By KBB.com Editors
Receiving its most significant update in nearly a decade, the 2013 Volvo XC90 adds a long overdue touch of refinement and style to its palette. This critical refresh arrived just in time, as spring 2012 will mark the debut of Infiniti's all-new 7-passenger JX. With seating for seven, a generous offering of standard equipment and a full complement of safety features, the XC90 is a great fit for parents who consider safety and versatility as top priorities in their next SUV purchase.
If you are looking for a 7-passenger luxury SUV for your family and nothing less than best-in-class safety will suffice, the Volvo XC90 will appease your protective nature.
The Volvo XC90 receives a host of styling enhancements for 2013. Chrome and silver accents, along with color-keyed fender lips, adorn the exterior while a new 3-spoke steering wheel, white backlit instrument cluster and upgraded leather-seating materials round out the key interior changes.
Driving Impressions The 2013 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 for peak fuel efficiency. Once those wheels begin to slip, however, the system routes power to the rear wheels until traction at the front has been regained.
Center Booster Cushion
The second-row middle seat features an integrated booster cushion that provides proper seatbelt and head restraint protection for smaller children. If the booster seat is no longer necessary, simply fold and stow the cushion for a conventional second-row seating configuration.
Nivomat Self-leveling Rear Suspension
To help mitigate rear suspension squat and instability due to heavy loads, the XC90 R-Design utilizes self-leveling rear shock absorbers. The result is improved aerodynamics, consistent tire wear, a proper headlight angle and increased vehicle control.
The Volvo XC90's interior layout strays from the typical form-over-function designs of its competitors. While it can be outfitted with warm wood and sumptuous leather, XC90 designers focused primarily on clever ergonomics and distinguishable controls. Supportive side bolstering, plush padding and creamy leather trim make for some of the most comfortable front seats in its class. Although the third-row seat is best suited for children, it does feature a versatile 50/50-split fold-flat design for various seating and cargo configurations. The second-row seat is fairly roomy and includes a sliding middle seat so parents can position a child closer to the front seats.Exterior
Noticeably less elegant than many of its competitors, the 2013 XC90 portrays a more reserved, traditional SUV design. Despite its tall stature, the XC90 offers easier ingress and egress than most 7-passenger SUVs. The XC90 shuns the massive wheel-and-tire combinations found on today's popular luxury SUVs for the increased ride comfort and lower replacement cost of an 18-inch setup. Two cameras mounted underneath the outside mirrors provide blind spot assistance while a reinforced roof design offers an added level of protection in the event of a rollover accident.
Among the 2013 XC90's range of standard features is dual-zone automatic climate control with a third-row control panel, power front seats, Bluetooth hands-free phone capability, rear sonar proximity sensors for parking assistance, leather seating surfaces, power moonroof, front and rear fog lights, illuminated remote keyless entry and dual heated power mirrors. The standard sound system features 8 speakers, USB and auxiliary audio input ports for MP3/WMA players and HD Radio. The sporty Volvo XC90 R-Design adds a special grille and trim, sport front seats, the Nivomat self-leveling rear suspension and 19-inch wheels. Safety equipment includes a full complement of airbags and anti-submarining seats to help prevent occupants from slipping out of their seatbelts during a collision.
The 2013 Volvo XC90 offers all-wheel drive for both the 3.2 and R-Design models. For a more simplified ordering process, the majority of available features for the XC90 are now grouped together within trims. XC90 3.2 and R-Design models are offered in base, Premier Plus or Platinum trims. The Premier Plus trim includes bi-xenon headlights, upgraded leather-trimmed seating surfaces and interior wood inlays. Platinum trims include a navigation system, rear backup camera and a 650-watt, 12-speaker premium audio system.
With a 2 ½-ton curb weight and the standard 240-horsepower, 3.2-liter in-line 6-cylinder engine, the XC90 can feel slightly underpowered. Luckily, this 6-cylinder power plant does not require premium gasoline, which makes it a bit easier to top off the tank without breaking the bank. Additionally, both the 3.2 and R-Design models offer a 6-speed automatic transmission with a sequential shift mode as standard fare.
240 horsepower @ 6,200 rpm
236 lb-ft of torque @ 3,200 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 16/23 mpg
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!"
7 people out of 10 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."
3 people out of 8 found this review helpful
By Dvolvo on Wednesday, June 18, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 111,000overall rating 10 of 10rating details
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
By Silvia on Friday, June 13, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 51,000overall rating 10 of 10rating details
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."
4 people out of 4 found this review helpful
By Jim on Wednesday, June 11, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 87,000overall rating 3 of 10rating details
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."
5 people out of 10 found this review helpful
By Joe Joe on Thursday, May 29, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 155,000overall rating 5 of 10rating details
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."
2 people out of 7 found this review helpful