of the large crossover SUV class meant that the old XC90 was no longer the hip, bulletproof icon it used to be.
The 2016 XC90, however, puts Volvo right back in the game. The more assertive styling, with its larger grille, aggressive lower air intakes and slimmer headlights, manages to be modern without losing its identity as a Volvo. A redesigned interior fuses leather, wood and even Swedish crystal glass for a cabin with a high-luxury feel, a theme further reinforced by an available Bowers & Wilkins audio system with 19 speakers.
The 2016 Volvo XC90's stunning exterior design sets it apart from other three-row crossovers.
Under the hood, the 2016 Volvo XC90 gets the company's new four-cylinder engine that is both supercharged and turbocharged. Making 316 horsepower in this application, it comes matched to an eight-speed automatic transmission. Volvo is also introducing a plug-in hybrid version based on the same engine that will make 400 hp, accelerate from zero to 60 mph in under 6 seconds and be able to cover 14 miles on electric power alone.
Of course, the XC90 showcases Volvo's latest safety advances. Frontal collision detection with automatic braking comes standard and now includes a feature that applies brakes when the driver attempts to turn in front of an oncoming car, such as at an intersection. Another subsystem employs shock-absorbing seat cushions and self-tightening seatbelts to reduce potential spinal injuries if the vehicle careens off the road.
Those shopping for a seven-passenger premium-brand crossover have plenty of choices. The Acura MDX is a top rival with its strong performance, sharp handling and plentiful high-end features. The same can be said of the BMW X5, which also offers a frugal diesel engine option. For a crossover with more room, check out the Mercedes-Benz GL-Class, which boasts exceptionally spacious interiors with adult-friendly third-row seats. But the 2016 Volvo XC90, reinvented and revitalized, is a worthy contender for the 2016 model year.
Performance & mpg
The 2016 Volvo XC90 T5 is powered by a turbocharged 2.0-liter engine that produces 250 hp and 258 pound-feet of torque. It is available in front- or all-wheel-drive guise and, like all XC90s, is paired to an eight-speed automatic transmission. Volvo estimates that it will accelerate from zero to 60 mph in 7.5 seconds in FWD form and 7.9 seconds with AWD. Both times are below average for an all-wheel-drive three-row luxury crossover.
EPA-estimated fuel economy stands at 24 mpg combined (22 city/26 highway), while AWD models ring in slightly lower at 23 mpg combined (22/25).
The Volvo XC90 T6 comes with a supercharged and turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that pumps out 316 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque. All-wheel drive comes standard. At the Edmunds test track, an XC90 T6 accelerated from zero to 60 mph in 6.3 seconds, which is about what we'd expect for this class of vehicle.
EPA-estimated fuel economy is better than average, though, at 22 mpg combined (20 city/25 highway). We validated these estimates by achieving overall fuel economy of 22.3 mpg on our 115-mile evaluation loop.
The XC90 T8 Plug-In Hybrid utilizes the same engine as the standard XC90 T6 along with an 87-hp electric motor fed by a 9.2-kWh battery pack. Total output is 400 hp and 472 lb-ft of torque. In Edmunds performance testing, an XC90 T8, with both power sources in play, sprinted from zero to 60 in 5.5 seconds. With a 240-volt charging station, fully recharging the pack takes only about 2.5 hours. Charging from a standard 120-volt wall outlet extends that time to about seven hours. The EPA estimates pure-electric range at 14 miles and 25 mpg combined when operating in standard hybrid mode, though we were unable to match the EPA mpg numbers in real-world driving.
The 2016 XC90 is offered with several different powertrains, from a turbocharged four-cylinder engine to a high-octane hybrid.
The 2016 Volvo XC90's standard safety features include antilock brakes, stability and traction control, front-seat side-impact airbags, full-length side curtain airbags and anti-whiplash front seats. Also standard are a rearview camera, frontal-collision warning (including pedestrian/cyclist protection) and automatic braking for frontal-crash mitigation. The new XC90 also debuts what Volvo calls Run-off Road Protection, whereby if the vehicle goes off the road, the seatbelts automatically tighten up, and the seat cushions absorb impact forces in the event that the vehicle come down hard on its suspension. The Volvo On Call service includes emergency assistance, remote door locking and unlocking, automatic collision notification and stolen vehicle locating.
Safety options include a surround-view camera, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, lane-departure warning and lane-departure intervention, and a child booster seat built into the center position of the second row.
