The Volvo XC90 is a majestic option in the massive mid-size luxury SUV sector because of its elegant design, spacious interior, and plenty of high-quality amenities and safety features. The Volvo XC90 is the company’s largest SUV, and it can seat as many as seven people across its three rows of seats.
Its main competitors are the Porsche Cayenne, BMW X5, Genesis GV80, and Mercedes-Benz GLE-class. The XC90’s sophisticated cabin, which is heavily influenced by Swedish design, helps it place high in our rankings. Volvo offers a wide variety of engine options, from a 247-hp turbocharged inline-four paired with a 48-volt mild hybrid system to a plug-in hybrid system producing 455 hp in the XC90 Recharge.
All XC90 engines are eight-speed automatics, and all models feature all-wheel drive. The XC90 has been designed with a high-end clientele in mind, thus it features a comfortable cabin, advanced safety features, and a maximum towing capacity of 5000 pounds.
What is Coming in 2023?
The trim levels of the 2023 Volvo XC90 are now known by snazzy new names. The Momentum and Inscription trim levels have been replaced by the Core, Plus, and Ultimate levels. Volvo has phased out its gas-only T5 and T6 engines, replacing them with mild-hybrid four-cylinder turbo B5 and B6 powertrains in a bid to convert its whole lineup into an electric one.
In addition, Volvo has eliminated six exterior paint options in favor of three new metallic hues: Bright Dusk, Platinum Grey, and Silver Dawn. There are now Dark and Bright exterior color schemes for the XC90, with the latter swapping out the gleaming chrome and stainless steel accents for black high-gloss components.
Newly added to the Core model exclusively is the Climate package, which includes a heated steering wheel, heated rear seats, and a headlamp cleaning system. The new Ultimate trim now offers a Lounge option, which includes massaging front seat backrests and a headliner that looks and feels like Nubuck suede. The Core grade now offers optional 20-inch wheels, while the Plus trim now offers optional 21-inch wheels. Other new a la carte extras include a Harman Kardon audio system and a head-up display.
- 2022 Volvo XC90 PLUS B5 MHEV: $92,990
- 2022 Volvo XC90 ULTIMATE B6 BRIGHT MHEV: $102,990
- 2022 Volvo XC90 ULTIMATE B6 DARK MHEV: $104,990
- 2022 Volvo XC90 RECHARGE ULTIMATE T8 PHEV: $121,990
Engine, Transmission, and Performance
Volvo has electrified some of the XC90’s powertrain options to improve fuel economy. Although a fully electric XC90 is not currently available, the Core trim level already benefits from a 48-volt electric motor that is connected to the 2.0-liter turbocharged engine, increasing total output to 247 hp.
Maximum power can be increased to 295 hp by opting for the B6 powertrain, which comes as an option on the Plus and as standard equipment on the Ultimate. The T8 plug-in hybrid XC90 Recharge has 455 horsepower and an EPA-estimated 66 MPGe, making it the most powerful and efficient of the bunch. Every single XC90, regardless of package or engine, features standard all-wheel drive and an eight-speed automatic transmission.
On our test track, the T8 Recharge accelerated to 60 miles per hour in 4.5 seconds. The Volvo, like many vehicles in its somewhat lofty class, leans somewhat obviously through corners, but its steering reactions are precise, and the wheel has a nice middle-of-the-road heft that’s neither too light nor too heavy. Our test vehicle’s optional air suspension made for a comfortable, quiet ride, and it handled itself capably in a wide variety of road conditions. One of the few complaints about the otherwise elegant XC90 is a clattering from the chassis over extremely sharp bumps.
Towing and Payload Capacity
Not all XC90s can tow a maximum of 5000 pounds, so prospective boat and trailer owners should do their research. The 295-horsepower B6 powerplant and XC90 PHEV are the only XC90s capable of towing that much; the standard Core’s 247-horsepower B5 powertrain has a towing capacity of 4000 pounds. It makes no difference whether you’re driving a six- or seven-seat XC90; the ratings are determined solely by the vehicle’s engine.
