in 2011 Luxury Midsize SUVs

Avg. Price Paid: $23,932 - $31,575
Original MSRP: $38,400 - $48,000
MPG: 16 City / 22 Hwy
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2011 Volvo XC90 Interior

This interior review was created when the car was new. Some links may no longer point to an active page.

The XC90's kid-friendly seven-passenger cabin is comfortable, although it’s not as luxurious as competitors. However, remember that the XC90 also costs less than many of these competitors – so it’s not surprising that the cabin isn’t as nice.

  • "The XC90's cabin was penned as Volvo was transitioning to its current sleek design aesthetic, and it has stood the test of time remarkably well. Materials are of almost uniformly high quality, and controls are stylish yet intuitive, though the XC90 lacks Volvo's trademark ‘waterfall' center stack that's available on the brand's newer vehicles." -- Edmunds
  • "The cabin is handsome and well assembled, but suffers from a few low-grade plastic panels." -- Consumer Guide.


The Volvo XC90 offers seating for seven with a standard third-row seat. Overall, reviewers find the seats comfortable, although most find the third row cramped for anyone but children. The rear seat comes with an integrated booster cushion that allows a child to sit high enough for both the seatbelt and head restraint to give proper protection.

Standard on the base model is a power driver’s seat with memory and a power passenger’s seat. Heated front seats are standard on V8 AWD models.

  • "In particular, [Volvo] is emphasizing the XC90's exclusive third-row seat, which enlarges passenger capacity to seven versus the XC60's five. We can't argue with that, but it's important to note that the XC90's third row compromises second-row legroom, so it's not all roses." -- Edmunds
  • "[The third row] bumps seating capacity to seven, but it's a tight squeeze in back. (Volvo recommends the third row for occupants 5 feet, 3 inches or shorter). A built-in child-safety seat in the second row adjusts forward up to 12 inches to keep children closer to adults up front.” -- Cars.com
  • "Room and comfort in the 2nd row is OK for two adults but not for three. Very tight passageways squeeze 3rd-row access except for small kids, who are best suited for the tight accommodations there anyway." -- Consumer Guide

Interior Features

Reviewers find the XC90’s cabin comfortable and the controls easy to use, but say the materials simply aren’t as refined as those of competitors. But the XC90’s affordable base price might make up for that shortcoming.

The base XC90 is surprisingly well-equipped for its price. It comes with electronic climate control, air conditioning vents and controls for the third row, a power glass sunroof, a tilt and telescopic steering wheel with cruise/audio controls, HD Radio, and a USB/iPod music interface. New for 2011 is standard Bluetooth.

The XC90 offers plenty of family-friendly options. A rear seat entertainment system with dual DVD players comes with two seven-inch LCD monitors and wireless headphones, so kids can watch two different DVDs at the same time. On the V8 AWD model, you can even get a specially designed refrigerator to keep your refreshments cold. Other options for all models include a portable navigation system, and Volvo’s DVD navigation system with real-time traffic.

  • "The stereo sounded like a premium system and offered lots of clever settings." -- CNET
  • "The cabin is handsome and well assembled, but suffers from a few low-grade plastic panels." -- Consumer Guide


Cargo capacity is a big plus for the XC90.  It provides 85.1 cubic feet with the back two rows folded down. That’s one of the best cargo areas in the class, and it beats out what more expensive competitors offer.

The XC90 has a dual split tailgate with a lower section that’s the same height as the load compartment floor. This makes loading easy and creates a stable platform that you can use to access cargo on the roof; it’s also a useful place to sit when you’re tailgating or waiting for soccer practice to end. Another nice standard feature is a pop-up grocery bag holder in the cargo area, complete with hooks and an elastic strap for securing your items.

  • "The large liftgate doesn't rise quite high enough to clear a six-footer's head, but teams with a short lower tailgate for easy loading. Cargo space is limited behind the 3rd row, but all rear seats fold easily to create a flat load deck and class-competitive volume. Many rivals have more small-item storage in the cabin." -- Consumer Guide

Next Steps: 2011 Volvo XC90

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