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Volvo XC90 Review

The 2016 Volvo XC90 ranks 1 out of 18 Luxury Midsize SUVs. This ranking is based on our analysis of published reviews and test drives of the Volvo XC90, as well as reliability and safety data.

The 2016 Volvo XC90 is ranked:

The redesigned 2016 Volvo XC90 offers a powerful engine, a composed ride and has one of the most luxurious and comfortable interiors in the class, reviewers agree.

Powering the fully redesigned 2016 Volvo XC90 is a turbocharged and supercharged four-cylinder engine, which reviewers say is plenty strong and delivers quick acceleration. The new Volvo XC90 T8 is a plug-in hybrid model that comes with the same engine paired to an electric motor, and auto writers say it has even more power than base models. An eight-speed automatic transmission is standard, and test drivers say it provides quick, smooth shifts. According to the EPA, the Volvo XC90 gets up to 20/25 mpg city/highway, which is excellent for the class. Test drivers agree that the 2016 XC90 feels stable around corners, exhibiting minimal body lean. They also like its responsive steering, which they say offers good road feedback. Additionally, reviewers report that the XC90's brakes are strong in both gas and hybrid models.

Reviewers say the 2016 Volvo XC90's handsome cabin is quiet and features an abundance of top-notch materials, including premium leather and real wood trim that create an exceptionally pleasant environment. Its front seats offer outstanding comfort, according to most reviewers, and there's good room for adults in the second row. The third row also has ample space for adults, critics say, which is rare for the class. Standard features include a 10-speaker stereo, a 9-inch touch-screen display, automatic emergency braking assist, lane departure warning, push-button start, Bluetooth, Apple CarPlay iPhone integration, a USB port, a rearview camera, rear parking sensors, a Sensus infotainment system, satellite radio, quad-zone climate control and a panoramic sunroof. A 19-speaker Bowers & Wilkins sound system, navigation, a 360-degree surround view camera system, a heated windshield, adaptive cruise control, lane keep assist, rear collision warning and blind spot monitoring with rear cross traffic alert are optional. Auto writers praise the Volvo XC90's easy-to-use infotainment system, and compare it to smartphone displays. They report that it's quick to respond to user inputs and think it is one of the best systems on the market. With 85.7 cubic feet of overall room, the XC90 has one of the largest cargo capacities in the class. Reviewers appreciate helpful cargo features like a standard hands-free liftgate and optional air springs that can adjust the liftover height with the push of a button.

  • "Even still, my read is that the XC90 is more desirable on a total level than its competitors on both ends of the price spectrum. The combination of fun-but-laid-back driving style, impeccable interior decoration and quirky looks really set it apart from lux seven-seaters from all corners, and should suit a wide variety of in-segment shoppers." -- Autoblog
  • "Buyers seeking a contemporary, comfortable and richly appointed 7-seat AWD vehicle that also delivers outstanding fuel economy, exceptional comfort and world-class safety will find much to like in the new Volvo XC90." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "The 2016 Volvo XC90 T6 thoroughly checks the boxes for its segment -- comfortable, versatile, roomy -- but does so in distinctive fashion. It proves that the Chinese-owned but still very Swedish automaker can measure up to tough European competition." -- Automobile Magazine
  • "The 2016 Volvo XC90 sets itself apart from other three-row SUVs with distinctive Scandinavian design, cutting-edge technology and a fanatical focus on safety." -- Edmunds
  • "This new 2016 Volvo XC90 really is a worthy successor to the name. Like the original, it advances the brand's design markedly, it introduces all-new technology to the industry, it drives and performs well, and it comes at just the right time for the brand. It's not wildly charismatic like some sporty crossovers and SUVs but rather like an old friend that's always there for you, even before you know you need them. If it's not equally as popular as the original - or more so - it'll be a shame." -- Motor Trend

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Other SUVs to Consider

The Acura MDX earns better fuel economy than the XC90, and it offers good cargo space compared to some rivals. Reviewers say its V6 engine is powerful, and they appreciate its roomy seats and premium cabin materials.

The five-seat Lexus RX 350 has a well-constructed cabin composed of high-quality materials, reviewers say. They also like its roomy rear seats and cushioned ride. Additionally, the RX 350 has one of the largest cargo holds in the class.

Compare the XC90, MDX and RX 350 »

Details: 2016 Volvo XC90

The 2016 Volvo XC90 seats seven in three rows and comes standard with all-wheel drive. A 2.0-liter turbocharged and supercharged four-cylinder engine is standard and is mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission. Three trims are available: T6 AWD Momentum, T6 AWD R-Design and T6 AWD Inscription. A new T8 plug-in hybrid model is also available. The Volvo XC90 is fully redesigned for the 2016 model year.

See 2016 Volvo XC90 specs »

Review Last Updated: 6/1/15

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