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Volvo XC90 Review

Volvo XC90
Volvo XC90
Volvo XC90
Volvo XC90
Volvo XC90
Volvo XC90
Volvo XC90
Volvo XC90
Volvo XC90
Volvo XC90
Volvo XC90

1/10

Volvo XC90

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Volvo XC90

3/10

Volvo XC90

4/10

Volvo XC90

5/10

Volvo XC90

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Volvo XC90

7/10

Volvo XC90

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Volvo XC90

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Volvo XC90

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1 / 10

heycar review

      Launch year
      2015
      Body type
      SUV
      Fuel type
      Petrol, Diesel, PHEV
heycar editorial team

Written by

heycar editorial team

00/10
heycar rating
A stylish, high-quality SUV

Best bits

  • Modern design that’s like nothing else in the class
  • Hugely practical, even for a large family
  • Loads of luxury and safety kit as standard

Not so great

  • Not quite as good to drive as its best rivals
  • Not quite as posh inside, either
  • You’ll need a few quid to buy one

Read by

Volvo XC90 Front Side View

Overall verdict

Volvo XC90 Front Interior

On the inside

Volvo XC90 Front View

Driving

Volvo XC90 Rear View

How much does it cost to run

Volvo XC90 Left Side View

Prices, versions and specification

Overall verdict

"It’s no exaggeration to say that the first Volvo XC90 was a complete game-changer for luxury 4x4s. Here was a car that could carry seven people - and a shedload of their stuff - in safety, comfort, luxury and style, making it a godsend for well-to-do families whose ranks had spiralled as quickly as their income."

Volvo XC90 Front Side View

Back then, however, the XC90 was the exception rather than the rule, making it a bit different from the norm. These days, prestige seven-seat SUVs are absolutely everywhere - fuelled mainly by the sales success of the first XC90, it could be argued - so it takes something really special to stand out from the crowd. And yet, the latest XC90 still manages to offer a little something different to the countless others with which it competes, something that many buyers will find very appealing indeed.


The car’s main trump card is its style. Inside and out, this thing looks the absolute business. The design is clean, modern and mostly simple, with a few flourishes thrown in. The effect is that it looks and feels very distinct from its competitors, which is very important in such a crowded marketplace. Even more importantly, it also makes the Volvo every bit as desirable as any of its premium-badged rivals.


The big Volvo has also most of its rivals beaten on the other super-important area for a big SUV: practicality. It has seven fiendishly clever seats as standard, more space than most rivals and an enormous boot. All that in a cabin that’s stuffed with luxury equipment and lavishly appointed. Not quite as lavishly as its very best rivals, admittedly, but really not far off.


On the road, meanwhile, the XC90 has what it takes to live with most of its rivals. It’s a very easy-going car to drive, concentrating on wafting its occupants along in comfort and tranquility, rather than trying to provide any excitement, and it’s all the better for it. When the road turns twisty, mind you, there’s enough control to keep things feeling stable and assured. Not the finest car of its type on either ride or handling, but it delivers a good balance of abilities nonetheless.


An automatic gearbox, four-wheel drive and hill descent control are all provided as standard across the board, but don’t go thinking that this is an off-roading SUV. This is a car designed to tackle school runs, rather than green lanes. A range of petrol and diesel engines is available, but the most desirable version for many will be the T8 plug-in hybrid variant thanks to its scarcely believable mix of performance and economy, although you'll need somewhere to charge it to get the best from it.


And, being a Volvo, you can always have ultimate confidence in the safety of the car. The Swedish firm’s peerless knowledge in this area, and the vast amount of safety equipment squeezed into the XC90, make it one of the safest cars in the class, critically important in any car designed to ferry lots of people around.


Overall, the Volvo XC90 is a really good all-rounder that’s worthy of consideration. Class-leading on style, character, safety and practicality, and there-or-thereabouts in every other area.

Ready to get your top quality Volvo XC90?

