2022 Volvo XC90

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2022
The Car Connection
2022
The Car Connection

The Car Connection Expert Review

Martin Padgett Martin Padgett Editorial Director
January 27, 2022

Buying tip

Volvo’s Inscription has the finest interior combinations: Our favorite pairs charcoal trim with woolen upholstery.

features & specs

T5 AWD Momentum 7P
T5 FWD Momentum 7P
T6 AWD Inscription 6P
MPG
20 city / 28 hwy
MPG
21 city / 30 hwy
MPG
19 city / 27 hwy
MSRP
$53,400
MSRP
$50,900
MSRP
$65,100

The big 2022 Volvo XC90 crossover blesses its complex mechanicals with a serene cabin—and a long warranty.

What kind of car is the 2022 Volvo XC90? What does it compare to?

The XC90 crossover ranks as the biggest Volvo yet, with six or seven seats and a turbo-4 engine with a vast range of power outputs. Rivals include the Audi Q7, Acura MDX, and BMW X7. 

Is the 2022 Volvo XC90 a good car?

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It’s spacious, handsome, and well-equipped. In fact, it excels in just about every dimension save for the extremes of high-speed and off-road performance. We give it a TCC Rating of 7.7 out of 10. (Read more about how we rate cars.)

What’s new for the 2022 Volvo XC90?

Very little. The rear bumper has been restyled to hide the tailpipe, and navigation now comes standard on all models.

With its impeccably tasteful looks, the XC90 remains one of our favorite crossover SUVs to drive, or just to sit in and wait for someone to finish a Costco errand. It has a discreetly high-end look, with no clunky details or miscues, and with an interior that looks expensive even when it wears gray wool upholstery rather than nappa leather. It’s a master class in understatement.

Performance ranges from better than average in the 250-hp T5, to engaging in the T6, which pushes out 316 hp from a turbo-4 with supercharging. Teamed with an 8-speed automatic and an optional air suspension, it’s a calm and collected car to drive quickly; balance is its calling card. The T8 plug-in hybrid doesn’t offer much hope of repaying its investment, but with 18 miles of electric driving range, it has a certain suburban charge-at-home appeal for a first step into the electric-car waters.

A seven-seater in base form, the XC90 has fabulous front seats and lots of cargo space, with room in the middle row for three adults. A six-seat version fits bucket seats in the second row. Finishes range from the attractive synthetic leather and wood trim of entry-level models, to the understated glamour of the gray wool and charcoal wood trim of the Inscription package.

Crash-test scores have been nearly flawless, and the XC90 offers lots of standard and optional safety equipment; its driver-assist setup can be useful as a backup for brief spells of hands-free driving, but isn’t quite as well-executed as more advanced systems from Mercedes and BMW.

How much does the 2022 Volvo XC90 cost?

It’s $51,995 for an XC90 T5 Momentum with 19-inch wheels, synthetic leather upholstery, navigation, and a 9.0-inch touchscreen with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. It’s $7,400 extra for a T6, and as much as $71,595 for a Recharge plug-in hybrid.

Where is the 2022 Volvo XC90 made?

In Sweden.

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2022 Volvo XC90

Styling

The XC90 does more with less.

Is the Volvo XC90 a good-looking car?

It’s been on the road for seven model years, but the XC90 still has a fresh, clean appeal that’s bound to be durable and good-looking, like the old Volvo wagons of the last century. (Yep…the 1980s.) Conservative? Yes, but the XC90’s sober in the most sophisticated way possible. We give it an 8, with a point for its exterior and two for its interior.

With a light refresh to its front and rear ends last year, the XC90’s dressed in a sport jacket, no tie. It’s tasteful with its creases, and spare with the details—but what’s pronounced counts, like its hammer-shaped LED headlights, and the vertical ribs of taillights that ensure drivers a quarter-mile back see that you’ve braked. This thoughtful shape still has a lot of mileage in it, even if it’s due to be replaced soon by a new big SUV.

The XC90’s cool cabin puts brash in the trash. The thinnest of metallic bands of trim follows a U-shaped ribbon of wood trim across the dash, like a serene river bend. In light-toned leather and gray wood, surrounded by lots of light thanks to big windows and a panoramic roof, the XC90 interior has an elegance that can only come from the spare use of line and material.

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7

2022 Volvo XC90

Performance

Turbocharging gets the grunt work done, and the XC90 never feels stressed.

Volvo fits a turbo-4 into every XC90, and some versions get plug-in hybrid packs while others get supercharging. Acceleration never flags below average, and no matter what’s under the hood the XC90 always drives with poise and composure. It’s a 7 here.

How fast is the Volvo XC90?

The base XC90 offers a “T5” powertrain, in Volvo-speak. We describe it as a 250-hp, 2.0-liter turbo-4 with an 8-speed automatic and front-wheel drive. For $2,500, they’ll make it all-wheel drive, but either way, Volvo promises a 0-60 mph time of 7.5 seconds. That’s reasonably quick, especially considering the XC90 weighs about 4,500 lb.

Most buyers have preferred the “T6,” which bolts a supercharger on the turbo-4 for a net gain of 66 hp and a grand total of 316 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque. It’s good for 6.1-second 0-60 mph times, much more in accord with its luxury-car status.

Is the Volvo XC90 4WD?

All-wheel drive comes standard on this version, and with its engine noises muted well behind lots of sound deadening, the T6 delivers mostly seamless acceleration and shifts.

