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View all Volvo XC90 reviews
Parkers overall rating: 4.4 out of 5 4.4

Equipment

4.7 out of 5 4.7
  • All models come comprehensively equipped
  • Three main trim levels with ‘Pro’ additions
  • Should be something to suit all

There are three trim levels available, and all do a pretty specific job. At the bottom level is the generously equipped Momentum, then there’s the sporty R-Design, and finally the luxury spec Inscription. There was also a First Edition which went on sale online as the car was announced. These 1,927 cars (because Volvo was founded in 1927) sold out in a matter of days, with 53 coming to the UK.

To confuse things slightly, there are Pro versions of each trim, which add some extras to the main kit count.

Standard Volvo XC90 equipment

Even the bottom rung Momentum spec offers a huge amount of equipment. As standard, you get automatic, full LED lights front and rear with automatic high-beam, plus automatic wipers, power-folding mirrors, an electric tailgate, 19-inch alloy wheels, front and rear parking sensors and a rear camera.

Inside, that portrait touchscreen (with DAB, Bluetooth, sat-nav, Volvo On Call service and voice control) is standard across the range, as is the TFT instrument panel. Dual-zone climate control is standard, as is ambient lighting, a huge amount of storage, leather upholstery with heated front seats and power adjustment for the driver’s seat.

And this being Volvo, there’s a huge amount of safety kit on board too, but we’ve covered that in the Safety section of this review.

All T8 models also add four-zone climate control, a crystal gearknob made by Orrefors, a panoramic sunroof, more USB ports and an alternative alloy wheel design.

On top of this sits the Momentum Pro, which adds heated steering wheel and washer nozzles, adaptive LED lights, power passenger seat, front seat cushion extensions, head-up display, multicolour ambient lighting, extra interior illumination and Nappa leather upgrade.

Next up is the R-Design which offers a sportier exterior look with 20-inch wheels, high gloss black exterior trim with matt silver door mirrors, part-leather/part-suede upholstery with sports seats, black headlining and tinted windows.

R-Design Pro cars build on this with head-up display, heated everything (like Momentum Pro), 22-inch wheels and adaptive dampers with air suspension.

Moving up to Inscription level nets you a more luxurious feel, with Nappa leather throughout, power seats, walnut interior trim, extra chrome exterior trim, 20-inch alloys, luxury floor mats, rear sun blinds and plenty of interior lighting.

Again, Inscription Pro models add heated everything, a massaging driver’s seat, 21-inch alloy wheels, head-up display, heating and ventilation for the front seats and air suspension.

Volvo XC90 optional extras

Many optional extras come in packages with Volvo, listed below.

Winter Pack – headlight cleaning system, heated front windscreen, heated steering wheel, heated washer nozzles. Winter Pack with Head-Up Display also available at extra cost on top of regular pack

Family Pack – integrated child seats in middle row, power child locks in the rear, load protection net and rear sun blinds

Xenium Pack – power panoramic sunroof, 360-degree cameras, automatic parking system

Seat Pack – Nappa leather upholstery with power passenger seat adjustment on Momentum and R-Design models, also adds massage and ventilation function on Inscription cars

Seven Seat Comfort Pack – four-zone climate control with cooled glovebox, third-row air-con, power-folding middle-row headrests

The majority of the options available in packs can be specified individually. Other extras include blindspot monitoring with steering assist, a choice of two stereo upgrades by either Harman Kardon or Bowers & Wilkins (the latter of which is very expensive but one of the best available in any car), as well as smartphone integration, alternative alloy wheel designs and different interior trims.

Basic equipment

The basic equipment list includes equipment that is standard across all versions of the Volvo XC90.

