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2011 Volvo XC90

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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 New for 2011

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 448 Ratings for the 2003 - 2014 models.

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

Not worth the money

By on Wednesday, April 27, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 58,000

10 3.0
overall rating 3 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Looks good"

Cons: "Corporation doesn't back up their product"

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

"I purchased this vehicle brand new off the lot. I bought the R-Design (sport model), and this vehicle rides like a truck. After three years, the backup/safety camera and GPS system stopped working consistently. After over a year of working with the dealer, Volvo came back and said there's no fix for a bug in their software. They are never going to fix it. The most they could do is offer me a discount on ANOTHER Volvo vehicle. Volvo has completely disappointed me with this customer service. They have my money, and now they're not standing behind their product. Sad. First and last Volvo I will ever own."

19 people out of 24 found this review helpful

Reliable 2004 XC90 With Low Mileage

By on Tuesday, December 8, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 116,000

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Fun to drive; low mileage for a 2004 model"

Cons: "CD player doesn't work, minor wear"

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

"2004 XC 90 with turbo in excellent condition. New transmission, new brakes, new timing belt, almost new tires. Drives well and has a clean history. Service documents available. CD player does not work. Engine has A LOT of miles left. Great car with Volvo's reputation for safety. It feels like you're driving a tank."

15 people out of 29 found this review helpful

Really liked it at first. Now, not so much

By on Tuesday, November 3, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 98,000

10 2.0
overall rating 2 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
2/10
Value
1/10
Reliability
4/10
Quality
5/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Engine good, AC good, no problem with tranny/turbo"

Cons: "High cost to maintain, low trade in value."

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

"Purchased this car brand new. We're in our late 60's and drive softly. We've owned it for 10 years. While it was under warranty, it hardly ever needed anything except regular maintenance. Then, the warranty ran out. Since then, it has cost us over $8,000 in repairs. Shame on us for taking it to the dealership for the repairs . . . they're very expensive and they condemn everything that is wearing; even though the particular parts still meet specs. (ie, brakes). All that is fine. I learned how to replace the front struts and brake parts myself. But I authorized the dealership to replace the motor mounts which went out about 6 months after the warranty. Oooh, that was over $1,000! The good part has been the AC system. It has never faltered. And the engine and tranny have never given a problem. But the kicker was at the end. The car cost almost $50,000 when new. 10 years later, almost zero at $4,000; even though it's virtually immaculate, has brand new tires, brand new struts, brand new battery, new brakes, etc. etc. etc. I look at other brands and see that a similar car would have almost double the value. So this is our last Volvo."

36 people out of 44 found this review helpful

One of the best vehicles I have ever owned.

By on Tuesday, August 25, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 29,975

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: "Love the way it drives and keep the road."

Cons: "cup holders in front could be positioned different"

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

"The only complaint I have about my XC90 is that the brake pedal and gas pedal are a little too close together. Sometimes when I have my foot on the brake at a stop light/sign I am also depressing the gas pedal at the same time."

21 people out of 32 found this review helpful

Very safe, very reliable

By on Wednesday, June 3, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 44,000

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
7/10
Comfort
7/10

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

"I like my Volvo XC90, 2010, very much. Handles extremely well, and accelerates when you need it. ONLY issues are the teeny-tiny LCD screen, and lack of installed GSP device. DC power sources oddly do not accept all devices (other than the main source on the dashboard). But great, solid car."

30 people out of 54 found this review helpful

2013 Volvo XC90

By on Tuesday, June 2, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 30,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Comfort and space"

Cons: "Rough running 3.2 straight six"

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

"My wife and I love this SUV. Although we test drove the Lexus RX350 we choose the XC90 which was $10k less with more room. OH and Volvo's CPO is the best 7years/100k miles bumper to bumper no deductible. Some of the interior parts are plasticy and cheap but other that the build quality of the vehicle exudes toughness. It really drives and handles like a smaller vehicle. The seats are SO comfortable as are most Volvos. We traded in our 2012 XC70 T6 and miss the smooth more powerful engine. The 3.2 straight six is a little harsh running but has enough power to get you around."

10 people out of 20 found this review helpful

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