2017 Volvo XC90 Review

Type:

Pros & Cons

  • Elegant styling inside and out
  • Spacious second- and third-row seating for a midsize SUV
  • Many standard safety technology features
  • Precise handling that inspires confidence
  • Overly busy ride quality for a vehicle in its class
  • Comes up short on performance and real-world fuel economy
  • some of its standard touchscreen controls can be hard to use
  • Handling doesn't inspire much confidence when going around turns
List Price Range
$29,990 - $46,500

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Edmunds' Expert Review

Overall rating

Now in its second model year since being totally redesigned, the uncommonly elegant 2017 Volvo XC90 is the company’s flagship. It certainly looks the part of a premium crossover, with quietly assertive styling that promises to stand the test of time. It is Scandinavian design writ large inside and out; modern yet devoid of gimmickry; luxurious in its simplicity. Its cabin marries textures including matte-finish wood, metal, leather and even crystal. If there’s any doubt as to its luxury aspirations, the available 19-speaker Bowers & Wilkins sound system will put them to rest.

The XC90 takes a modern approach to its propulsion with a 316-horsepower four-cylinder engine that’s both turbocharged and supercharged. There’s also a plug-in hybrid variant that generates 400 horsepower and can travel up to 14 miles on battery power alone.

Its good looks are not only skin deep — the XC90 boasts a long list of safety and driver assistance features in its meticulously trimmed cabin. Frontal collision detection with automatic braking is standard, and it also applies the brakes when the driver attempts to turn in front of an oncoming car. Energy-absorbing seat cushions and self-tightening seat belts reduce potential spinal injuries if the vehicle careens off the road. For 2017, auto-steering has been been added to prevent a road departure in the first place. There’s also Pilot Assist II, new for 2017, which provides a semi-autonomous driving mode at speeds up to 80 mph.

Choices are plentiful in the premium crossover segment. The Acura MDX delivers a compelling combination of features, willing performance and precise handling. For those willing to go a bit more upmarket, the BMW X5 is a perennial front-runner that is additionally available with a frugal diesel engine. The Mercedes-Benz GLS-Class offers surprisingly ample cabin room and a third row that’s suitable for adults.

The 2017 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 front-crash mitigation. The new XC90 also debuts what Volvo calls Run-off Road Protection, whereby if the vehicle goes off the road, the seat belts automatically tighten up and the seat cushions absorb impact energy if the vehicle comes down hard on its suspension. The Volvo On Call service includes emergency assistance, remote door locking and unlocking, automatic collision notification and stolen vehicle location.

Safety options include a surround-view camera, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, lane departure warning and 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, which is a slightly longer-than-average distance for this class of crossover SUV. An XC90 T8 we tested did the same deed in 119 feet.

In Insurance Institute for Highway Safety testing, the 2016 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 head restraint (whiplash protection) tests and a top Superior score for its forward collision mitigation system's accident avoidance performance. Although the 2017 XC90 hasn’t been tested, we expect the same results because the vehicle is nearly identical to last year’s model.

2017 Volvo XC90 models

The 2017 Volvo XC90 is a four-passenger (T8 Excellence only), five-passenger (T5) or seven-passenger (T6 and T8) luxury crossover SUV that comes in four levels: base Momentum, sporty R-Design, plush Inscription and ultra-luxe Excellence. 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 largely common across T5, T6 and T8 variants.

Standard equipment on the Momentum includes 18-inch alloy wheels, adjustable drive modes, LED head- and foglights, automatic high beams, a panoramic sunroof, roof rails, a hands-free power tailgate, a rearview camera, rear parking sensors, lane departure warning, keyless entry and ignition, leatherette (premium vinyl) upholstery, 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 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, added interior illumination and power thigh support for the front seats.

The R-Design trim level features 20-inch alloy wheels, unique grille and exterior accents, a sport steering wheel with shift paddles, upgraded sport seats (with power thigh support), Apple CarPlay smartphone integration, leather upholstery, illuminated step plates, aluminum mesh cabin accents and the lighting upgrades from the T8 Momentum.

