Advertisement

Why ads?
Popular at KBB.com
  • 10 Best Luxury Cars Under $40,000
  • 2014 Small Luxury Sport Sedans
  • Class of 2015: New Vehicles Ready to Roll
  • 10 Best Midsize SUVs
Go

2011 Volvo XC90

Overview
Share this page
Trading in or Selling? Know where you stand with the most up-to-date Kelley Blue Book Value at your fingertips. See your car's value

Buying this car?

2011 Volvo XC90 Review

By

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.
Favorite Features

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

Trading in or Selling? Know where you stand with the most up-to-date Kelley Blue Book Value at your fingertips. See your car's value

Buying this car?

2011 Volvo XC90 Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
7.7
Out of 10

Based on 403 Ratings for the 2003 - 2014 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    7.8/10
    Quality
    8.0/10
  • Reliability
    7.9/10
    Performance
    8.1/10
  • Comfort
    8.6/10
    Styling
    8.5/10

I have loved this car!!!

By on Thursday, March 20, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 113,000

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
10/10

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"I can't say enough about this vehicle, no rust on a 10 year old car is amazing to me!! Made to last, performs great, AWD is great in Michigan weather! I would buy another Volvo XC90, but am disappointed that the 2014 interior looks just like my 2004! I would like to see some changes, so it feels like a new car inside and out!"

8 people out of 13 found this review helpful

XC90 Volvo

By on Saturday, February 22, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 35,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
10/10

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

"Have owned this vehicle for about 4 years, purchased new. Owned another Volvo before that (also purchased new). My XC90 (AWD 3.2) was the most comfortable, right size, and had the needed 4WD and other amenities. Extremely good leather seats, not as good as previous Volvo but close. Good visibility, easy controls, comfortable controlled ride, luxury details without a lot of unnecessary bells and whistles. Handles well on open rode and trips, no problems even in heavy winds with lots of semis around. No, it' not the fastest thing out of the gate but it moves just fine and safely through traffic and passing lanes and it rides very smooth and sound. Ok in snow, not great, but using caution no problems...far better than some SUVs I've drive in snow. Center control area could be better designed - however, looking at photos of the new to be future 2015 XC90, Volvo appears to be going in reverse instead of forward with their design ideas (i.e. good use of space )less cabin comforts and overuse of cold unfriendly looking high tech metals. I want a nice safe ride, luxury ad comfort - if I wanted a sport high tech vehicle I'd buy a sports car. They seem to have lost sight of the more basic European luxury wants and needs of their base clientele that may still be looking to buy these vehicles in the future. I don't particularly like the added sporty elements of the 2014 XC90 version but still considering the 2014 because compared to what is out there it still has the most of what I am looking for in the price range and it's been an excellent vehicle thus far. Everything interior/exterior has held up like new. It's a heavy vehicle, you will have to replace tires about 30K or more that is a given. Volvo doesn't make the tires (read tire reviews, most are bad). Gas mileage could be better - of course - but it's higher than posted here. I average 20-21 between city and highway, mostly around town driving which for this size is still not bad. The 3rd row seating is useless to me, never used, always down. This should be optional, and it would reduce the cost for those of us who do not need it too. I don't intend to purchase past 2014 (if I do ) the 2015 looks like an XC60 on slight steroids, is not particularly luxurious for this price range nor well thought out inside either. Volvos have slowly evolved to look like most vehicles out there, not distinctive and not good. Having driven an XC60 too can say it was also not their best effort with a very uncomfortable and useless cramped cabin/ interior and nothing special otherwise. I expect a future XC90's to be a disappointment to many longtime Volvo drivers. Unfortunately, the choices are getting smaller instead of larger for those looking for real European SUV's in this size and price range."

8 people out of 8 found this review helpful

V8 Beware!

By on Wednesday, January 29, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 90,083

10 5.0
overall rating 5 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
5/10
Value
6/10
Reliability
2/10
Quality
2/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

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

"Thank God I had an extended warrantee! Right at 90K the Balance Shaft Bearing blew. It took a month of fighting with the warrantee folks but they finally agreed to replace the engine with a rebuild aftermarket. Volvo said that a new engine would cost $16,500.00. Stay clear of this V8 from 2005 they were made wrong and Volvo decided not to do a re-call. The Balance Shaft Bearing does not get lubed from the engine oil. Aftermarket and engines made 6 months after the first release are fixed, but if you have one of the first models off the rack beware it’s a ticking time bomb!"

13 people out of 13 found this review helpful

2005 AWD 5Cyl Turbo

By on Monday, January 20, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 98,500

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
8/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
7/10
Quality
7/10
Performance
7/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Safety, stability, handling, comfort, looks"

Cons: "Tire wear, repair part cost,"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8

"Test drove this vehicle against all popular SUV's prior to purchase in 2004. XC-90 was a true 7 passenger SUV with excellent handling and adequate power. The vehicle condition is 9/9 inside and out and looks fresh after 9 years. Since new have replaced tires 3x, brakes once, heater core, fuel pump, fuel distributor. The repair costs are comparable for the brand and class. The vehicle has provided excellent service with a level of comfort and safety not experienced with other vehicles. Recent 'check engine' light codes for very minor items are annoying but not serious which may be software issues as opposed to failing components. Would like to purchase a new XC-90 but plan to keep this vehicle for the next 3-5 years."

8 people out of 8 found this review helpful

Good for safety...mechanically a piece of junk

By on Friday, December 20, 2013

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 90,000

10 5.0
overall rating 5 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
5/10
Value
5/10
Reliability
2/10
Quality
2/10
Performance
6/10
Styling
6/10
Comfort
7/10

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

"WE purchased the car new. After the warrantly expired the rear wheel bearing failed...$600. Volvo did not flinch. One year later the other bearing failed. This time with a lot of noise the split the cost with me. Shortly thereafter the transmission failed. I spent a lot to have them diagnose it and then they finally agreed to replace it after I found web material that a class action suit was pending. There are many more other items that add up to a piece of junk car mechanically."

16 people out of 20 found this review helpful

Luxury & Safety--I got both!

By on Wednesday, November 20, 2013

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 40,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "affordable luxury, safe, spacious, fun, classic"

Cons: "average gas mileage, not good for off-road travel,"

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

"I wanted a luxury vehicle that would also give me the peace of mind of safety. After shopping around for months, I found that I'd have to sacrifice one option to have the other or pay out the nose for all. That isn't the case with the Volvo! My XC90 provides me with the luxury and comfort I desired for me and the long-known Volvo safety, dependability, and comfort that I wanted for driving with my kids."

6 people out of 6 found this review helpful

Share this page

Advertisement

Why ads?
Trading in or Selling? Know where you stand with the most up-to-date Kelley Blue Book Value at your fingertips. See your car's value

Buying this car?