  • 3x3 point rear seat belts
  • ABS
  • Alarm
  • Alloy wheels
  • Audio remote
  • Driver`s airbag
  • Electric driver`s seat
  • Electric mirrors
  • Electric passenger`s seat
  • Folding rear seats
  • Front electric windows
  • Heated mirrors
  • Isofix child seat anchor points
  • Leather seat trim
  • Lumbar support
  • Parking sensors
  • PAS
  • Passenger`s airbag
  • Rear electric windows
  • Remote locking
  • Sat Nav
  • Service indicator
  • Side airbags
  • Steering wheel rake adjustment
  • Steering wheel reach adjustment
  • Traction control

Equipment by trim level

To view equipment options for a specific trim level, please select from the following list:

Equipment included on some trim levels
  • Air conditioning
  • Body coloured bumpers
  • CD
  • Climate control
  • Cruise control
  • Electric sunroof
  • Headlight washers
  • Heated seats
  • Height adjustable drivers seat
  • Metallic Paint
  • Roof rails
  • Space saver spare wheel
  • Sports seats

First Edition equipment

First Edition standard equipment
  • Body coloured bumpers
  • CD
  • Climate control
  • Electric sunroof
  • Headlight washers
  • Heated seats
  • Height adjustable drivers seat
  • Metallic Paint
  • Roof rails
  • Space saver spare wheel
First Edition optional equipment
  • Air conditioning
  • Cruise control

Inscription equipment

Inscription standard equipment
  • Body coloured bumpers
  • Roof rails
Inscription optional equipment
  • Air conditioning
  • Climate control
  • Cruise control
  • Electric sunroof
  • Headlight washers
  • Heated seats
  • Height adjustable drivers seat
  • Space saver spare wheel

Inscription Pro equipment

Inscription Pro standard equipment
  • Body coloured bumpers
  • Headlight washers
  • Heated seats
  • Roof rails
Inscription Pro optional equipment
  • Air conditioning
  • Climate control
  • Electric sunroof
  • Height adjustable drivers seat
  • Space saver spare wheel

Momentum equipment

Momentum standard equipment
  • Body coloured bumpers
  • Roof rails
Momentum optional equipment
  • Air conditioning
  • Climate control
  • Cruise control
  • Electric sunroof
  • Headlight washers
  • Heated seats
  • Height adjustable drivers seat
  • Space saver spare wheel

Momentum Pro equipment

Momentum Pro standard equipment
  • Body coloured bumpers
  • Headlight washers
  • Heated seats
  • Roof rails
Momentum Pro optional equipment
  • Air conditioning
  • Climate control
  • Electric sunroof
  • Height adjustable drivers seat
  • Space saver spare wheel

R DESIGN equipment

R DESIGN standard equipment
  • Body coloured bumpers
  • Sports seats
R DESIGN optional equipment
  • Air conditioning
  • Climate control
  • Cruise control
  • Electric sunroof
  • Headlight washers
  • Heated seats
  • Height adjustable drivers seat
  • Roof rails
  • Space saver spare wheel

R DESIGN Pro equipment

R DESIGN Pro standard equipment
  • Headlight washers
  • Heated seats
  • Sports seats
R DESIGN Pro optional equipment
  • Air conditioning
  • Body coloured bumpers
  • Climate control
  • Electric sunroof
  • Height adjustable drivers seat
  • Roof rails
  • Space saver spare wheel

Safety

4.8 out of 5 4.8
  • Safety is a particular strong point for Volvo
  • Huge list of standard safety and driver assistance tech
  • Should provide a lot of peace of mind for drivers

Let’s not beat around the bush here. Volvo is a brand famous for building safe cars, and the XC90 does not disappoint.

It’s been given a five-star Euro NCAP crash test rating (of course) but that’s only the start of the story. There a gigantic amount of kit on board each car, the firm’s aim being that no-one is hurt or seriously injured in a Volvo by the year 2020.

So, standard Volvo XC90 safety kit includes:

  • Low-speed automatic braking
  • Distance alert
  • City Safety – pedestrian, cyclist and large animal detection with autonomous emergency braking
  • Lane-departure warning
  • Traffic sign recognition
  • More airbags than a Zeppelin factory
  • Whiplash prevention system for the front seats
  • Stability and traction control systems
  • Isofix child seat lashing points on the outer second row seats
  • Alarm
  • Keyless entry
  • Locking glovebox
  • Child locks for rear doors
  • Automatic headlight levelling
  • First aid kit and a warning triangle

Furthermore, the fundamental design of the car was carried out with safety very much at the forefront of development. A cocktail of high-strength steels are employed in the body structure, while the seats feature a clever system that will mitigate spinal compression in the event of an accident.