The XC90 Inscription (available on T6 and T8) 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, ventilated front seats with adjustable side bolsters, and rear side window shades.

Available only on the T8, the Excellence trim level turns the XC90 into a four-seat luxury limousine. In place of the rear bench seat, the Excellence adds two captain’s chairs with footrests, a rear center console with folding trays, a touchscreen controller, heated and cooled cupholders and two crystal glasses. All four seats in the Excellence come standard with ventilation, heat and massage functions. Additional upgrades include bright exterior trim, 21-inch wheels, extended leather upholstery, additional sound deadening and a refrigerator.

Options for the XC90 are mainly grouped into packages. The Momentum Plus package includes the adaptive headlights, illuminated step plates, added interior illumination and Apple CarPlay smartphone integration. The Vision package features power-folding and 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, Pilot Assist semi-autonomous driving mode, automated parking assist, adaptive cruise control, lane keeping assist and, in the cargo area, a grocery bag holder and a 12-volt power outlet.

The Luxury package (Inscription only) adds a suede headliner, leather grab handles and sun visors, and a massaging function to the fronts seats.

Individual option highlights (depending on trim level) include 20-, 21- or 22-inch wheels, an adaptive air suspension (with adaptive dampers), a head-up display, a built-in second-row child booster seat, and a 19-speaker Bowers & Wilkins premium audio system.

The 2017 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 with front- or all-wheel drive 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 an innovative 2.0-liter supercharged and turbocharged four-cylinder engine that pumps out 316 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque. All-wheel drive comes standard. Although Volvo claims the T6 will accelerate from zero to 60 mph in 6.6 seconds, its performance at Edmunds’ test track was a significantly more sluggish 7.4 seconds.

EPA-estimated fuel economy checks in at an impressive 22 mpg combined (20 city/25 highway). In our real-world testing, however, the XC90 struggled to match those estimates.

The XC90 T8 Plug-In Hybrid utilizes the same engine as the standard XC90 T6 along with an 87-hp electric motor. Total output is 400 hp and 472 lb-ft of torque. Volvo says the XC90 plug-in hybrid, with both power sources in play, will accelerate to 60 mph in 5.3 seconds. (We measured 5.5 seconds in our testing.) 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.

Driving

Although Volvo's latest four-cylinder engine has considerable power, the heavy weight of the XC90 makes it feel unimpressive. Its numbers are promising, but in real-world, day-to-day use, acceleration and refinement are lacking. Other rival crossovers feel notably snappier and more responsive when accelerating up to freeway speeds or passing a slow-moving vehicle. We haven't driven the XC90 with the base turbocharged engine, but we expect to find its 250 hp a bit meager for a vehicle of this size.

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 and nimble responses, feeling lighter than it really is.

Interior

With its spare design aesthetic and high-quality materials, the 2017 Volvo XC90’s cabin is undeniably handsome. Its matte-finish wood, genuine metal and even real carbon-fiber accents are pleasing to the eye and the touch, and its 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 the climate, radio and heated-seat controls can be inherently cumbersome to access quickly.

Front seat accommodations are comfortable and spacious, although tall drivers who slide the seat back might find their elbows hanging off the backs of the door and center armrests. The front seats provide exceptional long-haul comfort. Second-row passengers are treated similarly well and enjoy a healthy amount of legroom, although the third-row seats are best left to short trips or 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 youngster should note that Volvo's XC60 offers two of these integrated booster seats.

The XC90’s cargo capacity is ample. With all the seats up, there's 15.8 cubic feet of space available behind the third row. Fold the second- and third-row seats down and maximum capacity rises to 85.7 cubic feet. By either measure, these figures are at the top of the segment. The standard power tailgate includes a hands-free feature that opens the door when you wave your foot under the rear bumper.


Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 2017 Volvo XC90.

