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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 439 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

Surprizingly Uncomfortable Car

By on Friday, April 24, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 69,000

10 6.0
overall rating 6 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "beautiful, muscular"

Cons: "awful front panel, no place to store purse"

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

"I fully expected to love this car. It looks beautiful, handles, seemed to have all the whiz bang features. But... the features are unnecessarily complex and hard to use, particularly if you are the driver. It's virtually impossible to turn on the radio after you've gotten a phone call, the climate seems impossible to get comfortable, you have to have the instructions in hand to turn on a DVD for the kids, etc. As a woman, the part I hated most is THERES NO PLACE TO PUT A PURSE. Who design a car this century who doesn't expect women to drive. Very annoying. Oh, and the speedometer is hard to read, cruise control buttons not very responsive - you practically have to honk the horn to turn on the control."

One of the best we've ever owned

By on Wednesday, April 15, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 117,000

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
9/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
10/10

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

"This has been one of the best vehicles we have ever owned. I am extremely comfortable with my wife and sons taking it on a long trip knowing that they will find it extremely dependable and reliable, and in event of an accident extremely survivable."

7 people out of 11 found this review helpful

Okay vehicle, would expect higher quality.

By on Friday, March 27, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 107,450

10 5.0
overall rating 5 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
5/10
Value
6/10
Reliability
6/10
Quality
4/10
Performance
Not Rated
Styling
6/10
Comfort
7/10

Pros: "Lots of cup holders, roomy and comfortable"

Cons: "Too man rattles, lots of broken things"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 2

"This car has been okay for us. It's a comfortable midsize SUV. Overall we haven't had any major issues, but lots and lots of small ones. Many interior pieces break or crack. We've had to replace the driver side sidepiece due to cracking, fuel door hinge is broken, center console hinge broke, window up/down buttons cracked, glove box hinge is broken and cup holder plastic piece is popping up. We are two adults in their 30's and not hard on our cars. This car is made of cheap plastic. Everything rattles and squeaks. The center console is really noisy and I've tried felt tape all over it. The plastic housing on the window control buttons rattles. There are so many rattles that come from the 2nd row seating and I have no idea what they are. I would not recommend this car."

5 people out of 8 found this review helpful

LUXURY RIDE

By on Wednesday, March 25, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 93,500

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
1/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Fun and extremely safe to drive,"

Cons: "TOOO expensive for a retired person..."

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

"If money is no object this is the SUV for you. It is outstanding in looks, comfort, and features but fixing it is very costly. In the almost year I've had it, I've only put 2K miles on it, paid $13K and have lost $4K of that in trade-in value. I want something much less costly when it needs lubricated or fixed, So far, I have spent oodles of money for new tires, all head and turn signal lights have been replaced, all 5 engine coils have been replaced. This has been an expensive vehicle to keep running in my experience. It gets terrible mileage, so I am looking for something newer that gets considerably better mileage and is good to go for at least a year with NO NECESSARY REPAIRS,"

7 people out of 8 found this review helpful

very reliable, great safety features

By on Saturday, March 14, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 33,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

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

"Volvo never corrected the drivers side windshield wiper/washer issue which does not clean the bottom portion of the windshield. This has been an issue with this model for years. Supposedly corrected with the 2015 models. That just seems ridiculous and the mfr has no solution for it other then a shrug of the shoulders. Other then that the vehicle has performed well and no issues experienced yet. Interior is comfortable and well designed. 3rd row seat is roomy enough for teenagers or short distances for adults. This has been a great family vehicle"

3 people out of 7 found this review helpful

Good vehicle

By on Monday, March 09, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 85,000

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

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

"My husband passed away and I have an extra car. I bought this Volvo new and have cared for it as my responsibility. Everything has been done when needed but now I do not need two cars."

10 people out of 15 found this review helpful

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