Fuel Economy and Real-World MPG
The XC90 matches the fuel economy of many of its six-cylinder rivals, except the T8 plug-in hybrid powertrain. The EPA estimates 22 cities and 28 highway mpg for the 247-hp B5 powerplant, and 20 cities and 26 highway mpg for the 295-hp B6 powertrain in the XC90. The EPA estimates the XC90 Recharge T8’s all-electric range to be 36 miles and gives it a rating of 66 MPGe in combined city/highway driving. We found that the XC90 Recharge’s fuel economy was subpar at 75 mph on the highway test, with only 58 MPGe and a range of 29 miles on battery power.
Interior, Comfort, and Cargo
The XC90’s cabin is a design masterpiece. From the sleek styling to the high-quality components, this vehicle has us wishing there were more like it on the road. Even though the third row has more legroom than in most competitors, adults will still be unhappy there. However, preteens may be convinced to sit there for a short trip. While the XC90’s wide, boxy shape aids in cargo transportation, the vehicle’s interior compartments aren’t as spacious as those of other rivals’ models.
Infotainment and Connectivity
All XC90s come standard with an attractive tablet-like 9.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard on all models, and a mobile Wi-Fi hotspot may be purchased as an upgrade. More redundant physical buttons would be a good addition to the system.
2022 Volvo XC90 Recharge T8 Extended Range
Vehicle Type: front-engine, rear-motor, all-wheel-drive, 7-passenger, 4-door wagon
Base/As Tested: $66,895/$84,090
Options: Inscription package (Nappa leather, heated and ventilated front seats, wood deco inlay, 20-inch wheels, tailored dashboard and upper door panels, Harman/Kardon premium sound, four-zone climate control), $6300; Bowers & Wilkens premium sound, $3200; air suspension, $1800; Lounge package (Nubuck headliner, massaging front seats), $1700; Advanced package (air purifier, head-up display, surround-view camera), $1650; 21-inch wheels, $800; Climate package (heated steering wheel, heated rear seats, headlight washers), $750, Pine Grey Metallic paint, $695; integrated center booster cushion for the second row, $300
turbocharged and intercooled DOHC 16-valve 2.0-liter inline-4, 312 hp, 295 lb-ft + AC motor, 143 hp, 228 lb-ft (combined output: 455 hp, 523 lb-ft; 14.9-kWh lithium-ion battery pack; 3.7-kW onboard charger)
Transmissions: 8-speed automatic/direct-drive
Suspension, F/R: control arms/multilink
Brakes, F/R: 14.4-in vented disc/13.4-in vented disc
Tires: Pirelli Scorpion Verde All Season
275/40R-21 107W M+S VOL
Wheelbase: 117.5 in
Length: 195.0 in
Width: 75.7 in
Height: 69.9 in
Passenger Volume: 132 ft3
Cargo Volume: 11 ft3
Curb Weight: 5194 lb
C/D TEST RESULTS
60 mph: 4.5 sec
100 mph: 11.3 sec
1/4-Mile: 13.1 sec @ 107 mph
The results above omit a 1-ft rollout of 0.3 sec.
Rolling Start, 5–60 mph: 5.0 sec
Top Gear, 30–50 mph: 2.6 sec
Top Gear, 50–70 mph: 3.3 sec
Top Speed (gov ltd): 115 mph
Braking, 70–0 mph: 184 ft
Road holding, 300-ft Skidpad: 0.81 g
C/D FUEL ECONOMY
Observed: 29 MPGe
75-mph Highway Driving, EV/Hybrid Mode: 58 MPGe/28 mpg
75-mph Highway Range, EV/Hybrid mode: 29/520 mi
EPA FUEL ECONOMY
Combined/City/Highway: 26/25/27 mpg
Combined Gasoline + Electricity: 66 MPGe
EV Range: 36 mi