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 Hank on Saturday, October 04, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 7,200overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "Fairly priced against other European SUV. Gd. val"
Cons: "Awkward third seat. Haven't used."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 7
"3.2 engine is not fruga lon gas. Averaged 18.6 mpg on 4 separate trips from Long Island to Stuart, Fl. Vehicle feels safe, good on long trips. A bit cumbersome in heavy traffic. Cargo space is adequate."
3 people out of 4 found this review helpful
By Juan Pablo on Monday, September 22, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 93,500overall rating 7 of 10rating details
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 3
"As a family car the Volvo is comfortable and looks GREAT! As a father of four...we have had astronomical bills on repairs....A/C condenser then compressor....then leaks.....I recommend another car if you are looking for a reliable A/C."
5 people out of 8 found this review helpful
By Twister on Saturday, September 20, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 84,000overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "Comfortable drive and very good on gas"
Cons: "Pricey: Tire replacements high AWD"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"This vehicle is our mine travel car. It has been cross country three times from San Diego to Michigan via cross Canada, cross Northern USA and Southern USA. It has been to Canada twice and several trips to Northern CA, NV and AZ. The interior is designed exceptionally and the exterior is sharp. I am awaiting the arrival of the 2016 model this spring. This has been my most favorite vehicle!!! The ride is exceptional - comfortable - reliable and resilient etc... the best vehicle yet. The cars I have had are Olds, Renault, Mazda, Toyotas (very good) VWs. The color is Ice Green. One feels very safe in this vehicle. Pictures will be loaded later."
4 people out of 8 found this review helpful
By WOODS FAMILY on Wednesday, September 17, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 135,000overall rating 1 of 10rating details
Pros: "Nice to look at when purchased in 2004"
Cons: "HORRIBLE REPAIR BILLS"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1
"Love the sleek styling at first glance. However, we have had the WORST possible experience with this car in the world. After the 50,000 mile warranty was up, EVERY major system on this car broke down and needed extensive repairs. I would NEVER recommend this car to a friend or family member. Just took it in for more repairs (trading it in finally) and found that we need $1700. 00 in additional repairs. I asked the service personnel to look at history of repairs and he said it had been repaired 31 times. And I can truthfully say that those were each substantial in dollar amounts. I would even venture to say that we spent as much on repairs as the car cost in the time period we had it. If not more, very close. Maybe we got a lemon, but the dealership did not help out much. Volvo Corporation should be ashamed to call this a reliable car. NEVER, EVER, AGAIN."
4 people out of 7 found this review helpful
By bdo on Tuesday, September 16, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 113,000overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "runs like new"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"I own a repair shop for forty years . This Volvo has been gone over front to back new timing belt , tuned up new brakes and parking brakes, and much much more. This vehicle looks new drives like new and smells like new, and has been kept in a garage since new. If you put it on a Volvo show room floor it would pass as new.This vehicle has passed Maryland state inspection , which is the strictest in the USA . This car is absolutely beautiful"
3 people out of 6 found this review helpful
By Scarface Six on Wednesday, August 27, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 33,200overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "Great utility, comfort, visibility, and power!"
Cons: "Roof mounted antenna wire comes loose."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"Our 2006 XC-90 was hit by a red light runner and totaled, with NO serious injuries to either occupant. A small ankle bruise from the brake pedal, was the ONLY injury. We decided to replace her 2006 with a 2011 XC-90, and we are SURE that was a GREAT decision. After 25000 miles, the engine started smoking, and Volvo replaced the ENTIRE engine after trying two repairs. Very impressive! It is roomy enough to fit five comfortably and seven with the back seats up. With the beach seats easily folded away, a split rear door is comfortable to use and provides access to LOTS of ROOM for groceries and other supplies. We will likely get another XC90 within the next 16 months. We just LOVE this car."
2 people out of 6 found this review helpful