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 Kathy C. on Friday, March 27, 2015
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 107,450overall rating 5 of 10rating details
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."
By Muggs on Wednesday, March 25, 2015
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 93,500overall rating 9 of 10rating details
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,"
1 person out of 2 found this review helpful
By niko5252 on Saturday, March 14, 2015
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 33,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
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"
By Honey on Monday, March 09, 2015
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 85,000overall rating 10 of 10rating details
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."
4 people out of 7 found this review helpful
By Roadie on Friday, February 27, 2015
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 152,238overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "Comfortable, safe, and reliable."
Cons: "T6 transmission problems. Leather wears quickly."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"After considerable research I learned that the T6 model has horrible transmission problems, but my 2.5T has been excellent. It carries our entire family, all of our stuff, and does it comfortably. I really like this SUV. Maintenance and repairs have been minimal in over 100K miles."
5 people out of 9 found this review helpful
By K. M. on Monday, December 22, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 126,000overall rating 2 of 10rating details
Pros: "Nice looking comfortable"
Cons: "Mechanical issues not worth the style."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1
"If you are one of the unlucky gamblers to get one with the common faulty transmisions, prepare to add an additional $6000 to $7000 to your cost. A common problem since 2003. Volvo needs to step up to the plate and replace the faulty transmissions with a reliable design."
52 people out of 74 found this review helpful