In Edmunds testing, an XC90 T6 with the 21-inch wheels stopped from 60 mph in 124 feet, while a T8 with the same wheels and tires stopped in 119 feet. Both distances are slightly longer than average for this class of crossover SUV. A T6 R-Design with summer tires and 22-inch wheels stopped in an astounding a short 107 feet.
In government crash testing, the all-wheel- drive XC90 received five out of five stars for overall crash protection, with five stars for frontal-impact crash protection and five stars for side-crash protection. In Insurance Institute for Highway Safety testing, the XC90 earned a top score of Good" for its performance in the moderate-overlap and small-overlap front-impact tests. It also earned a Good score in the side-impact, roof strength and seat/head restraint (whiplash protection) tests and a top Superior score for its forward collision mitigation system's accident avoidance performance.
We have to give credit to Volvo for audacity. Drop a four-cylinder engine into a three-row luxury crossover SUV and then supercharge and turbocharge it? That's crazy talk! But the reality is that the XC90 might just be a little too big for its new engine. While the power specs are promising, actual acceleration is underwhelming. The XC90 isn't slow, necessarily, but some other rival crossovers feel notably snappier and more responsive when you're accelerating up to freeway speeds or passing a slow-moving vehicle. The fuel-saving stop-start feature is also disappointingly unrefined. At stop lights, it's overly quick to shut down the engine and tardy in turning it back on. We haven't driven the XC90 with the base turbocharged engine, but we expect to similarly find its 250 hp a bit meager for a vehicle of this size. On the other end of the spectrum is the T8 Hybrid. It's quick for sure, but real-world fuel economy suffers in our experience.
The XC90's suspension tuning is another mixed bag. On smooth pavement, the XC90 feels calm and controlled on its available air suspension. But over ruts, bumps and broken pavement, the vehicle delivers too many impacts and jitters to the occupants for a luxury SUV. We've only driven the XC90 with the big 21-inch wheels, but based on that experience, we recommend going with smaller wheels if possible to help smooth out the ride. Around turns, there's better news, as the XC90 inspires confidence with its planted character, feeling smaller and lighter than it really is.
The 2016 Volvo XC90 boasts a handsome cabin furnished with high-quality materials. A variety of cabin accents, including a few different kinds of genuine wood and even real carbon fiber, spiff things up while the controls are generally laid out in a logical and uncluttered manner. The 9-inch central touchscreen is oriented vertically rather than horizontally, which Volvo says allows for superior map viewing and menu structures. In usability testing, we found that the screen responded quickly to our inputs, but some features were difficult to access quickly, including the climate, radio and heated-seat controls.
The 9-inch touchscreen works and looks like a tablet. It's quick to respond to inputs, but oft-used functions are buried in menus.
Up front, the driver and passenger accommodations are roomy and comfortable, although tall drivers who slide the seat back may find their elbows hanging off the backs of the door and center armrests. Second-row seating is similarly comfy, thanks to an additional 2.4 inches of legroom compared with the previous XC90. The third row also has more room than before, but is still best left to smaller folks and children. The available child booster seat built into the center section of the 40/20/40-split second-row bench can be scooted forward to put its occupant within easy reach of parents. However, families with more than one little one should note that Volvo's XC60 and XC70 models offer two of these integrated booster seats.
The XC90 boasts a generous amount of cargo capacity. With all the seats up, there are 15.8 cubic feet available behind the third row. Fold the second- and third-row seats down and maximum capacity stands at 85.7 cubic feet. Both configurations provide capacity that's at the top of the segment. The standard power tailgate includes a "hands-free" feature that commences the opening process when you wave your foot under the rear bumper.
2016 Volvo XC90 models
The 2016 Volvo XC90 is a five-passenger (T5) or seven-passenger (T6 and T8) luxury crossover SUV that comes in three trim levels: base Momentum, sporty R-Design and plush Inscription. Regular XC90s are referred to as the T5 and T6, while the hybrid is called the T8 Twin Engine Plug-In Hybrid. The following standard and optional equipment is nearly identical for the T5, T6 and T8.
Standard equipment on the Momentum includes 18-inch alloy wheels, adjustable drive modes, LED foglights, heated mirrors, a panoramic sunroof, roof rails, automatic wipers, a hands-free power tailgate, a rearview camera, rear parking sensors, lane departure warning, keyless entry and ignition, dual-zone automatic climate control, leatherette (premium vinyl) upholstery, a digital gauge cluster display, eight-way power front seats (with power lumbar), driver memory settings, 40/20/40-split second-row seats (with individual slide and recline functions), a 50/50-split third-row seat and an auto-dimming rearview mirror. Technology features include a configurable digital gauge cluster display, a 9-inch central touchscreen, a navigation system, voice controls, Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity, smartphone app integration and a 10-speaker sound system with satellite radio, an auxiliary audio input jack and a USB port.
