4.4 out of 5 4.4
Parkers overall rating: 4.4 out of 5 4.4

Bringing safety and practicality for all seven members of the family

Volvo XC90 Review Video
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At a glance

New price £54,410 - £73,970
Lease from new From £563 p/m View lease deals
Used price £20,105 - £54,720
Fuel Economy 26.2 - 113.0 mpg
Road tax cost £0 - £475
Insurance group 33 - 45 How much is it to insure?
New

PROS

  • Extremely comfy and luxurious interior
  • Versatile boot, plus space for seven
  • Loaded with advanced technology
  • Plug-in hybrid available

CONS

  • Some engines lack character
  • Can feel quite big and heavy
  • Not a pure off-roader like a Land Rover
  • Expensive, plus pricey options

Volvo XC90 rivals

Mercedes-Benz
GLE SUV
4.1 out of 5 4.1

Written by Tom Goodlad on

The first-generation Volvo XC90 was on the scene for a solid 13 years – an incredibly long time for a car, but it enjoyed huge success worldwide offering class, sophistication, luxury, and space for seven.

This second-generation car had big boots to fill when it arrived in 2015, but it made an impact with bold, eye-catching styling, a modern, luxurious interior and lots of advanced safety kit to keep the family safe.

It doesn’t have the market sewn up though, with the Land Rover Discovery, BMW X5, Audi Q7 and Mercedes-Benz GLE all offering similar appeal to the same kind of buyer. So how does it do in such illustrious company? The answer is well - very well indeed.

Excellent comfort levels on all models

This is where the XC90 really needs to excel – the previous version had what were widely regarded to be some of the most comfortable seats in the industry, and the latest iteration’s are equally impressive. They’re seriously safe too; thanks to whiplash prevention and a system to mitigate spinal compression in the event of an accident, these might just be the most technologically advanced seats we’ve heard of.

>> We rate the best hybrid SUVs for 2020

Most should be able to get comfortable whichever seat they’re in thanks to plenty of adjustment and space in all three rows. Depending on the model (Momentum, R-Design or Inscription), those in the front can choose to have their seat heated, cooled or massaging. Or all three at the same time if you so desire.

Packed with technology

Volvo went against the status quo with the XC90’s infotainment system, opting for a portrait-mounted touchscreen instead of the ubiquitous landscape items in many other cars. It controls pretty much all of the car’s functions, with a distinct lack of any other buttons on the dashboard. While this is bad in some cars, the good news is that the XC90’s system is incredibly responsive and very easy to navigate once you know where all the functions are.

It’s operated in a similar manner to a smartphone, with swipes and pinches to flick through menus and the like. It’s one of the better touchscreens we’ve used in a car, and its processor seems to make easy work of speedy navigation requests, however it's beginning to look quite small and fiddly compared with some larger systems offered among its competitors. Still, with a vast range of gadgets available – including some seriously powerful stereo upgrades, various connectivity options and safety and driver assistance tech – the XC90 feels every inch the tech-heavy and modern SUV.

Plenty of engine options

There’s a huge amount to like about this car, from the versatile interior to the impressive tech and even the engines. You’ve got a choice of four, all feeding power through a smooth-shifting eight-speed automatic gearbox. The sole diesel, known as B5 (previously called a D5), makes up the majority of sales with 235hp.

Company car drivers will be far more interested in the plug-in hybrid T8 Twin Engine, which emits just 63-76g/km of CO2 and thus qualifies for seriously low Benefit-in-Kind taxation. At the same time, it’s also the most powerful engine in the range. Like the rest of Volvo's electrified line-up, this is seperated from the rest of the range under the Recharge brand.

There are also two petrol options – badged B5 and B6 – with 250hp and 300hp respectively. Each of the engine options has a slightly different characteristic, but the main thing to take away here is that the XC90 is a very easy car to drive. It’s smooth, quiet, refined and comfortable.

Impressive safety credentials

Safety is a core brand value for Volvo. The mantra that nobody should die or be seriously injured in one of its cars by the year 2020 has been widely publicised, and many of this car’s systems appear to be pointing in that direction. There’s even a low-speed automatic driving system for traffic jams. So that should provide peace of mind for families, which is what this car is all about. It’s a seriously versatile machine in this respect, boasting a second row of seats which slide backwards and forwards and recline. They have Isofix lashing points, and an extra feature can be added where the seat base transforms into a booster seat.

Volvo has also announced that the XC90 will be one of the models affected by its decision to electronically govern the top speed of all of its models to 112mph from 2020.

The boot is very adaptable as well, with a powered tailgate to take the strain out of shopping trips or holidays with the kids. In fact, longer journeys are something the XC90 excels at. Thanks to its supple ride, brilliant seats and quiet cabin, it’s the perfect machine for motorway schleps, and there’s plenty of space for everyone to stretch out.

Range updated in 2019

In 2019 Volvo gave the XC90 a few tweaks and updates as part of a mid-life facelift. To say the cosmetic changes are minimal would be a huge understatement, as it's difficult to tell the difference. There's a new grille, tweaked bumpers, new alloy wheel designs and black trim instead of silver on R-Design cars. Inside there are some slightly different seat materials and that's about it. The main changes came in the form of the D5 diesel changing to a mild-hybrid called the B5, and changes made to the T8 plug-in hybrid.

Click through these pages to read everything you need to know about the Volvo XC90 including its practicality, how much it costs to run - and whether we'd recommend buying one.

Volvo XC90 rivals

Mercedes-Benz
GLE SUV
4.1 out of 5 4.1