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2013 Volvo XC90

Overview
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2013 Volvo XC90 Review

By

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.

You'll Like This Car If...

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.

You May Not Like This Car If...

If you plan to carry a considerable amount of cargo behind an occupied third-row seat, you might find the Buick Enclave or the GMC Acadia more accommodating.

What's New for 2013

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 the XC90

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.

2013 Volvo XC90 Details
Interior

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.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

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.

Optional Equipment

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.

Under the Hood

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.

3.2-liter inline-6
240 horsepower @ 6,200 rpm
236 lb-ft of torque @ 3,200 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 16/23 mpg

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2013 Volvo XC90 Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
7.7
Out of 10

Based on 430 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

A gamble

By on Monday, December 22, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 126,000

10 2.0
overall rating 2 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
2/10
Value
4/10
Reliability
2/10
Quality
5/10
Performance
2/10
Styling
6/10
Comfort
7/10

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."

1 person out of 2 found this review helpful

Best Volvo I have ever owned

By on Wednesday, December 10, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 257,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

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

"I bought my XC90 in 2005 with 70,000 miles on it. She now has 257,000 miles, and she is still running strong. I've had to keep up on basic maintenance just like with any other car, but I have had no major out of pocket expenses for this vehicle since I have owned it. I absolutely love the way this vehicle drives and handles, and it has great get up and go. I have the AWD T6, so it does very well in snow... I live in Wisconsin, so this is very important. While the interior does lack in personal storage, it's an extremely comfortable and roomy vehicle. I love the style of this vehicle both inside and out. It has a very classic yet modern feel to it, and I just love driving it. Nice thing about this vehicle is that the body style has not changed much over the years, and it always looks newer than it is. Put it next to an 06, and you can't tell the difference. I read allot of mixed reviews about this vehicle prior to purchase, more bad then good, but this vehicle has proven those reviews wrong in my mind. She has been one of the most reliable Volvos I have ever owned. I'm purchasing a 2010 in about a week, and this one is going to my son. I'd like to see if we can get her to 400,000 miles or more."

9 people out of 16 found this review helpful

very reliable car

By on Friday, December 05, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 64,160

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "very good car"

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

"80% hihgway driving, maintainance done personally, change oil every 4000 miles/ no accident/ excellent running condition"

3 people out of 7 found this review helpful

What the Heck?

By on Wednesday, December 03, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 132,000

10 6.0
overall rating 6 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
6/10
Value
6/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
5/10
Comfort
6/10

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

"Here's my take on this vehicle. Very plain interior. Not much storage or room for phones, drinks, sunglasses, etc. Now why would Volvo not have an overdrive for this vehicle. It is a six cylinder turbo and has only four gears thus we get about 14 miles to the gallon on the hiway! That is horrible. We only bought this to protect my young son and should have done more research before we purchased."

9 people out of 14 found this review helpful

Nice but be careful

By on Sunday, November 30, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 161,000

10 7.0
overall rating 7 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "attractive styling, great interior, good mileage"

Cons: "A few bugs that need to be worked out"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 6

"I bought this vehicle about 6 months ago and although I love the fit, finish, and road manners of it, I would suggest to anyone who buys one to make sure the throttle body has been replaced and that the plenum leak in the firewall has been fixed. The throttle body problem may leave you stranded and the water leak causes the CEM to malfunction, which can leave you without any heat, air, radio, power windows, turn signal, or gauge cluster function. I found out through a little digging that these are common problems with this model and Volvo knows about them. I happen to work on vehicles and was able to fix these problems myself but if you do not know how, these repairs may cost well into the thousands. Be careful."

6 people out of 11 found this review helpful

Best car

By on Wednesday, November 19, 2014

I own this car

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: "Comfortable/ nice looking"

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

"Bought it 2005 and still runs well. It's so comfortable and I feel so safe. It's a great size for a car that seats 7. It doesn't feel bulky like most suv's, I am able to park in the compact spot at times. The gas mileage it's not the best but it's ok for the quality of the car. I did have some trouble with the air in the very beginning but it went away on its own. Nothing ever broke. The only money I have spent on this car was for maintenance and gas. It's a solid, safe and beautiful car for a family."

14 people out of 24 found this review helpful

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