  • All cars come with a warranty
  • Selected dealers only
  • All quality checked

Volvo XC90

2.0 T8 Recharge PHEV R DESIGN Pro 5dr AWD Auto

  • 2020
  • 4,711 miles

Manufacturer Approved

  • Marshall Volvo Leeds
  • Yorkshire, LS72BH
Price:£58,900
PCP: £880.25/mo

Representative example: Contract Length: 37 months, 36 Monthly Payments: £880.25, Customer Deposit: £8,835.00, Total Deposit: £8,835.00, Optional Final Payment: £25,698.79, Total Charge For Credit: £7,322.79, Total Amount Payable: £66,222.79, Representative APR: 6.4%, Interest Rate (Fixed): 3.29%, Excess Mileage Charge: 14.9ppm, Mileage Per Annum: 10,000

Volvo XC90

2.0 B5P [250] Inscription 5dr AWD Gtron

  • 2020
  • 4,785 miles

Manufacturer Approved

  • Marshall Volvo Bishop's Stortford
  • Hertfordshire, CM235GZ
Price:£44,580
PCP: £649.56/mo

Representative example: Contract Length: 37 months, 36 Monthly Payments: £649.56, Customer Deposit: £6,687.00, Total Deposit: £6,687.00, Optional Final Payment: £20,112.41, Total Charge For Credit: £5,603.57, Total Amount Payable: £50,183.57, Representative APR: 6.4%, Interest Rate (Fixed): 3.29%, Excess Mileage Charge: 14.9ppm, Mileage Per Annum: 10,000

Is the Volvo XC90 right for you?

If you’re after a big, luxurious SUV with seven seats, but you want a bit more style, charm and character than the myriad German offerings can muster, then the XC90 will be right up your street. 


While the styling of many rivals could be accused of being overly conservative - even borderline derivative - the Volvo XC90 offers a real dose of individuality. Inside and out, it looks modern, yet timeless. Classy, yet funky. And it’s that effortlessly cool vibe that makes the XC90 a real breath of fresh air in the class.


That's not the car’s only trick, mind you. It has the space, practicality and versatility to slot straight into the life of any large family, thanks to a huge passenger compartment, an ingenious seating system and a huge boot. Chuck in a very capable driving experience, impressive mechanical refinement and loads of standard equipment, and you have an extremely appealing family bus.

What's the best Volvo XC90 model/engine to choose from?

That much depends on what you’re after. If you’re after the very best XC90 money can buy, it has to be the T8 plug-in hybrid. It’s the fastest version, yet the most economical. It’s just as practical as any other XC90, and like other versions, it’s also spectacularly well equipped. It is, however, considerably more expensive to buy than other versions, which might rule it out for some, and it only makes sense if you have somewhere to charge it. With a flat battery, the T8's fuel economy drops quicker than a stone on Jupiter.


If that’s the case for you, opt for the diesels, known as either the D5 or the B5 Diesel (we’ll explain the difference later). They’re much more efficient than their petrol-powered counterparts and much more affordable to buy than the PHEV.


In terms of equipment grade, there’s nothing you need - and very little you want - that the entry-level Momentum trim doesn’t give you. Many of the embellishments on the higher grade cars are purely cosmetic, yet they cost a great deal more.

What other cars are similar to the Volvo XC90?

If you’re after a big, luxurious, premium SUV, there’s no shortage of choice. Any German manufacturer worth its salt will offer a variety of choices, and don’t rule out the likes of Land Rover and Lexus, either. However, the fact that the XC90 comes as standard with seven seats sets it apart slightly, because although most rivals can be specified with seven, many only have five as standard. 


For that reason, the XC90s most direct rivals are the Audi Q7 and Land Rover Discovery, but the BMW X5, Mercedes GLE, Porsche Cayenne and Lexus RX will also be vying for your (considerable amount of) cash.

Learn more

Volvo XC90 Front Interior

On the inside

Volvo XC90 Front View

Driving

Volvo XC90 Rear View

How much does it cost to run

Volvo XC90 Left Side View

Prices, versions and specification

Ask the heycar experts: common questions

Is Volvo XC90 a good car?

The Volvo XC90 is practical, stylish and a comfortable cruiser – perfect for families. It's also very safe and available with a great range of engines including a plug-in hybrid that makes it very cheap to run on a short commute.

Russell Campbell

Answered by

Russell Campbell

Is the Volvo XC90 a 7 seater?

The Volvo XC90 is a seven-seater. It has five large chairs in the first and second rows, along with a third row that's comfortable for adults and very roomy for kids.

heycar editorial team

Answered by

heycar editorial team

Where is the 2019 Volvo XC90 made?

While production of the Volvo XC90 started in Sweden, the latest models are made at Volvo's Chengdu factory in China.

Dan Powell

Answered by

Dan Powell