T6 and T8 Momentum models get 19-inch wheels, leather upholstery, heated front seats, third-row seating and four-zone automatic climate control. T8 Momentum models also receive LED adaptive headlights, LED running lights, added interior illumination and power thigh support for the front seats.
The R-Design additionally features 20-inch alloy wheels, automatic high-beam control, unique grille and exterior accents, a sport steering wheel with shift paddles, upgraded sport seats (with power thigh support), leather upholstery, illuminated step plates, aluminum mesh cabin accents and the lighting upgrades from the T8 Momentum.
The XC90 Inscription is similar to the R-Design, but features its own wheels and interior and exterior trim. It also has upgraded leather upholstery, heated front seats (T5), ventilated front seats with adjustable side bolsters and rear side window shades.
Options are mainly grouped into packages. The Momentum Plus package includes the LED headlights (with automatic high beams), LED running lights, illuminated step plates and added interior illumination. The Vision package features power-folding auto-dimming side mirrors, a surround-view parking camera system, blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert.
The Climate package includes a heated windshield and heated windshield washer nozzles and front- and second-row seats. It also adds a heated steering wheel for Momentum and Inscription models.
You can pick the Convenience package to add front parking sensors, automated parking assist, adaptive cruise control, lane-keeping assist and, in the cargo area, a grocery bag holder and a 12-volt power outlet.
Individual option highlights (depending on trim level) include 21- or 22-inch wheels, an adaptive air suspension (with adaptive dampers), a head-up display, a built-in second-row child booster seat, Apple CarPlay functionality and a 19-speaker Bowers & Wilkins premium audio system.
Read what other owners think about the Used 2016 Volvo XC90.
3.1 out of 5 stars
Most helpful consumer reviews
2 out of 5 stars
90K Long Term Review
Matt H., 10/09/2017
2016 Volvo XC90 T6 Inscription 4dr SUV AWD (2.0L 4cyl Twincharger 8A)
I've decided to completely rewrite my original review and update the rating from 5 stars to 2. The only reason I'm not giving it a 1 is for the excellent customer service from Volvo/Dealerships, and the design is still top-notch. We currently sit just over 110K miles on our 2016 Volvo XC90. It's fully loaded with everything available when purchased except the air suspension. We drove … off the lot with 3 miles on the odometer in 2015. Here's the good: - We still love the design. It's beautiful, inside and out. - The safety tech has saved us from multiple accidents. - Drives spectacularly in snow and rain. All-wheel-drive, skid control, and everything are some of the best. - Volvo's dealership and customer service are among the best in the industry. They always gave us loaner cars (sometimes for weeks), and Volvo went out of their way to cover us even when our warranty expired for minor and major issues. Up until the last problem we had with the turbocharger. They're unwilling to give us any discounts as we've run up a large tab at this point (more on that below). Customer service is one of the reasons we would buy another Volvo, but only after 2-3 years after a new model has been released. - Volvo on-call and emergency services are excellent. Here are the problems we've been dealing with since we purchased the vehicle. - The instrument cluster failed when driving down the road. Meaning we had no visual indication of what was happening in the vehicle. We immediately took it to the dealership. Dealership fixed under warranty. (2018) - The blinker assembly (sticks) stopped working while driving. Again, immediately took it to the dealership. Fixed under warranty. (2018) - The brakes constantly squeal with no way of fixing them. Just a bad design in general. You can't hear them inside the vehicle, but the dealership has done many pads and even rotor adjustments under warranty to try and fix it. I still have had the same issue since I bought it. (2015-2022) - The instrument cluster failed (yes...again) only this time it didn't render it inoperable, just malfunctioned. Fixed under warranty (2019) - We had a major coolant leak which rendered the vehicle inoperable. Towed to the dealership, covered under warranty. (2020) - Oxygen sensor went out (twice) Covered under warranty (2018, and 2020) - A major oil leak caused them to pull the entire engine out to fix it. It wasn't supposed to be covered under warranty (Our warranty has long expired) Volvo made a deal for us to only pay for the labor involved ($1500). The normal cost of the fix was in the thousands. (2020) - A control box at the top of the engine made the vehicle squeal like a bad engine belt. Out of Warranty. $120 to fix. (2021) - A supercharger seal went out and caused a check engine light. Out of Warranty. $1500 to fix. (2021) - The touch screen has just gotten slower over time, like a dying windows computer. It's now just super slow to boot up and sometimes lags when doing any commands. - Tires for this vehicle