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

Should you buy a Volvo XC90 SUV?

This is an incredibly strong proposition as a premium family car. It offers a high-tech-yet-spacious interior that will carry seven and their luggage, plus the commanding driving position and lengthy list of safety kit will reassure all drivers. It’s also very easy to drive with smooth and powerful engines, and is a great option for long distances thanks to a refined drive and comfortable ride.

If it’s important to you, the Volvo’s image could also be a winner – it’s arguably less brash than rivals such as the Audi Q7, BMW X5 and Mercedes-Benz GLE, although it can’t compete with the interior roominess or go-anywhere of Land Rover’s Discovery.

Like its rivals, it’s expensive and if you want to add extras then you’ll see the price soar. With a list price of just over £50,000 for the entry-level model, the XC90 is hardly a car that those on a budget would be looking at. However, if you want to keep everyday running costs as low as possible, the earlier D5 (diesel) and newer B5 (mild-hybrid diesel) are your best options due to their decent fuel economy – especially if you use the car out of town regularly.

If you don’t cover the kind of mileage to warrant going for a diesel, the petrol T5 and T6 options could be attractive, but be warned – they’ve a penchant for unleaded so expect frequent visits to filling stations.

The T8 Twin Engine and its plug-in hybrid powertrain will sway company car drivers, as the low CO2 emissions mean attractively low company car tax costs. However, use this car away from urban areas and rinse the battery and you’ll find all you’re doing is running a thirsty petrol SUV. Stick to the city where you can charge it regularly, and it’ll cost you pennies to run. Ironically, the T8 is also the fastest of the lot thanks to its powerful 400hp engine and electric motor combination. With a 0-62mph time of just 5.6 seconds, it could easily put some hot hatchbacks to shame.

Like the first-generation XC90, the Mk2 is incredibly popular due to its desirability, flexible cabin and luxurious feel.

And just because it’s popular, doesn’t mean it’s heavily discounted. No, no. You’ll struggle to get a huge discount from a Volvo dealer, but do what you can to get any extras thrown in. The good news is, unless you absolutely have to have the highest-spec model possible, even entry-level Momentum cars come reasonably well-appointed.

That said, the plushness of the Inscription and the more purposeful appearance of the R-Design are both alluring factors, while all three trims are augmented further by Pro models with even more desirable kit.

Volvo XC90 R-Design rear