The 2018 Volvo XC90 is a large luxury SUV that can accommodate four to seven passengers, depending on the seating configuration. It's available with either front- or all-wheel drive and as a plug-in hybrid. This generation of the XC90 came out in 2014, though it has received updates since then, including the addition of standard Android Auto and Apple CarPlay support this year. The XC90 possesses elegance in spades. From the extra-classy exterior styling to the impressively well-appointed interior, the XC90 exudes panache. It has all the fancy equipment you could hope for with a starting MSRP of $46,900, not including destination.
Beyond the good looks, this SUV has precise handling and a sense of stability. Its large interior hosts plenty of high-tech features and seating space. Our chief complaints are with the engines. The two non-hybrid options don't seem suited to this large and heavy vehicle, and their performance and fuel economy suffer as a result. The plug-in hybrid fares better, but it's pricey. And we've found all XC90s can have a rough ride over bumpy roads when fitted with the optional 20-inch or larger wheels. These flaws aren't fatal, but if this SUV is on your short list, we recommend a test drive.
If you find the design appealing, you'll likely accept the XC90's flaws. Few of its rivals can match its look and feel. The XC90 also has a larger interior than many of its competitors, and its advanced safety features make it an attractive choice for family duties. If you want a similar focus on design but a smoother ride and an engine better suited to big-SUV requirements, the Audi Q7 is worth a look. If you simply need to have a V8 or don't want the third row, the engine range and two-row interior of the costlier BMW X5 might serve you better.Compare similar vehicles
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The 2018 Volvo XC90's MSRP stretches far, depending on your needs and desires. The base Momentum trim asks $46,900 (excluding the $995 destination fee) and the sporty-looking R-Design costs $52,300. For these trims, opting for all-wheel drive adds $2,200. The more powerful T6 drivetrain, only available in all-wheel drive, begins at $54,050. The $59,150 Inscription trim starts with T6. Jumping to the T8 plug-in hybrid with all-wheel drive increases the price to $64,950, while the top-line, T8-only Excellence comes to $104,900.Compare XC90 versions
The XC90 is unique in that the price of its starting trim undercuts comparable German luxury SUVs, but its top-level plug-in hybrid luxury variant asks more than all of them. Sticking close to the base Momentum trim makes sense for most people because it lets you choose options you want and skip what you don't. Note that incentives and specials vary by brand and can play a significant role in what you'll end up paying for a new car.
Edmunds can help you find a great local price on a 2018 Volvo XC90. Check out our 2018 Volvo XC90 Pricing page for the latest exclusive offers in your area.View XC90 incentives and deals
If you want style and don't want to pick from one of the German luxury establishment's offerings, the XC90 is a strong choice. Though its safety features and exterior and interior design make it a front-runner, its firmer ride and somewhat pokey (or pricey) engine options can lessen the appeal. We give the XC90 an overall rating of 3.5 stars, which falls in the middle of the range for large luxury SUVs.
Both the Volvo XC90 and Audi Q7 are heavy hitters when it comes to style and design. The Audi's engines are as strong as the Volvo's, but they are less complicated and drive a bit more smoothly as a result. On the other hand, the XC90 offers better fuel economy across the board and is available as a plug-in hybrid. The Volvo's starting price undercuts the Audi's ($49,900 MSRP) by a little bit, too.Compare XC90 and Q7
The XC90 is larger than the X5 both inside and out, offering more cargo and seating space. Smaller families who don't need the extra space might appreciate that the X5's third row is optional, allowing them to skip it. You have more engine choices with the X5, from a similarly thrifty plug-in hybrid to an unequaled super high-performance variant. Alas, the X5 commands a higher starting MSRP: $56,950.Compare XC90 and X5
While the Acura MDX lacks the Volvo XC90's design pizazz and technology features, it makes up for it with competitive pricing, starting at $44,200, that carries on up through fully loaded trim levels. The XC90 has more non-hybrid engine choices, but they're only slightly more fuel-efficient. When it comes to hybrids, Acura's offering doesn't provide any EV range, but it costs less and matches the Volvo plug-in hybrid's combined fuel economy once its all-electric range is depleted.Compare XC90 and MDX
Most XC90s come with three rows and seating for seven. The exception is the Excellence trim, which only comes in a two-row, four-seats setup. The front seats in all XC90s feel exceptional, offering plenty of lateral support and tons of adjustment, including thigh support and multiple lumbar settings. The second-row seats slide and recline, adding comfort options for extra passengers. The interior feels large and spacious, with plenty of head- and legroom for occupants in the first and second rows. The third row is best suited for the little ones. A tall roof and wide door openings make getting in and out easy, as does the relatively low step-in height.