are EXPENSIVE. Only two manufacturers make the tires that fit the 21" wheels. Scorpion and Goodyear. Volvo techs admit that the tires suck and that due to a design issue, the back tires with Scorpions run down faster than the fronts. We've had two flats due to nails and replaced all 4 three times due to wear and tear. We'll be switching from Scorpion to Goodyear to try them out. - The keyless entry and other features are locked behind a $250 a year app. For the cost of the vehicle and maintenance, while the service has been worth it to us, it's too expensive. We only use it for the keyless entry in hot and extreme cold weather to warm or cool the vehicle. If you use the vehicle for business, it does include a built-in mileage tracker, which is nice. We have one of the earliest VIN numbers for the US models, and honestly, the thing has been nothing but trouble mechanically. Of course, the later vehicles have all been fixed. We felt like an early adopter of the new model and we definitely paid the price for that. Even Volvo and their techs admit that the first 2016 models with low VINs have constant problems and have told us to always wait two years before buying a new model (lesson learned). The cost of ownership for the 2016 model has not been worth it. We paid almost $80K for this vehicle, costing thousands more to service it and maintain it and went sometimes weeks and even. months without our car and a loaner vehicle while we waited on parts to fix it. A typical service costs $200-$300 for this vehicle after the initial warranty and free services run out. On top of that, it takes premium gas only, which means the cost to operate, and the cost to maintain it is super high all around. Do I love my Volvo? Yes. Is it a big piece of crap? Mechanically, yes. Unfortunately, I think I'd be writing a different review if I had bought one today. We just bought way too early on a vehicle that was built from scratch from the previous gens. My tip is to never buy a new model until two years after the vehicle has been out when the kinks have been worked out.
4 out of 5 stars
Great, after trouble with start was finally fixed
Hugo F, 05/20/2016
2016 Volvo XC90 T8 R-Design Twin Engine Plug-In Hybrid 4dr SUV AWD (2.0L 4cyl Twincharger gas/electric hybrid 8A)
Bit spoilt also having a tesla (hence the infotainment system seems slow and buggy compared to the tesla, even though it's miles ahead of typical cars) but the interior is really nice as is the lane follow and adaptive cruise. Very relaxing on long journeys. Update May 2017: we got the software update to "pilot assist 2" and this is a huge improvement over the v1 system. Long journeys … are now even more bearable! Had problems with the electric parking brake locking on, stranding my wife in the school parking lot. Volvo said the car needed to be towed to the dealer; I found a discussion thread and someone mentioned pulling the parking brake fuse to reset the system (open hood, look inside fusebox cover to identify the fuse, pull, leave a minute, replace, done) - this fixed the issue totally for us. Going to get the dealer to check for a firmware update for that component at the next service. Update May 2017: Have had several firmware updates, and tried switching the head unit SIM from the supplied AT&T to T-Mobile (easy job) but still we can't get pandora streaming reliably within 5 minutes of starting to drive. The touchscreen is infuriatingly slow and buggy, and the connectivity (not sure if it's 3G or LTE) is ridiculously slow even when showing full signal. Update May 2018: The touchscreen is still awful compared to a Tesla. Apps are essentially useless, and the 3G connection is still awful. The hybrid system failed last week too, thought the car remains fully drivable on gas. Waiting for a service slot for this to be diagnosed. Update November 2017: Have had 3+ occasions where the car won't start (well, turn on). Foot on brake, turn the on/off control and ... nothing. We worked out that getting out of the car, locking it, waiting a couple of minutes and trying again usually gets it to start but wtf, this is just ridiculous. The dealer managed to replicate it, but not fix the problem.... Update May 2018: Eventually, after many more service trips, the "car won't start" issue was found and addressed earlier this year. The car powers up both on hydraulic pressure (from pushing pedal) and also from a switch on the brake pedal... it turns out that, as the dealership traced the wires through, that the switch input to the ECU was not clicked into place. After this was fixed, we have not seen the issue again. Finally! Update May 2020: No issues since may 2018. Still very happy with comfort & performance. The touchscreen is still awful though... hopefully the next generation XC90 will address that. Update November 2020: Key fob batteries are mysteriously running out. Have to change them once a month, pretty much. Car still good though. Update December 2021: key fob better now (keeping the spare in a metal tin help preserve its battery). Sunroof no longer slides back (it only pops up to vent mode) and sun shade doesn't totally close but that's fairly minor as troubles go.
