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2013 Volvo XC90

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2013 Volvo XC90 Review

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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 447 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

Reliable 2004 XC90 With Low Mileage

By on Tuesday, December 08, 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."

9 people out of 12 found this review helpful

Really liked it at first. Now, not so much

By on Tuesday, November 03, 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."

19 people out of 24 found this review helpful

Loved the look of this Car!!! but not dependable!

By on Tuesday, October 27, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 138,000

10 2.0
overall rating 2 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
2/10
Value
1/10
Reliability
1/10
Quality
2/10
Performance
Not Rated
Styling
10/10
Comfort
7/10

Pros: "great look"

Cons: "no dependable"

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

"I got it used and within a week had to replace the transmission, then a coil pack went bad so I had to replace that & ended up doing a full tune up! then a week later had to replace the entire transmission again!! It has been a money pit!! The only thin it has going for it is the look! It fits my 5 kids very comfortably when its running!!!"

9 people out of 14 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."

18 people out of 23 found this review helpful

Very safe, very reliable

By on Wednesday, June 03, 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."

27 people out of 51 found this review helpful

2013 Volvo XC90

By on Tuesday, June 02, 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."

8 people out of 15 found this review helpful

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