2014 Volvo XC90 Review
While the 2014 Volvo XC90 has an excellent safety score, automotive critics say it falls short with an underpowered engine, cramped second- and third-row seats and confusing tech features.
The XC90 has a six-cylinder engine that reviewers say has weaker acceleration than other luxury midsize SUVs. A six-speed automatic transmission is standard, and automotive journalists write that it can lag during downshifts, but is otherwise smooth-shifting. The XC90 gets an EPA-estimated 16/25 mpg city/highway, which is subpar for the class. A few critics say the Volvo XC90 has lackluster handling due to noticeable body lean while turning and a numb steering system, which they say can make it hard to keep the Volvo XC90 moving in a straight line on the highway. However, others think that it corners well, with communicative steering and well-controlled body roll. Test drivers write that the XC90 has a numb brake pedal feel, which they think hurts driver confidence.
Test drivers say the Volvo XC90’s interior is well-built and features high-end materials. They think the front seats are some of the most supportive and comfortable in the class, but they write that the second- and third-row seats are small for a luxury midsize SUV. Cargo space is good for the class with the second and third rows folded, but critics note that there isn’t much space behind the third row. Some test drivers like that the XC90’s interior controls are intuitive, while others say that are poorly arranged. The 2014 Volvo XC90 comes standard with leather seats, an eight-speaker stereo, satellite radio, Bluetooth, a USB port, rear parking sensors and dual-zone automatic climate control. Optional features include heated front seats, an integrated booster seat in the center second-row seat, a backup camera, blind spot monitoring, an upgraded stereo system, a rear-seat entertainment system and a navigation system.
- "The 2014 Volvo XC90 remains a likable seven-passenger luxury crossover SUV, but it's one of the oldest models in its class and feels dated in key areas. We'd steer most consumers toward its more modern rivals, which offer fresher designs, newer features, better performance and higher fuel economy." -- Edmunds
- "If you need space for people and cargo, the XC90's diminutive cargo space with the 3rd-row seat in place won't impress you. Those who prefer lots of power to tow or just move quickly won't be impressed, either." -- Kelley Blue Book
- "Still, XC90 feels rather dated, with design quirks (like its oddball control setup) that are not present on more modern competitors. It's worth a look if Volvo's reputation for safety and surprisingly good warranty are high on your priority list, but there are better choices for the money when it comes to refinement and driving enjoyment." -- Consumer Guide (2013)
Other SUVs to Consider
Reviewers say the Acura MDX has a composed ride and a powerful V6 engine. The MDX also gets better fuel economy than the XC90 and it has more cargo space behind its third row.
The Lexus RX 350 doesn’t have a third-row seat, but it impresses critics with its attractive interior design and generous rear-seat legroom. Reviewers are also pleased with the RX 350’s smooth ride and refined V6 engine.
Details: 2014 Volvo XC90
The 2014 Volvo XC90 seats seven in three rows and comes in five trims, ranging from the base XC90 3.2 to the top-of-the-line XC90 R-Design Platinum. A 3.2-liter six-cylinder engine, a six-speed automatic transmission and front-wheel drive are standard, and all-wheel drive is optional. The Volvo XC90 hasn’t been fully redesigned since its debut in 2002, but it received significant updates in 2007. Since it sees no major changes for 2014, this overview uses applicable research and reviews from the 2007 through 2014 model years.