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2011 Volvo XC90

Overview
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2011 Volvo XC90 Review

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With many Americans downsizing their lifestyles, it makes sense that they are doing the same with their vehicles. The 2011 Volvo XC90 should fit in nicely with families looking to move out of a big, truck-based sport utility vehicle (SUV) without sacrificing seating capacity or all-weather versatility. The roomy and safety conscious Volvo XC90 is reasonably sized and even offers a choice between in-line six-cylinder or V8 engines. Although similarly sized vehicles from Honda and Nissan may cost less, the Volvo name carries a bit more weight when it comes to impressing the neighbors. Regardless of how you view the 2011 Volvo XC90, there is no arguing with the vehicle's all-weather ability, tough-as-nails construction and strong safety legacy.

You'll Like This Car If...

If you only occasionally use a third-row seat and you place a higher value on safety and comfort than projecting a flashy image, the 2011 Volvo XC90 deserves to be near the top of your car shopping list.

You May Not Like This Car If...

If you not only need a third-row seat but also require generous cargo room behind said seat, the 2011 Volvo XC90 isn't as appealing as a GMC Acadia or Buick Enclave. Also, if gas prices continue northward, fuel economy is weak with either the six-cylinder or V8 engines.

What's Significant About This Car?

Changes to the 2011 Volvo XC90 include standard Bluetooth and Sirius Satellite Radio, as well as a five horsepower bump for the 3.2-liter engine.

Driving the XC90

Driving Impressions The 2011 Volvo XC90 delivers surprisingly strong on-road performance. Combining the sophisticated Roll Stability Control (RSC) system with the XC90's wide track is a big part of the reason the...

vehicle can safely perform emergency maneuvers. Despite the XC90's impressive eight-inches of ground clearance, the big Volvo doesn't feel like a top-heavy SUV. It takes corners with confidence and returns good feedback from the steering wheel and brake pedal. All-wheel-drive models benefit from a Haldex viscous-coupling system that divides the engine's power between the front and rear axles. When not in use, 95-percent of the engine's power is routed to the front wheels. Once those wheels begin to slip, however, the system routes power to the rear wheels until traction at the front has been regained.

Sliding Center Child Seat
The sliding center child seat allows a front-seat passenger to easily reach a child restrained in a safety seat in the second row.

Roof Pillars
The XC90's roof pillars help protect the passenger compartment in the event of a rollover.

2011 Volvo XC90 Details
2011 Volvo XC90 photo Interior

Although many may find the 2011 Volvo XC90's interior a bit reserved, we feel it is still worthy of a premium luxury vehicle, especially when trimmed in the available leather seating with contrasting piping. The Volvo XC90 provides seating for seven, although the forward-facing third row is a bit cramped for most adults. The second-row seat is fairly roomy and features a sliding center section that allows a child in a safety seat to be moved closer to the front-seat passenger. Front seat occupants are treated to Volvo's superb contoured bucket seats that also feature active head restraints, which help prevent whiplash in rear-end collisions.

Exterior

Looking somewhat like a bigger and taller version of the Volvo XC70 wagon, the 2011 Volvo XC90 displays all the tell-tale Volvo styling cues, including a raised-V hood bulge, elongated taillights and a prominent Volvo badge on the grille. The XC90's tall ride height does not create an unusually high step-up height, meaning entry and exit are similar to getting in and out of a car. The Volvo XC90 features a number of thoughtful features, such as the side-mirror turn signals that automatically flash when slight pressure is applied to the turn signal stalk. Also, there's the reinforced roof design, which can provide an added measure of security in the event of a rollover accident.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

The base 2011 Volvo XC90 3.2 features a 240-horsepower six-cylinder engine mated to a six-speed automatic transmission. Also standard is dual-zone automatic air conditioning, Bluetooth, rear park assist, leather seating, power glass moonroof, front and rear fog lights, illuminated remote keyless entry and dual heated power mirrors. The standard sound system features an AM/FM stereo unit with CD plus USB and auxiliary audio input ports. There's also an eight-way power driver's seat, power passenger seat, third-row climate control, child booster seat, front skid plate, and 17-inch alloy wheels. The sporty Volvo XC90 3.2 R-Design adds a special grille and trim, leather seating, the Nivomat self-leveling rear suspension and 19-inch wheels. The top-of-the-line Volvo XC90 V8 AWD trim adds all-wheel drive, rain-sensing wipers, heated front seats, headlamp washers, and 18-inch alloy wheels.