4 out of 5 stars
New Standard for SUV's
2016 Volvo XC90 T6 Momentum 4dr SUV AWD (2.0L 4cyl Twincharger 8A)
Very simply this is a great automobile. We had been a Jeep Grand Cherokee family for 20 years but needed a 3rd row. Base suspension is great. Very smooth and firm, which means it does not feel like a boat. Check your tire pressure when you first get the car. Ours had 45 psi which we found out it quite common as they overfill in Sweden so the tires do not flat spot in shipping. They … should check it before delivery but ours was missed. I think some of the rough ride comments are caused by this. After correcting this the ride is amazing. Seats are the best I have ever sat in with great lumbar adjustment. The power is fine. 316 horsepower from a 4 cylinder engine is amazing.
5 out of 5 stars
Who needs options
2016 Volvo XC90 T6 Momentum 4dr SUV AWD (2.0L 4cyl Twincharger 8A)
The base Momentum is a steal compared to the competition. The only option I ordered was a trailer hitch. The ride is smooth and quiet. The sound system is great. The seats are the most comfortable I have every experienced. So many optional items on other vehicles are standard such as heated, leather, power seats, huge moonroof, navigation and lots of safety features. We are getting 27 to … 28 MPG on the highway at 70 to 75 miles per hour in calm winds. I am not a fan of the auto start/stop function and I prefer the Dynamic driving mode which is very peppy in city driving and disables the start/stop function. I wish the car remembered the previous driving mode setting so you don't have to select it each time you start the car. I also would like to see a Home Link option for opening the garage door.
2016 Volvo XC90 videos
MARK TAKAHASHI: After 12 years, the Volvo XC90 finally receives a redesign. And they pulled out all the stops. Inside and out, this make over embodies classic Scandinavian design, with elegant simplicity and exquisite materials. It's a stunner in person, and joins an exclusive class of SUVs that just make you feel special. [MUSIC PLAYING] MARK TAKAHASHI: As you'd expect from Volvo, safety is a priority. A slew of advanced safety and semiautonomous features place it on the cutting edge of safety technology. Unfortunately, some of these systems can be overwhelmed by dense urban traffic, and tend to send false alarms on a regular basis. On the plus side, many of these systems are optional, and drivers can disable some of them on the fly. Nothing can be done about the wild distortions of the surround-view camera system. But it does still provide a decent idea of how close you are to most objects. Besides safety, usability is an important three-row SUV feature, and the XC90 gets high marks. The third row can comfortably accommodate passengers up to about 5 foot 6 inches, and there are plenty of thoughtful cargo touches too. The power life gate can be activated with a swipe of the foot under the bumper, and the vehicle height can be lowered for easier loading. A clever flip-up panel can also hold grocery bags with an elastic band and hooks. For most drivers, the XC90's performance should be adequate with a base T6 model that has a supercharged and turbocharged 2.0-liter and 4-cylinder engine. It makes an impressive 360 horsepower. But the size and weight of the XC90 dulls its response in this, compared to some rivals. And it doesn't sound particularly good on your hard acceleration. Later this year, a plug-in hybrid version, the T8, increases output to 400 horsepower for livelier performance. Even better, it's smart packaging won't sacrifice cargo or passenger space with its batteries. The downside is that it adds even more weight. We spent some time with the T6 range-topping Inscription trends, and were impressed by its emphasis on comfort and luxury. The orthopedist-designed front seats are some of the most comfortable at any price, and the surface treatments are a feast for the senses. The second and third row seats are slightly elevated for a stadium-like forward view, and there's also an optional integrated child booster seat. The centerpiece of the cockpit is a large touchscreen that controls nearly all of the car's systems, replacing most knobs and buttons. It has a steep learning curve, and new owners will want to spend some time getting used to the numerous menus. Just like the first time you used an iPad, operation will become second nature with similar swipe and pinch-to-zoom gesture commands. Pricing will start right around $50,000 for the base momentum trim, and climb to over $66,000 for a well-equipped Inscription T6 model. At first blush, this may seem expensive. But it's only about $7,000 more than an Acura MDX, and quite a bit less than a BMW X5. The plug-in hybrid T8 will start around $70,000, but doesn't include some available tax incentives. A tricky infotainment system and stiff ride are some of the low points. But with everything else taken into account the 2016, Volvo XC90 represents one of the best SUVs on the market for safety, comfort, and usability. With the abundance of luxury and sharp design, it's also one of the most desirable. Don't forget to leave a comment below, like our video, and also subscribe to see what's coming up next.
2016 Volvo XC90 Review
This 2016 Volvo XC90 video review includes information about its various trim levels, including the base Momentum, sporty R-Design and plush Inscription. We discuss fuel economy, performance, interior controls and quality, cargo space and its 3-row SUV competitors.
