By KBB.com Editors
With the increasing movement to smaller, more efficient vehicles, the 2008 Volvo XC90 strikes the perfect balance between car and SUV. Riding atop the previous-generation S80 chassis, the roomy and safe XC90 comes wrapped in a manageable size and equipped with a choice of a V6 or V8 engine. Although more expensive than similarly-sized vehicles from Nissan and Honda, many consider Volvo's more luxurious SUV as something of a status symbol. Regardless of how you view the XC90, there is no arguing with the vehicle's rugged construction, all-weather capability, exemplary safety rating and strong resale value.
If you're not looking to carry half your kid's football team to practice and have a desire for an SUV that places safety and comfort front and center, the XC90 makes an excellent choice for the family transport.
If you're all about maximum interior space, the XC90's third-row seat is not well-suited for adults. Many families will find the V8's price tag a tough pill to swallow.
The 3.2 trims receive new wheels and an auto-dimming rear view mirror. The V8 models include 18-inch wheels (up from 17 inches), fender extensions and bright C-pillar trim.
Driving Impressions The XC90 achieves impressive on-road performance via a combination of unique safety and stability devices. The combination of a wide stance and Volvo's Roll Stability Control (RSC) system is a...big part of the reason the XC90 can perform emergency maneuvers almost like a low-slung sedan. Though blessed with over eight inches of ground clearance, you'll hardly feel it as you round corners and zip through twisting turns. All-wheel-drive models benefit from a Haldex viscous-coupling system that splits the engine's power between the front and rear axles. Under ordinary driving conditions, 95 percent of the power runs through the front wheels. Should they begin to slip, the Haldex system routes power to the rear wheels until traction at the front has been regained.
Sliding Center Child Seat<br>The sliding center child seat allows a front-seat passenger to easily reach a child restrained in a safety seat in the second-row.<br><br>Roof Pillars<br>The XC90's roof pillars help protect the passenger compartment in the event of a rollover.
There is a lot of gray plastic and leather inside the XC90, although a smattering of wood trim helps warm things up a bit. Tending towards understated, the interior is tastefully appointed and very user-friendly. There is seating for five and the option of a forward-facing third-row seat. The driver and passenger relax in a comfortable pair of bucket seats featuring built-in whiplash protection. The XC90 is loaded with crash protection features, including front side-impact airbags, a head-curtain airbag running the length of the passenger compartment and a roof design intended to better resist collapsing in the event of a rollover. You'll also find subtle touches, such as the rear-seat sliding center section that allows a child in a safety seat to be moved closer to the front-seat passenger.Exterior
The XC90 looks like a bigger, taller version of the popular XC70 wagon. All the familiar Volvo styling cues are present, including the raised-V hood bulge and the elongated taillights running the length of the D-pillars. Side mirrors include integrated turn signals that automatically flash when slight pressure is applied to the turn signal stalk. The tall ride height does not translate into a tall step-up height, though, making entry and exit similar to getting in and out of a car. Volvo takes particular pride in the XC90's reinforced roof design, which can provide an added measure of security in the event of a rollover accident.
The XC90 3.2 features a six-speed automatic transmission, front-wheel drive, four-wheel anti-lock disc brakes (ABS), stability and traction control, a tire pressure monitor, dual-zone automatic air conditioning, front and rear fog lights, illuminated remote keyless entry, dual heated power mirrors, AM/FM stereo with CD, Volvo's Rollover Protection System, eight-way power driver's seat, front skid plate, cruise control, tilt/telescopic steering wheel with touch controls, trip computer, rear wiper/washer and 17-inch alloy wheels. The V8 trim adds all-wheel drive, rear air conditioning, automatic leveling, power glass moonroof, leather seats and 18-inch alloy wheels. The V8 Sport adds a sport suspension and 19-inch wheels.
Options for the 3.2 trim include the Premium Package, which features a power moonroof, six-disc CD changer, power passenger seat and leather-surfaced seat trim. The Versatility Package (which requires the Premium Package) adds rear air conditioning, automatic leveling, an integrated child booster seat and a leather third-row seat. The V8 Sport offers a Technology Package that features Dynaudio Pro Logic II surround sound and SIRIUS Satellite Radio. Stand-alone options for the XC90 include Active Bi-Xenon headlamps, Blind Spot Information System (BLIS), navigation, upgraded audio with subwoofer and rear controls, dual-screen rear entertainment system and 18-inch wheels.