The outboard second-row seats have LATCH anchors and tether anchors on the seatbacks. The middle seat has only one tether anchor.XC90 safety ratings
Stepping into the XC90 reveals a class-leading interior in both design and quality. Excellent materials, from wood and silver trim to sleek speaker grilles and tight-stitched leather, give a strong impression that you're driving something valuable. The seating materials are top-notch, and you won't find a squeak, rattle or misstep. Thanks to the cabin's tall, two-box shape, the basics of accessibility, visibility and cargo space earn high marks. Alas, the gear selector looks a bit unusual, and the chrome trim around the center display can be too reflective on sunny days.
Even with the third row deployed, the XC90's rear storage area is a useful size, at 15.8 cubic feet. Fold all the seats down and you have access to a generous 85.7 cubic feet of space, which is one of the largest cargo areas you'll find in similarly sized luxury SUVs. There's also a handy optional feature that lowers the rear suspension, and consequently the load floor, at the push of a button. That makes it easier to load items.
Volvo's high-resolution entertainment system packs a lot a visual appeal and a unique, vertically styled design. On the flip side, this design introduces navigational logic that can be a little more difficult to understand than the systems in rival SUVs. But it's easy once you climb the learning curve and understand the system's quirks. Also, support for Android Auto and Apple CarPlay now comes standard, so you can rely on the operating system and voice control method you're already familiar with.
The XC90 is available with three different 2.0-liter four-cylinder engines that increase in both power and methods of power production. The turbocharged engine in the T5 is good for 250 horsepower. The T6 is both turbo- and supercharged, and it makes 316 hp. The T8 takes the turbo-supercharger combination from the T6 and adds a plug-in hybrid to the equation, upping output to a combined 400 hp. Each engine's numbers look strong, but the power delivery can sometimes feel uneven.
The base T5 engine with front-wheel drive received a 25 mpg combined (22 city/29 highway) rating from the EPA. Adding all-wheel drive reduces the combined and freeway government fuel ratings by 1 mpg, while the AWD-only T6 achieved a 23 mpg combined (20 city/27 highway) rating. The plug-in hybrid T8 boasts an EV range of 19 miles. After that, the EPA rates its combined consumption at 27 mpg. All XC90 models require premium fuel.
For a big, luxurious SUV, the XC90 offers surprising agility and control to its driver. Alas, the optional large-diameter wheels give this SUV a ride that can only be described as unsophisticated. When equipped with these wheels, the chassis lacks the finesse of its competitors, banging over small bumps and bouncing over the big ones. Still, the ride is well controlled after the initial bump harshness and on smooth pavement. Stick with the smaller wheels if you drive regularly on rough roads.
The XC90 has an off-road mode that activates hill descent control and increases ground clearance and steering assistance. There's also a low-speed launch control that helps you get moving on slippery surfaces. Despite these systems, the large wheels and low-profile tires on upgraded trim levels limit off-road performance somewhat, but the XC90 shouldn't have any trouble on the occasional unpaved road.
When properly equipped, front-wheel-drive XC90s can tow 4,000 pounds, while all-wheel-drive models, regardless of engine, can tow 5,000 pounds, which is a bit less than most luxury SUVs of this size. The maximum tongue weight is 400 pounds for front-wheel-drive models and 500 pounds for all-wheel-drive models. The maximum unbraked trailer load is 1,650 pounds.