2016 Volvo XC90 SUV Features & Specs
- Base MSRP
- MPG & Fuel
- 22 City / 26 Hwy / 24 Combined
- Fuel Tank Capacity: 18.8 gal. capacity
- 5 seats
- Type: front wheel drive
- Transmission: 8-speed automatic
- Inline 4 cylinder
- Horsepower: 250 hp @ 5,500 rpm
- Torque: 258 lb-ft @ 1,500 rpm
- Basic Warranty
- 4 yr./ 50,000 mi.
- Length: 194.9 in. / Height: 69.9 in.
- Overall Width with Mirrors: 84.3 in.
- Curb Weight: 4,293 lbs.
- Cargo Capacity, All Seats In Place: 41.8 cu.ft.
NHTSA Overall Rating
The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
- Frontal Barrier Crash RatingOverall5 / 5Driver5 / 5Passenger5 / 5
- Side Crash RatingOverall5 / 5
- Side Barrier RatingOverall5 / 5Driver5 / 5Passenger5 / 5
- Combined Side Barrier & Pole RatingsFront Seat5 / 5Back Seat5 / 5
- RolloverRolloverNot RatedDynamic Test ResultNo TipRisk Of RolloverNot Rated
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.
- Side Impact TestGood
- Roof Strength TestGood
- Rear Crash Protection / Head RestraintGood
- IIHS Small Overlap Front TestNot Tested
- Moderate Overlap Front TestGood
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More about the 2016 Volvo XC90
More About This Model
After 12 years, the Volvo XC90 has finally gotten a full redesign. The three-row XC90 separates itself from the hugely competitive "I need a minivan but don't want a minivan" class with understated Scandinavian design inside and out, spacious second- and third-row seating, class-leading interior materials and an impressive array of safety features.
On the other side of the coin, the new XC90 suffers from a busy ride, and the new turbo- and supercharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder isn't always up to the task of moving an SUV of its size.
What Is It?
The 2016 Volvo XC90 is a three-row, seven-passenger luxury SUV that is available exclusively with all-wheel drive. The only available engine at launch is a 2.0-liter, turbo- and supercharged four-cylinder that comes in the T6 model. A hybrid T8 model that joins the lineup later uses the gas engine to drive the front wheels and an electric motor to power the rear wheels. The only transmission on either model is an eight-speed automatic.
Prices start at $49,895 for the base model T6 Momentum. Stepping up to the more luxurious T6 Inscription will set you back $55,495, while the similarly equipped but sportier R-Design starts at $53,895.
Our test vehicle was a top-trim T6 Inscription with a slew of options that add to an as-tested price of $66,855. Some of these options include the $1,600 Vision package (blind spot monitor, 360-degree camera) and the $1,950 Climate pack (head-up display, heated rear seats, heated steering wheel), and a further $1,800 for the Convenience package (park assist, adaptive cruise).
How Does the Four-Cylinder Engine Perform?
It's almost unheard of for an SUV the size of the XC90 to only offer a four-cylinder engine. The trick up its sleeve, however, is that this Volvo's four-cylinder uses both supercharging and turbocharging to deliver up to 316 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque.
Volvo estimates that this powertrain will be good for a 0-60 run in 6.1 seconds, but from the minute we got behind the wheel we doubted the claim. There's a decent tug from a dead stop but then power seems to vanish quickly. Track testing confirmed this, as our test vehicle's best 0-60-mph time was 7.4 seconds. And that was done by shifting the automatic manually through the gears in the vehicle's Performance mode. Keeping it in standard Drive mode netted a 0-60 time of 7.9 seconds. For reference, the Acura MDX takes only 6.5 seconds, while the Land Rover Discovery Sport takes 7.7 seconds.
As always, track numbers never tell the full story. This time, however, the story doesn't get better away from our coned-off asphalt. On an open road, with constant cruising speeds and little elevation, the four-cylinder is a peach, humming along quietly just above idle. For most of us, though, our real world involves hills, stop-and-go traffic and speed changes.
The gridlock of Los Angeles proved to be the Volvo's biggest hurdle. In normal Drive mode, the throttle is sluggish, and the Sport mode (which must be engaged manually every time you start the car) isn't much better. The fuel-saving stop-start feature is one of the roughest we've encountered, as it shuts off earlier than you expect and restarts later than you want. We're all for saving fuel, but this calibration needs a tune-up.