The 3.2-liter in-line six gives the base model a significant advantage over the last generation turbocharged in-line five-cylinder engine. More horsepower and torque help the big Volvo cruise up to speed a bit quicker, but many SUV owners just can't live without a V8. For them, the 4.4 trim level's hefty helping of torque and impressive horsepower vastly improves the performance figures. On the flip side, both engines require premium unleaded gasoline and the V8 engine option can push the XC90's price tag well out of many shoppers' ranges.<br><br>3.2-liter in-line 6<br>235 horsepower @ 6200 rpm<br>236 lb.-ft. of torque @ 3200 rpm<br>EPA city/highway fuel economy: 14/20 (FWD), 14/20 (AWD)<br><br>4.4-liter V8<br>311 horsepower @ 5850 rpm<br>325 lb.-ft. of torque @ 3900 rpm<br>EPA city/highway fuel economy: 13/19
By WOODS FAMILY on Wednesday, September 17, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 135,000overall rating 1 of 10rating details
Pros: "Nice to look at when purchased in 2004"
Cons: "HORRIBLE REPAIR BILLS"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1
"Love the sleek styling at first glance. However, we have had the WORST possible experience with this car in the world. After the 50,000 mile warranty was up, EVERY major system on this car broke down and needed extensive repairs. I would NEVER recommend this car to a friend or family member. Just took it in for more repairs (trading it in finally) and found that we need $1700. 00 in additional repairs. I asked the service personnel to look at history of repairs and he said it had been repaired 31 times. And I can truthfully say that those were each substantial in dollar amounts. I would even venture to say that we spent as much on repairs as the car cost in the time period we had it. If not more, very close. Maybe we got a lemon, but the dealership did not help out much. Volvo Corporation should be ashamed to call this a reliable car. NEVER, EVER, AGAIN."
1 person out of 3 found this review helpful
By bdo on Tuesday, September 16, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 113,000overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "runs like new"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"I own a repair shop for forty years . This Volvo has been gone over front to back new timing belt , tuned up new brakes and parking brakes, and much much more. This vehicle looks new drives like new and smells like new, and has been kept in a garage since new. If you put it on a Volvo show room floor it would pass as new.This vehicle has passed Maryland state inspection , which is the strictest in the USA . This car is absolutely beautiful"
2 people out of 3 found this review helpful
By Scarface Six on Wednesday, August 27, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 33,200overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "Great utility, comfort, visibility, and power!"
Cons: "Roof mounted antenna wire comes loose."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"Our 2006 XC-90 was hit by a red light runner and totaled, with NO serious injuries to either occupant. A small ankle bruise from the brake pedal, was the ONLY injury. We decided to replace her 2006 with a 2011 XC-90, and we are SURE that was a GREAT decision. After 25000 miles, the engine started smoking, and Volvo replaced the ENTIRE engine after trying two repairs. Very impressive! It is roomy enough to fit five comfortably and seven with the back seats up. With the beach seats easily folded away, a split rear door is comfortable to use and provides access to LOTS of ROOM for groceries and other supplies. We will likely get another XC90 within the next 16 months. We just LOVE this car."
2 people out of 6 found this review helpful
By Long Islander on Monday, July 28, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 35,000overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "Safe, roomy, family oriented vehicle."
Cons: "Hwy mileage is good, city could be better."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"This is a true SUV. Not one of the crossovers or wannabees. You can tow a boat, pack up a family and be comfortable on a road trip. It's also one of the safest vehicles on the road. I find it comfortable to drive as I have owned a number of other SUV's. There is more room than needed w/ full third row seating (that an adult can fit in). While gas mileage around the city averages 15, I do get mid 20's on the highway. So gas mileage could be better, but could also be worse for what you have. Last, one reason I bought it is because my in-laws own one. They now have 190k miles on it and it is still going strong (and looks good too). Other than normal wear and tare, replacing tires/brakes, they have put less than $2,200 in repairs. So as far as I'm concerned, they got their monies worth."
11 people out of 22 found this review helpful
By Shelby on Sunday, July 06, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 95,000overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "comfortable, easy to drive"
Cons: "maintenance, no navigation, no sensors"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8
"My mom passed this car down to me with only 30,000 miles while I was in high school and it's still going strong in college! This car is extremely reliable and is made for comfort. The only thing about Volvo is that it is difficult to get parts fixed quickly since it is not made in the US. Besides that I have loved driving my Volvo!"
11 people out of 15 found this review helpful
By shop74 on Tuesday, July 01, 2014
I owned and sold this car
Reason: bad gas mileage bad ride
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 2
"I have had Hyundai, Acuras, Volvos and Lexus before this and I was very unhappy with this SUV. We have 2 little children and no problem on back seat. The pickup is HORRIBLE on the 6 Cylinder engine and gas mileage. 17 miles to gallon city driving. This was my first SUV and last. This will also be my last Volvo as they don't hold their value at all when trading in... I really like my 2002 S60 but this one was a mistake."
7 people out of 12 found this review helpful