The car will also sense when it’s about to leave the road and will prepare for the worst by tightening the seatbelts for seven seconds. There’s also a system that will automatically brake at intersections if the car detects an incoming vehicle about to impact.

There’s also a vast array of optional safety kit including blindspot warning, a head-up display and the Intellisafe Pro package, which nets you:

  • Adaptive cruise control
  • Lane-keeping aid
  • Rear collision mitigation – a system which prepares the car for being rear-ended by flashing the indicators to alert the following driver and tightening the seatbelts
  • Queue Assist, which is a low-speed autonomous driving system which uses the adaptive cruise control to stop and go in traffic

Electronically limited top speed from 2020

Further to Volvo's commitment to safety, the Swedish brand has announced that from 2020 all of its models will be electronically governed to a top speed of 112mph, regardless of how powerful the engine or electric motors are.

Euro NCAP Rating – 5 stars

The Volvo XC90 was tested by Euro NCAP in 2015 and was awarded a 5 star overall rating. This overall rating is calculated from the following individual ratings:

5 star rating
Test 2015
Individual safety ratings
Adult Occupant: 97%
Child Occupant: 87%
Pedestrian: 72%
Safety Assist: 100%

Euro NCAP provides motoring consumers with a realistic and independent assessment of the safety performance of some of the most popular cars sold in Europe. The safety ratings are determined from a series of vehicle tests, designed and carried out by Euro NCAP. These tests represent, in a simplified way, important real life accident scenarios that could result in injured or killed car occupants or other road users.

Interior & boot space

4.6 out of 5 4.6
  • Vast interior with seating for seven
  • Huge boot in five-seat mode
  • Easy to configure the cabin, plus ample storage

It’s sort of the point of a car like this, but even so, Volvo XC90 practicality is exceptional. There’s more than enough room for five adults and a huge amount of luggage, but furthermore carrying seven adults isn’t entirely unrealistic. The rearmost seats are comfortable for people shorter than five feet seven inches, but on shorter journeys larger adults won’t feel particularly uncomfortable.

The second row of seats slide forwards and back, but also recline, so it’s easy enough to get comfortable back there too. One interesting feature here is the optional booster seat for children, which is nicely built into the middle seat, meaning you don’t have to carry around child seats, boosting versatility.

All of the seats behind the front two will fold down individually, unlocking countless storage and passenger carrying options.

In the boot there’s a couple of bag hooks along with a very useful feature – a flap which serves to keep objects hemmed in when you don’t have to carry a whole boot’s worth of luggage.

You’ve got myriad useful features such as cupholders (for all three rows) and hooks to hang your jacket on. There are several cubbies and a glovebox which is opened via a button on the centre console. This makes a fantastically pleasing mechanical sound; another mark of quality.

All of that space inside does come at a price – the XC90 is a big old car to pilot around town, and it feels it at times.

The high driving position does help with visibility though, but there’s only so much you can do to disguise the car’s heft.

The good news is that standard-fit parking sensors and a reversing camera help (plus the big mirrors), but we’d suggest upgrading to the 360-degree camera set-up that gives you full visibility around the car. The cameras are high-resolution and really help squeeze the XC90 into smaller spaces.

In five-seat mode, the XC90’s boot is vast, and all models come with a standard-fit electric tailgate, making access effortless. In this form, space on offer is a generous 775 litres, while even with seven seats in place, there’s 397 litres of space – about the same as a small family hatchback. Fold all the seats down and total volume (measured to the roof) is a whopping 1,951 litres.

How does the boot space compare?

Check the table below to see how the Volvo XC90 compares to other similar cars in terms of available boot space.

Model Boot space
Mercedes-Benz M-Class (12-15) 690 litres
BMW X5 4x4 500 litres
Volvo XC90 316 litres
Land Rover Discovery (04-17) 280 litres

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