Hills are the next biggest challenge for the big Volvo and its small engine. Even with eight gears to pick from, the Volvo can never pick just one when confronted with a grade. It constantly switches between winding out lower gears and barely hanging on to higher gears. It's frustrating and not remedied by Manual mode, which times itself out. Using the Volvo's adaptive cruise on a highway grade resulted in a loss of up to 10 mph.
Lest you think it's all bad news, in steady-state cruising, the XC90 performs well. It'll accelerate from 30 to 55 mph like a champ and its engine noise is well concealed.
How Is the Ride Quality?
As with the powertrain, the XC90's ride quality varies considerably depending on the conditions. On smooth, sweeping roads, the XC90 is planted and confident. Throw a frost heave, pothole, patch of concrete or other road imperfection in there and the confidence disappears.
Equipped with optional 21-inch wheels, our XC90 test vehicle crashed over significant bumps and got jittery over the small ruts. Despite how cool they look, we just can't recommend 21-inch wheels and tires on this SUV.
No matter where you drive, one thing stays the same: This new Volvo drives smaller than it is. Unlike the Acura MDX, Audi Q7 or Mercedes GL, the XC90 feels tight and tidy on the road. It's only when you peek in the rearview and see all those headrests that you're reminded of how many rows this SUV has.
How Luxurious Is the Interior?
As good as it looks from the outside, the XC90's interior is even more impressive. The cabin is spacious on its own, but the impression of spaciousness is striking. Outward visibility is excellent, and the cabin feels open and airy. Materials quality is definitely up to luxury car standards, as attractive to the eye as it is to the touch.
The Inscription model's interior trim isn't just class-leading, it's class redefining. The matte finish wood trim is so elegantly assembled and richly textured that it reminds us of the wood paneling that's optional in the Rolls-Royce Wraith. The rest of the interior displays a similar level of construction and quality.
Dominating the dashboard is the new portrait-oriented 9-inch Sensus touchscreen. Volvo bundles most of the XC90's features into this tablet-like interface to support a clean, nearly button-free design. Operation of the Sensus screen is very similar to that of any tablet or smartphone, and just as with those devices, primary commands are intuitive, but it does require quite a bit of time to learn the ins and outs.
Once you've put in the time it takes to learn the ropes, the system is remarkably fast. It's not quite as fast as Google Maps on an iPad, but it's close. If we had our choice, we'd muddle some of this clean design with physical knobs/buttons for climate control and seat heating/ventilation.
Like the rest of the XC90, the front seats are all new and are a highlight of the vehicle. They feature a ton of adjustments including thigh support and lumbar, and should fit virtually any frame. The sliding-and-reclining second-row seats are wide, with plenty of legroom, and are suitable for actual adults for long periods of time. The second row also has an optional integrated child seat that leaves more room for additional passengers than a typical aftermarket seat.
The XC90's third-row seats are intended for occasional use. The average adult will be confined by a lack of headroom and legroom, but smaller passengers will fare just fine. Vents keep air circulating but there are no dedicated third-row climate controls. The second and third rows of seats are incrementally raised to create a theatre-like view outward, giving the impression of greater space.
How Much Cargo Space Is Available?
Up to 15.8 cubic feet of space are available behind the third row, including a handy under-floor storage bin. Fold those seats flat and that space expands to 41.8 cubes. With the second row stowed, the maximum capacity grows to 85.7 cubic feet. Among direct competitors, these figures are the most generous in the class.
In addition to raw space, the XC90 features an optional flip-up panel to secure shopping bags with a combination of an elastic strap and hooks for handles. The act of loading cargo is also simplified with a hands-free tailgate that senses a swipe of a foot under the rear bumper, opening the large hatch.
Furthermore, if equipped with the optional air-ride suspension, the liftover height can be lowered via buttons located just inside the tailgate.
What Safety Features Are Available?
All 2016 XC90 models feature autonomous braking with day or night pedestrian and cyclist detection, seatbelt pre-tensioners, collapsible seat mounts to reduce vertical impacts, lane departure warnings and emergency and convenience telematics.
Optional features further increase the safety quotient with rear collision alerts that flash the brake lights, blind spot warnings, cross-traffic alerts, a surround-view camera system, lane keeping assist and automated parallel and perpendicular parking. As of this writing, the 2016 Volvo XC90 has not been crash tested.
What Kind of Fuel Economy Can You Expect?
The Volvo XC90 T6 has an EPA estimated fuel economy rating of 22 mpg in combined driving (20 city/25 highway), making it one of the most fuel-efficient gasoline-powered vehicles in the class.