The XC90 achieved an overall five-star crash rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and earned five-star results in front- and side-impact tests and a four-star rating in rollover testing. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety awarded the XC90 Good crashworthiness ratings for the driver-side small-overlap front-impact, moderate-overlap front-impact, side-impact, roof strength, and head restraints and seats (whiplash protection) tests. Its crash avoidance and mitigation systems achieved a Superior rating, and its headlights were rated Marginal.
The XC90 provides not only the usual array of safety features, — stability control, antilock brakes, daytime running lights, blind-spot monitoring, and an array of airbags (front, side, driver knee and three-row curtain) — but it also offers up an extensive suite of additional safety features. A forward collision warning system can apply the brakes to avoid or mitigate a crash, while a similar rear-facing system can tension the safety belts and apply the brakes if it senses an imminent crash. The vehicle applies its brakes automatically after an incident, and the brake pedal is designed to move out of the way in some instances to reduce the risk of leg and foot injury. A system even monitors the driver's inputs and recommends a break if it senses drowsiness.
The 2018 Volvo XC90 is available in four trim levels: Momentum, R-Design, Inscription and Excellence. The base Momentum trim level comes with plenty of standard equipment, such as a rearview camera, lane departure warning and an impressive 9-inch touchscreen. The R-Design gives the SUV a sportier look with 20-inch wheels and different exterior finishes, while the Inscription and Excellence are more luxury-focused, adding equipment such as ventilated front seats and an adaptive air suspension.
If you're looking for a good balance of luxury feature content, performance and starting price, the XC90 Momentum is our choice. It stays with the smaller wheels, which provide a smoother ride versus the upsized wheels in pricier trims. And the Momentum also gets plenty of the top-trim level equipment such as four-zone automatic climate control, adaptive headlights and heated front seats.
This starting trim includes 18-inch wheels, LED headlights, a panoramic sunroof, a power tailgate, a rearview camera, rear parking sensors, lane departure warning, keyless entry and ignition, premium vinyl upholstery, eight-way power front seats (with power lumbar adjustment), driver-seat 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.
Upgrading to the R-Design trim gets you 20-inch wheels, trim-specific grille and exterior accents, a sport steering wheel with shift paddles, upgraded sport seats (with power thigh support), leather upholstery, illuminated step plates and aluminum mesh cabin accents.
The Inscription trim is similar to R-Design, but it features different exterior and interior design features, including trim-specific, 10-spoke 20-inch wheels. It also has upgraded leather upholstery, heated front seats, ventilated front seats with adjustable side bolsters, and rear side window shades.
The big jump up to Excellence nearly transforms the XC90 into a four-seat luxury limousine. In place of the rear bench seat, there are two captain's chairs with footrests, a rear center console with folding trays, a touchscreen controller, heated and cooled cupholders, two crystal glasses and even a refrigerator. All four seats in the Excellence come standard with ventilation, heat and massage functions.
Volvo's basic and powertrain warranties cover four years or 50,000 miles, while the corrosion warranty lasts 12 years with no mileage restriction. Volvo includes the first three service intervals over a three-year/36,000-mile period and offers prepaid maintenance plans for up to 100,000 miles. Roadside assistance coverage lasts four years.
If you're ready to buy, you're probably wondering about Volvo XC90's resale value. How much will a 2018 Volvo XC90 be worth in two years or five years — or whenever you decide to sell? Check out the Edmunds True Cost to Own (TCO) calculator. It includes projected annual depreciation over the first five years of ownership based on Edmunds' robust market transaction data.
Volvo assembles the XC90 in Gothenburg, Sweden. According to the U.S. government, 50 percent of its parts come from Sweden, and just 1 percent of its parts come from the U.S. or Canada.
|EPA Est. MPG||23|
|Drive Train||All Wheel Drive|
|Passenger Volume||119.6 cu ft|
|Curb Weight||4627 lbs|