Trending topics in reviews

Most helpful consumer reviews

Really Nice Ride
Run_Forest_Run,12/12/2016
T6 Momentum 4dr SUV AWD (2.0L 4cyl Twincharger 8A)
I traded in my VW Touareg Executive, which I loved, for the Volvo. I looked at the Audi Q7, Jag F Pace, and Jeep Grand Cherokee. Lexus don't like the look. BWM, Range Rover, and Benz are not client friendly. I have had 2 X5's and a Super Charged Range Rover (the big boy) so I have driven them extensively. Volvo really out did themselves with the XC 90. The car is super quiet, has a nice ride, the 4 cylinder engine is surprisingly good, and the XC is loaded with technology. Mine has the stock sound system, which frankly is excellent, I wouldn't blow the $2,600 on the upgrade unless you really are a hardcore audiophile. The HUD option, which I would not have ordered, was in the stock vehicle they had, it is okay, but you can't see it with polarized sunglasses! So that seems stupid to me. The self drive mode cool, but likely won't use much, the lane departure nudging constantly is a bit of an annoyance, but I will give it time to get used to. Headlights are insanely bright. The Ipadish controls are a nice clean look, easy to use, and overall seems like a nice option compared to say the Audi's control system and their ridicules pop up screen. This is a high end Crossover. If it is not on the list to test drive and check out you're leaving out a great vehicle.
After early hiccups car is performing as expected
Doug Funston,02/04/2018
T8 Inscription Twin Engine Plug-In Hybrid 4dr SUV AWD (2.0L 4cyl Twincharger gas/electric hybrid 8A)
Mine is a virtually fully loaded T8 Inscription. It looks, rides and performs (when it works) beautifully. However, mine has been wrought with electrical/computer problems from the get/go. It routinely spits out warning lights on various systems from ESC, engine, 12 volt system. It has been in for repair (i.e not routine mtce) in one year more than my 2006 Mazda has been in its lifetime. I am in my 60's and have owned many vehicles and this one has generated more warning lights in its short life than ALL my other vehicles combined. Half the time software update is used by the dealer as the solution to my problems. They almost never know what the update is supposed to solve. My navigation system broke down on a cross country trip and required the dealer to reboot it. Even my Tom Tom can be rebooted manually by me. Finally replaced the module for the electric motor that drives the rear wheels claiming it was dragging down my 12 volt system and causing all these spurious computer generated warning lights. The car worked fine for a couple of months and then one day it was completely dead (12 Volt) wouldn't even unlock the car. Dealer claimed my less one year old 12 volt battery was faulty. It was replaced. So today 3 months later a new warning light "12 volt system service required" has illuminated. My issues electrically/computer are clearly still unresolved. I cannot recommend this vehicle for its poor reliability. Update August 2018. Recently my car has performed well. The issues with the 12 volt system while not resolved are now manageable. I have multiple vehicles and I am retired. I have discovered that this vehicle cannot sit for extended periods of time (a week?), or the 12 volt battery will drain. The car will either be completely dead or the 12 volt system drained to the point of bringing in computer generated erroneous fault alarms. This drain is due to the continuous high drain from the on board computer even when the car is not running. I can prevent this by ensuring the car is taken for a run every few days. I have also purchased a jump starter just in case. Update Feb 11 2019. Since I have managed to get my 12 volt system performing as expected , the car has performed extremely well.
Scandinavian test drive
Mark,10/30/2016
T8 Inscription Twin Engine Plug-In Hybrid 4dr SUV AWD (2.0L 4cyl Twincharger gas/electric hybrid 8A)
We picked up our XC90 in Gothenburg, Sweden in 2016. Volvo flew us over and back, picked us up at the airport, put us into a nice hotel, and provided a three course meal the day we arrived. After taking us to the factory , we met our new car. Our advisor went over the car with us. After a short test drive we had a Swedish meatball lunch followed by a factory tour. An amazing experience! We have had the car for three years now. It has been reliable with no mechanical issues. Using battery power for regular work commuting and hybrid mode for everything else I’m getting about 36 mpg. It flies effortlessly through out Colorado Mountains. Getting into the car at the end of a day of work is like a cocoon that just comfortably wraps around me. I find the Sensus touch screen easy to use and intuitive. Super happy with my first ever Volvo
Reserved Judgement
bigmountain,08/07/2017
T6 Momentum 4dr SUV AWD (2.0L 4cyl Twincharger 8A)
We bought this car in February after multiple generations of 4 different luxury SUV's my wife and I were tired of 'feeding the pig' at the gas pump. We travel probably 18 weekends a year so gas mileage is important to us, but so is capability for off-road and snow performance. We researched this purchase at length. This car is beyond innovative. The interior and exterior design feels like a $100,000 car, not a 60k car. Where this car shines: fuel economy, handling, long trips (the pilot assist feature is addicting), interior functionality, comfort, the Dynamic and Off Road driving modes are incredibly helpful when called upon. Where this car isnt great: ride, the ride is very busy and a little harsh which exposes some 'typical European car rattles' and will expose every Lego stuffed in a cupholder. This is a trade off to consider if you like the confidence of the handling on a backroad. The technology can be a little invasive at times when you are just out running errands, so you have to be willing to learn about it and use it properly or it will drive you mad. The only major complaint that I have with the car is the auto-stop-start feature which is way too overzealous to cut the engine off when you are at a quick 4-way stop or pausing to let someone pull out of a parking space. I am optimistic the software engineers will release a patch for this soon (hint-hint).