In our testing, we averaged 17.6 mpg. Our best tank came during our standardized 116-mile test loop that typically returns numbers close to a vehicle's highway rating. In this case, the XC90 only managed 22.3 mpg.
What Are Its Closest Competitors?
Acura MDX: The MDX undercuts the Volvo's base price, but when equally equipped, comes within a few grand of the Volvo. It comes up short in terms of cargo capacity, materials and design, and uses an easy-to-use, but outdated infotainment interface. On the plus side, it benefits from strong all-around performance, plenty of standard features and excellent safety scores.
Audi Q7: Even though a redesigned Q7 is on the horizon, the current model is still notable for its engaging handling, premium look and feel and efficient diesel engine. But its limited cargo capacity and mediocre fuel economy from the standard gasoline engine can't compete with the Volvo.
Land Rover Discovery Sport: Like the Volvo, the new Discovery Sport is powered by a four-cylinder motor and includes a bucket of active safety features and a self-parking system. The Land Rover's interior is less special, but easier to use.
Mercedes-Benz GL-Class: With a base price about $10,000 higher than the XC90's, the bigger Benz is only a fringe competitor to the Volvo, but it offers more space, a better ride and more competent engines, and it has better ergonomics.
Why Should You Consider It?
It's elegant on the outside, luxurious on the inside and features all the latest safety features you could ever want. It also has one of the most sophisticated touchscreen displays you'll find in any SUV.
Why Should You Think Twice?
Though competent for light duty, serious hills and abrupt merging can strain its small engine, and the suspension doesn't cope well with rough pavement. That touchscreen looks great, but it can take time to figure out.
The manufacturer provided Edmunds this vehicle for the purposes of evaluation.
Used 2016 Volvo XC90 Overview
The Used 2016 Volvo XC90 is offered in the following submodels: XC90 SUV, XC90 Hybrid. Available styles include T6 Momentum 4dr SUV AWD (2.0L 4cyl Twincharger 8A), T6 Inscription 4dr SUV AWD (2.0L 4cyl Twincharger 8A), T6 R-Design 4dr SUV AWD (2.0L 4cyl Twincharger 8A), T8 Inscription Twin Engine Plug-In Hybrid 4dr SUV AWD (2.0L 4cyl Twincharger gas/electric hybrid 8A), T5 Inscription 4dr SUV (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 8A), T6 First Edition 4dr SUV AWD (2.0L 4cyl Twincharger 8A), T5 Inscription 4dr SUV AWD (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 8A), T5 Momentum 4dr SUV AWD (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 8A), T5 Momentum 4dr SUV (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 8A), T8 R-Design Twin Engine Plug-In Hybrid 4dr SUV AWD (2.0L 4cyl Twincharger gas/electric hybrid 8A), T8 Momentum Twin Engine Plug-In Hybrid 4dr SUV AWD (2.0L 4cyl Twincharger gas/electric hybrid 8A), T5 R-Design 4dr SUV (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 8A), and T5 R-Design 4dr SUV AWD (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 8A). Pre-owned Volvo XC90 models are available with a 2.0 L-liter gas engine, with output up to 316 hp, depending on engine type. The Used 2016 Volvo XC90 comes with all wheel drive. Available transmissions include: 8-speed automatic.
What's a good price on a Used 2016 Volvo XC90?
Price comparisons for Used 2016 Volvo XC90 trim styles:
- The Used 2016 Volvo XC90 T6 Momentum is priced between $18,995 and$35,998 with odometer readings between 38783 and119039 miles.
- The Used 2016 Volvo XC90 T5 Momentum is priced between $19,900 and$28,998 with odometer readings between 52861 and95371 miles.
- The Used 2016 Volvo XC90 T6 Inscription is priced between $27,995 and$34,998 with odometer readings between 49717 and72845 miles.
- The Used 2016 Volvo XC90 T6 R-Design is priced between $28,998 and$36,998 with odometer readings between 48172 and74738 miles.
- The Used 2016 Volvo XC90 T8 Inscription Twin Engine Plug-In Hybrid is priced between $36,998 and$46,998 with odometer readings between 30327 and48058 miles.
Shop with Edmunds for perks and special offers on used cars, trucks, and SUVs near Ashburn, VA. Doing so could save you hundreds or thousands of dollars. Edmunds also provides consumer-driven dealership sales and service reviews to help you make informed decisions about what cars to buy and where to buy them.
Which used 2016 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) 2016 Volvo XC90 for sale near. There are currently 44 used and CPO 2016 XC90S listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as $18,995 and mileage as low as 30327 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 2016 Volvo XC90.
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Should I lease or buy a 2016 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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