2011 Volvo XC90 Review

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2017
The Car Connection
2017
The Car Connection

The Car Connection Expert Review

Bengt Halvorson Bengt Halvorson Deputy Editor

The 2010 Volvo XC90 has aged gracefully and now is more feature-packed than ever; however, its poor fuel economy tarnishes an otherwise superb vehicle.

When it was first introduced for 2003, the Volvo XC90 was one of the first carlike crossovers in the luxury realm. Now, many years and several design and powertrain changes later, the 2011 XC90 keeps with the same basic formula of top-notch interior comfort; safe, secure performance; and an upscale yet family-oriented feature set.

With the exception of one minor refresh, the 2011 Volvo XC90 carries through with that original look; while it still looks good from a distance, the design is starting to look dated, especially on the inside.

The 2011 Volvo XC90 is a family vehicle, not a sport sedan, but it performs as well as any busy mom or dad might expect, even allowing the opportunity to get on the gas a little more when the kids are at school. Power in the 2010 Volvo XC90 comes from a 240-horsepower, 3.2-liter six-cylinder engine or a 311-horsepower 4.4-liter V-8, with a six-speed automatic. But even with the V-8, the XC90 feels very quick, though it still doesn't feel overtly sporty. It's mostly a matter of the steering, which is responsive but not engaging; in either of the model, the body stays in check, even in quick maneuvers. On the practical (and green) side, fuel economy numbers for the XC90 are lackluster—as low as 14 mpg city, 21 highway for the V-8 model, and that's up from last year.

The XC90 is capable of carrying seven over three rows of seating and is, in some respects, a good alternative to either more trucklike SUVs or anonymous minivans. Front seats are, as in much of the Volvo lineup, supportive, comfortable, and worthy of all-day drives. Entry and exit is quite easy, too, as the seating position is more carlike than in other utility vehicles. Cabin materials feel impressive, and though in appearance they're quite stark there are plenty of pleasing soft-touch surfaces. Ride quality is another high point. Although V-8 models and those with the optional 18-inch alloys have a slightly harsher ride, overall ride quality is excellent, with less pitchiness and side-to-side motion than in many other crossovers.

In recent years, Volvo has worked to add more features to their vehicles without significantly raising prices. Such is the case with the XC90 as well; it's a better value compared to other models in its class, and for 2011 it gets a few more features. A Bluetooth hands-free interface, Sirius Satellite Radio, and new watch-dial instrumentation are newly standard.

Otherwise, there are plenty of opportunities to add impressive tech features to the XC90. In addition to a Luxury Package that can bring heated front and rear seats, massage and ventilated front seats, upgraded leather, and other appearance upgrades, there's a Multimedia Package that brings a premium audio system, DVD-driven navigation with real-time traffic, and a rear park-assist camera. Other standout features include Volvo's Blind Spot Information System (BLIS), bi-xenon headlamps with Active Bending Light, and a dual-screen DVD system.

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January 3, 2017
2017 Volvo XC90 T5 FWD 5-Passenger Momentum

Phenominal SUV!!

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Our XC-90 is a Momentum Plus with Comfort and Vision groups. What a phenominal automobile from all aspects. Best Volvo we have ever owned. We have not quite gone 1k miles yet, so don't know what realistic mpg... + More »
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July 9, 2016
2017 Volvo XC90 T6 AWD 7-Passenger Inscription

awesome ..!

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awesome..!awesome awesome awesome awesome awesome awesome awesome awesome
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March 14, 2016
2016 Volvo XC90 AWD 4-Door T6 R-Design

Loved the T8 R-Design-overall slightly better than the 2017 Audi Q7

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I just took both the 2017 Audi Q7 with air suspension and B&O sound system and the Volvo XC90 T8 with B&W sound system. I test drove them for over an hour each with my wife, and tested them out briefly with... + More »
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March 4, 2016
2016 Volvo XC90 AWD 4-Door T6 Inscription

This car is a pleasure to be in and drive .

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Not the quickest but satisfying to drive the interior is the best well thought out and the materials are first rate . I sold an Audi A-7 prestige model with all the options for the Volvo and must say the Volvo... + More »
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September 3, 2015
2016 Volvo XC90 AWD 4-Door T6 Momentum

I LOVE IT-BEST CAR EVER

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To be fair, I only have experience driving Japanese cars and I replaced a 2009 Mazda5 GT with the 2016 Volvo XC90. I drive the car daily, mostly around town, and with my three young children (one car seat, two... + More »
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June 7, 2015
2016 Volvo XC90 AWD 4-Door T6 Inscription

Receive our new xc90 last week, 2016

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Just a wonderful vehicle, we have a 2016 inscription model with all the options, priced fully equipped about the same as a base Mercedes GL class SUV, which is what. We traded. This vehicle seems to be built... + More »
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March 19, 2015
For 2016 Volvo XC90

Incredible interior experience

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I got a chance to drive the XC90 -- I was very impressed with the plush, comfortable, and super refined interior experience. That was my favorite part of this SUV and a key reason you'd get a Volvo SUV at all... + More »
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April 29, 2015
2013 Volvo XC90 FWD 4-Door Premier Plus

Best Seat in the Business

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Very comfortable SUV. Good size no to big not to small 7 passenger. Best model was the V8 I have the 3.2 6 cylinder. Could use more power at freeway speeds. AWD works really good. I tow with this truck and it... + More »
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September 4, 2015
For 2008 Volvo XC90

safety, safety, safety

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tough on gas and brakes, but worth the safety - interior durable, seating comfortable,
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April 10, 2015
For 2003 Volvo XC90

Right sized SUV!

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I love my XC90 it's the right size for me. It drives great and is very safe. On the downside gas mileage is terrible, but it's a SUV so it goes with the territory. It's also bad on tires and I hate how Volvo... + More »
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