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2014 Volvo XC90 Review

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2014 Volvo XC90 Expert Review

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After receiving a major update last year, the 2014 Volvo XC90 continues to stack up well against newer competitors such as the Infiniti QX60 and Audi Q7. The XC90 offers a number of innovative features, such as a 2nd-row integrated child booster cushion. It also provides seating for seven, although like many 7-passenger SUVs its 3rd-row seat is rather cramped and eats up most of the usable cargo space. However, if safety is your top priority, it's worth noting that the XC90 was awarded a Top Safety Pick by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).

You'll Like This Car If...

If safety trumps fancy features and raw power, the 2014 Volvo XC90 is one of the safest and most tested 7-passenger crossover SUVs you can buy.

You May Not Like This Car If...

If you need space for people and cargo, the XC90's diminutive cargo space with the 3rd-row seat in place won't impress you. Those who prefer lots of power to tow or just move quickly won't be impressed, either.

How It Ranks

#56

out of 62

Fuel Economy

#54

out of 62

Horsepower
View all rankings

Consumer Rating

7.7 out of 10
View all
consumer ratings
2014 Volvo XC90 Low/wide front photo What's New for 2014

After a major refresh last year, the 2014 Volvo XC90 sees only a few changes to options packages and styling. Most notable is a fold-flat front-passenger seat, standard on the R-Design and optional on the 3.2.

Driving the XC90
2014 Volvo XC90 Front angle view photo

Driving Impressions We were pleasantly surprised by the 2014 Volvo XC90's strong on-road driving characteristics. Stability is impressive for such a tall vehicle, an attribute we chalk up to the partnership between...

... the XC90's sophisticated Roll Stability Control (RSC) and the vehicle's wide stance at the wheels. Given its eight inches of ground clearance, we expected more body roll in the curves, but the XC90 happily disagreed. It moves through turns with assuredness and delivers good feedback via the thick-rimmed steering wheel. A Haldex viscous-coupling all-wheel-drive (AWD) system splits the engine's torque between the front and rear axles. When not in use, the majority of the engine's power flows to the front wheels resulting in better fuel economy. When wheel slippage does occur, power is distributed to the wheels with the best traction. Once traction is regained, the system reverts back to its front-wheel-drive (FWD) mode.

CENTER BOOSTER CUSHION
The 2nd-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 2nd-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.

2014 Volvo XC90 Details
2014 Volvo XC90 Dashboard, center console, gear shifter view photo 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 3rd-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 2nd-row seat is fairly roomy and includes a sliding middle seat so parents can position a child closer to the front seats.

Exterior
2014 Volvo XC90 photo

Noticeably less elegant than many of its competitors, the 2014 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 2014 XC90's range of standard features is dual-zone automatic climate control with a 3rd-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 eight speakers, USB and auxiliary audio input ports for MP3/WMA players and HD Radio. The sporty R-Design adds a special grille and trim, sport front seats, the Nivomat self-leveling rear suspension and 19-inch wheels. Safety equipment includes anti-submarining seats to help prevent occupants from slipping out of their seatbelts during a collision.

Optional Equipment

The 2014 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. The XC90 3.2 is offered in base, Premier Plus or Platinum trims, while the R-Design comes in base and Platinum trim. The Premier Plus trim includes bi-xenon headlights, upgraded leather-trimmed seating surfaces and interior wood inlays (now standard on R-Design). Platinum trims include a navigation system, rearview camera and a 650-watt, 12-speaker premium audio system.

Under the Hood
2014 Volvo XC90 Engine photo

With a 2 ½-ton curb weight and the standard 240-horsepower, 3.2-liter inline 6-cylinder engine, the XC90 can feel slightly underpowered. Luckily, this 6-cylinder powerplant 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: 16/25 mpg (FWD), 16/23 mpg (AWD)

The Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) for the 2014 Volvo XC90 3.2 starts just over $40,500. AWD adds about $2,000. A loaded R-Design Platinum AWD model can approach $50,000. While similarly equipped models from Volkswagen, Cadillac and Infiniti fall within the same price range as the 2014 Volvo XC90, the Buick Enclave offers more interior room and a lower price. Although a popular vehicle, there is still room for negotiation on the bottom line, so be sure to check KBB.com's Fair Purchase Price for what consumers are actually paying for their XC90s in your market area. The XC90 retains marginal resale value, well below the BMW X5, Acura MDX, Volkswagen Touareg and Cadillac SRX, but on par with the Buick Enclave.

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2014 Volvo XC90 Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
7.7
Out of 10

Based on 443 Ratings for the 2003 - 2014 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    7.7/10
    Quality
    8.0/10
  • Reliability
    8.0/10
    Performance
    8.1/10
  • Comfort
    8.5/10
    Styling
    8.5/10

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."

19 people out of 35 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."

4 people out of 7 found this review helpful

Not all it's pumped up to be.

By on Tuesday, May 05, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 145,000

10 4.0
overall rating 4 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
4/10
Value
3/10
Reliability
5/10
Quality
3/10
Performance
5/10
Styling
7/10
Comfort
7/10

Pros: "Built like a tank. Solid structure, body."

Cons: "Electric issues."

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

"My wife loves this vehicle. She owned it when we got married. In the last year or so it's been going down hill fast. The headliner is falling. The cloth on the A post is coming loose. Now it has an electrical gremlin. It's been acting really strange lately. Lights on , lights off, dash dead, dash works, tail lights that won't turn off. It's going in the shop this week and hopefully it's something minor. I've all about getting it fixed as cheap as possible and getting rid of it. ASAP!! I've been reading a lot of stories about Volvos having electrical problems. Yes they are safe cars. Built like a tank, but everything else isn't up to par."

14 people out of 20 found this review helpful

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