Volvo XC90 Interior
The consensus on the interior of the 2008 Volvo XC90 is that is it very comfortable and kid friendly, but not as luxurious as some others in its class.says, "The XC90 feels less luxurious inside than just plain solid."
The XC90 comes in either a two-row (five passengers) or three-row (seven passengers) configuration. Edmunds asserts that the standard five-passenger SUV "feels more utilitarian than most, even with the requisite leather and wood in its cabin. It's more luxurious than a workaday Ford Explorer, but alongside competitors like the Acura MDX, Audi Q7, BMW X5, Lexus RX 350/400h and Mercedes-Benz M-Class, the Volvo is noticeably less elegant."
The 2008 Volvo XC90 offers seating for five standard, but buyers can add a third-row seat, increasing the seating capacity to seven. Overall, the majority of reviewers find that the XC90 has comfortable seats. Cars.com says, "The front bucket seats are good, especially with adjustable lumbar support, and Volvo leather is some of the best around." Automobile.com adds, "It's hard to think of a more ergonomically sound cabin than the XC90's."
The second row, however, is a point of contention among auto writers. "With four six-foot-tall people aboard, the two passengers in the second-row seat will have their knees and shins contacting the front seatbacks, though there's plenty of foot room," says Cars.com. Road and Track, however, summarizes the majority view best: "Volvo has done a wonderful job of maximizing this vehicle's convenience as a people-hauler. Up to four adults and three children can easily travel in relative comfort." The middle section of the second-row seat also offers a feature that should be particularly appealing to parents: That middle seat can slide forward, bringing it closer to the front seats and making it an ideal place for a child in a safety seat. Moving the seat closer to the first row makes it easier for a parent riding shotgun to attend to a child's needs.
Although Volvo offers a third-row seat that is considered the most comfortable and safest in its class, most reviewers criticize it for being too cramped. Automotive.com states, "Not until the third row (optional) does the most voluminous of Volvos fail, due to legroom tight enough to push any adult's limbs inward in a pelvis-crushing fashion. Kids will survive with all organs intact, but suffer from a myopic worldview from the tall wall formed by the second row bench." MSN agrees, adding that it's "difficult to reach and best suited to several children." The third-row seat is standard on V8 models. Six-cylinder models must opt for the Versatility Package to add a third row.
The 2008 Volvo XC90 3.2-liter model comes with cloth seating, two-zone climate controls, and an eight-way power adjustable driver's seat. Though the base XC90 offers a high amount of comfort and entertainment features, options that take it into true luxury territory can quickly add up. Reviewers are all positive about the usability of the XC90's dash and controls, especially the radio controls. Buttons for preset stations are laid out like a telephone keypad. Automotive.com says, "In this age of impending hands-free cell phone laws, it's puzzling that no one has copied Volvo's phone-style keypad layout for the stereo, whose ten preset buttons are just great."
The V8 model comes with the same standard features as the 3.2-liter model but adds leather seating surfaces, a power moonroof, a power front passenger seat, an in-dash six-CD changer, and a 4x40-watt amplifier eight-speaker sound system. These features can be added to the 3.2 by choosing the optional premium package.
Stereo and Entertainment
The 2008 Volvo XC90 3.2-liter comes with a standard in-dash single-CD player with AM/FM radio, a 4x40-watt amplifier and eight speakers. The V8 models come standard with an in-dash six-CD changer that has the same number of speakers as the base model. Cars.com says "the stereo sounded terrific, and featured nine pre-sets for each radio band." CNET adds that "the stereo sounded like a premium system and offered lots of clever settings." There is a premium sound package available on the XC90; however, most reviewers felt that the base system worked just fine.
To keep the kids that XC90s are likely to transport happy there is an optional dual-screen rear entertainment system for watching DVDs. Forbes notes that having two screens in the rear is key to "double your passengers' pleasure."
A DVD-based navigation system is available as an option for the XC90. "The route guidance for this system is very good, and the simple interface is surprisingly usable. But the screen placement, popping up from the dash, is terrible as it gets hit by lots of glare," says CNET.
Reviewers all agree that thanks to lots of storage nooks and power outlets, the interior of the 2008 Volvo XC90 is very kid-friendly. Road and Track says, "The XC90's rear-seat compartments are less barebones than in many SUVs." Not only are the second- and third-row seats outfitted with cupholders and bins, but they also have separate climate controls.
Though reviewers may differ on the comfort of the second- and third-row seats, almost all agree that the XC90's interior offers great flexibility, particularly in seat arrangement and cargo capacity. U.S. News' Rick Newman says the XC90 "showcases outstanding use of interior space, packing all sorts of functionality into a package that's modest for an SUV." Consumer Guide, however, has a more negative view of cargo space, describing it as "limited behind the third row." But with all six passenger seats folded down, the XC90 offers 92.3 cubic feet of cargo space -- which is "more than its main competitors," according to Cars.com. Consumer Guide is still disappointed with interior storage, noting, "Many rivals have more small-item storage in the cabin."