Features & Specs

See all Used 2017 Volvo XC90 features & specs

Safety

NHTSA Overall Rating

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
    Overall5 / 5
    Driver5 / 5
    Passenger5 / 5
  • Side Crash Rating
    Overall5 / 5
  • Side Barrier Rating
    Overall5 / 5
    Driver5 / 5
    Passenger5 / 5
  • Combined Side Barrier & Pole Ratings
    Front Seat5 / 5
    Back Seat5 / 5
  • Rollover
    RolloverNot Rated
    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
    Good
  • Rear Crash Protection / Head Restraint
    Good
  • IIHS Small Overlap Front Test
    Not Tested
  • Moderate Overlap Front Test
    Good

More about the 2017 Volvo XC90

Used 2017 Volvo XC90 Overview

The Used 2017 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), T8 Inscription Twin Engine Plug-In Hybrid 4dr SUV AWD (2.0L 4cyl Twincharger gas/electric hybrid 8A), T5 Momentum 4dr SUV (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 8A), T6 R-Design 4dr SUV AWD (2.0L 4cyl Twincharger 8A), T8 Excellence 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 T8 R-Design Twin Engine Plug-In Hybrid 4dr SUV AWD (2.0L 4cyl Twincharger gas/electric hybrid 8A).

What's a good price on a Used 2017 Volvo XC90?

Price comparisons for Used 2017 Volvo XC90 trim styles:

  • The Used 2017 Volvo XC90 T6 Momentum is priced between $29,990 and$42,900 with odometer readings between 4470 and78101 miles.
  • The Used 2017 Volvo XC90 T6 Inscription is priced between $34,888 and$46,500 with odometer readings between 20162 and62252 miles.
  • The Used 2017 Volvo XC90 T8 Inscription Twin Engine Plug-In Hybrid is priced between $43,500 and$43,995 with odometer readings between 27579 and49107 miles.
  • The Used 2017 Volvo XC90 T5 Momentum is priced between $38,052 and$38,052 with odometer readings between 26673 and26673 miles.
  • The Used 2017 Volvo XC90 T6 R-Design is priced between $40,598 and$40,598 with odometer readings between 47279 and47279 miles.
  • The Used 2017 Volvo XC90 T8 R-Design Twin Engine Plug-In Hybrid is priced between $43,950 and$43,950 with odometer readings between 37296 and37296 miles.

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Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap new, used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 2017 Volvo XC90 for sale near. There are currently 41 used and CPO 2017 XC90s listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as $29,990 and mileage as low as 4470 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 2017 Volvo XC90.

Can't find a used 2017 Volvo XC90s you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a used Volvo XC90 for sale - 7 great deals out of 8 listings starting at $20,909.

Find a used Volvo for sale - 2 great deals out of 6 listings starting at $10,386.

Find a used certified pre-owned Volvo XC90 for sale - 12 great deals out of 12 listings starting at $11,702.

Find a used certified pre-owned Volvo for sale - 10 great deals out of 13 listings starting at $9,246.

Should I lease or buy a 2017 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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