Optional Equipment

Options for the 2011 Volvo XC90 3.2 and XC90 3.2 R-Design start with all-wheel drive. Most other options are included in packages. The Climate Package adds heated seats, headlamp washers, rain-sensing wipers and the Interior Air Quality System. The Multimedia Package features Dynaudio Pro Logic II surround sound, a rear-assist camera and Volvo navigation with Real Time Traffic. The Volvo XC90 V8 AWD can be equipped with the Luxury Package that includes 19-inch wheels, massaging and ventilated front seats, and heated rear seats. Other options include the Blind Spot Information System (BLIS), Bluetooth, dual-screen rear entertainment system, 19-inch wheels, Bi-xenon headlamps that rotate in the direction the steering wheel is turned and a wood or leather steering wheel.

Under the Hood

The 240-horsepower, 3.2-liter in-line six-cylinder engine gives the base 2011 Volvo XC90 3.2 and Volvo XC90 3.2 R-Design more than adequate power. Many SUV owners, however, just can't live without a V8. For them, the 311-horspower, 4.4-liter V8 in the Volvo XC90 V8 AWD vastly improves performance. Better yet, neither engine requires premium gasoline, which makes it a bit easier to top off the tank without breaking the bank.

3.2-liter in-line 6
240 horsepower @ 6200 rpm
236 lb.-ft. of torque @ 3200 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 16/22 (FWD), 16/22 (AWD)

4.4-liter V8
311 horsepower @ 5850 rpm
325 lb.-ft. of torque @ 3900 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 14/21

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2011 Volvo XC90 Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
7.7
Out of 10

Based on 415 Ratings for the 2003 - 2014 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    7.7/10
    Quality
    8.0/10
  • Reliability
    7.9/10
    Performance
    8.1/10
  • Comfort
    8.5/10
    Styling
    8.5/10

First car

By on Sunday, July 06, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 95,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

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!"

8 people out of 11 found this review helpful

terrible XC90

By on Tuesday, July 01, 2014

I owned and sold this car
Reason: bad gas mileage bad ride

10 6.0
overall rating 6 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
6/10
Value
2/10
Reliability
6/10
Quality
6/10
Performance
1/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
8/10

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."

4 people out of 9 found this review helpful

best vehicle ever

By on Wednesday, June 18, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 111,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "great"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I owned 2 grand cherokees and didn't like the noise level in the cabin. My 05 xc90 was quieter, had more torque for getting on the freeways and very reliable. I'd like to get a new one but I'd like them to change something on the newer models...new should not look old."

10 people out of 16 found this review helpful

Volvo XC-90 saved my LIFE !!!! Best car EVER !

By on Friday, June 13, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 51,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Safety car , #1 !!!!"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I would really recommend this car to everyone, especially people who want safety, comfort, and luxury. Its a great car for anyone who has kids but at the same time it is not too bulky like most SUVS. After getting into a major accident (the car was a total loss) in which I shockingly came out alive, I was reassured that I made the right choice in purchasing this car. After losing this car, I do not have to think twice about buying another Volvo."

5 people out of 5 found this review helpful

Bought Used and am very dissatisfied

By on Wednesday, June 11, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 87,000

10 3.0
overall rating 3 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
3/10
Value
4/10
Reliability
3/10
Quality
3/10
Performance
3/10
Styling
2/10
Comfort
3/10

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1

"I bought this car with around 26k mile and now has nearly 87K. I am putting on my second set of tires the last set lasted about 30k. The nav/GPS system is ergonomically unfirendly and hard to use. You blindly have to set it and often push the wrong button and it retracts into the dash. Then you have to restart the process. Now the GPS does not always retract into the dash when shutting off. Have had to jump start car 3 times because of that and replace the battery once. I took out the fuse to stop this problem but then the radio does not work. This time it will cost over $1400 to fix. I am having them just unplug the GPS. Parking sensor went out and will cost $470 to replace. Leaking oil and the vaccum pump seal will be another $247. Remember this only has 87K miles. The seating capacity is falsly advertised. My family is scrunched in it. The third row person's knees hit the middle row seat and the middle row is pushed against the front row. My son is only 5'10" so the 3rd row is really for show only. The radio is somewhat complicated and you have to play with it to understand it. It is a gas guzzler too."

6 people out of 11 found this review helpful

Gas hog. Expensive maintain.

By on Thursday, May 29, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 155,000

10 5.0
overall rating 5 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
5/10
Value
5/10
Reliability
4/10
Quality
3/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
7/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "Very safe and nice ride"

Cons: "Gas hog."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 3

"Purchased car new for wife. Car have had two transmissions replaced by dealer because of known problem. Car is great if you drive and get rid of before the warranty is off as it is expensive to maintain. I would not purchase another one. The car still drives great, but burns too much gasoline if one person is riding in it."

3 people out of 9 found this review helpful

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