The T6 plus an 11.6-kwh battery and an electric motor creates the T8 plug-in hybrid. This XC90 accelerates seamlessly from a stop: with 400 hp, it can zing to 60 mph in 5.3 seconds. However, the fuel-economy and efficiency gains aren’t world-changing: it’s rated at 18 miles of electric driving range, while we consider 50 miles a number that gets gas-car buyers interested in plug-ins.

In any configuration, Volvo tunes the XC90 tuned for a comforting but responsive ride. It’s well-controlled though it has what’s essentially a taller station-wagon body. Its steering feels light, but accurately takes aim. It’s not engineered for the extremes of off-roading or for track performance like its chief German competition: it’s arrowed at composure above all else. It delivers that with adaptive dampers and an available air suspension, all melded together to create a soothing, well-damped driving experience.

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9

2022 Volvo XC90

Comfort & Quality

Elegant finishes connect with exceptional comfort in the XC90.

With a beautifully trimmed cabin, very comfortable front seats, the ability to seat five adults well (and seven passengers in all), and great cargo space, the XC90 nets a 9 for comfort and quality.

Front passengers sit in power-adjustable chairs that suit us for long days of driving. Standard synthetic leather upholstery can be swapped out for nappa leather or a marvelous gray wool. Heating and cooling come with most models, and some versions have even more adjustment to the front seats, including leg extenders and more lumbar support.

Row two isn’t quite that adjustable, but it’s flexible. Three 6-foot passengers can fit behind tall front passengers, and Volvo will exchange the bench seat for a pair of bucket seats. In either case, the middle-row seats slide out of the way to reach a third-row bench that’s sized for a couple of medium-sized people.  

With 15.8 cubic feet behind the third row, the XC90’s seats can be folded away to net 41.8 cubic feet behind row two, or 85.7 cubic feet behind row one. It’s enormously useful, if not quite as enormous as an American full-size SUV.

The XC90’s capstone achievement is interior fit and finish. In its most suave looks, the XC90 wears an Orrefors crystal shift lever, gray open-pore wood, and buff leather. It’s stunning in a low-key way, without any glitzy distractions.

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9

2022 Volvo XC90

Safety

The XC90 does almost everything well in terms of safety.

The XC90 garners a 9 here, missing out on one point due to thick rear roof pillars and rear-seat headrests, which can block the view.

Is the Volvo XC90 a safe car?

It is. The NHTSA gives it five stars overall, while the IIHS dubs it a Top Safety Pick+.

Each XC90 comes with automatic emergency braking, active lane control, adaptive cruise control, front parking sensors, blind-spot monitors with steering assist, and adaptive LED headlights.

Volvo also offers a driver-assist function called Pilot Assist. It can accelerate, steer, and brake the car and allows short stints of hands-free driving. We’ve found it useful as a safety backup, but the system can wander over its highway lane too often.

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9

2022 Volvo XC90

Features

Volvo warms up the XC90 with plenty of cool features.

The XC90 has the expected standard features, and more; offers lots of options; has good infotainment; and carries a 4-year/50,000-mile warranty with 3 years/36,000 miles of free scheduled maintenance. That gets a 9 here.

Which Volvo XC90 should I buy?

We’d drive the base $51,995 XC90 T5 Momentum any day. It has synthetic leather upholstery, 19-inch wheels, a power tailgate, front parking sensors, navigation, wireless smartphone charging, and a 9.0-inch touchscreen with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. Volvo’s Sensus interface adopts a portrait-style touchscreen that uses infrared sensors to gauge user intent. It’s not technically a touch surface at all, and that can make it more difficult to move quickly on the screen. 

All-wheel drive costs $2,500; the T6 drivetrain costs $7,400.

Volvo sells trim packages with distinct looks and options. Inscriptions get softer leather or even woolen upholstery and open-pore wood trim, while the R-Design has distinct wheels and wears black trim. A six-seat version can be configured, as can cooled front seats and an excellent Harman Kardon sound system. 

How much is a fully loaded XC90?

The R-Design Recharge costs $71,595.

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4

2022 Volvo XC90

Fuel Economy

Volvo’s big SUV earns big-SUV fuel economy ratings.

Is the Volvo XC90 good on gas?

It’s average for its size, though the plug-in hybrid fares somewhat better. We give the XC90 a 4 here, for EPA ratings on the T6 of 19 mpg city, 27 highway, 22 combined.

T5 versions check in at 21/30/25 mpg with front-wheel drive, and 20/28/23 mpg with all-wheel drive.

The Recharge presents an interesting case study. Its 27 mpg combined EPA rating—what it does after its electric charge is depleted—ranks well below a Toyota Highlander Hybrid. But its battery and motor give it 18 miles of pure electric driving range, and a 55-MPGe overall rating.

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The Car Connection Consumer Review

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$50,900
MSRP based on T5 FWD Momentum 7P
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7.7
Overall
Expert Rating
Rating breakdown on a scale of 1 to 10?
Styling 8
Performance 7
Comfort & Quality 9
Safety 9
Features 9
Fuel Economy 4
Compare the 2022 Volvo XC90 against the competition
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    7.4
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2022 Volvo XC90 Pricing Insights

  • 2022 XC90 in adequate supply
  • Lease: From $709/mo
  • Rebates: Up to $500 off
  • Finance: No special rates
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