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2019 Volvo XC90 Review

The 2019 Volvo XC90 is a luxury midsize SUV with seating for up to seven occupants. It’s packed with many convenience features as standard, but it’s the number of advanced safety features that really pull the XC90 into the top handful of vehicles that any serious potential buyer should consider.

Solidifying the XC90’s position as a major contender are the arguably handsome exterior and interior designs, along with the quality of materials. As well as that, the driving experience is composed and serene.

What’s New for 2019?

The entry level T5 Momentum version now has third-row seating, quad-zone climate control, heated windshield washer nozzles, a garage door opener, a compass in the rearview mirror, dark birch wood trim and a 12-volt outlet in the cargo area, while all-wheel-drive variants receive heated front seats. But it does lose the Navigation Pro feature and the cargo cover.

This model is eligible for a new optional Multimedia Package that has Navigation Pro, a 12.3-in digital driver information display and a Harman Kardon audio system upgrade.

The T5 R-Design gains the Navigation Pro system, plus sun shades for the rear side doors, a tailored dashboard and upper door panels, plus the Harman Kardon audio system, while losing the full LED headlights with automatic high beams and high-pressure cleaning. Virtually the same comings and goings apply to the T6 R-Design and T6 Inscription models.

The 2019 XC90 also sees a new optional Advanced Package that includes the full LED headlights with automatic high beams and high-pressure cleaning, a self-steering parking feature, a 360-degree camera system and a head-up display. And the Luxury Package now includes a heated steering wheel.See the 2019 Volvo XC90 models for sale near you

What We Like

Handsome exterior design; thoughtful interior design; top-notch safety equipment.

What We Don’t

Stop/start engine feature a little too intrusive; smallest engine not the best choice.

How Much?


Fuel Economy

The engine in T5 models is a 2.0-liter 4-cylinder unit turbocharged to produce 250 horsepower and 258 lb-ft. This is linked to an 8-speed automatic transmission that sends drive to the front wheels by default. AWD is optional.

The Environmental Protection agency (EPA) estimates fuel consumption in front-wheel-drive form is rated at 21 miles per gallon in the city, 29 mpg on the highway and 24 mpg in combined driving. With AWD, the numbers are 20 mpg city/27 mpg hwy/23 mpg combined.

The T6 has the same transmission, yet with AWD as standard. It also uses a 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine, but this one is supercharged, as well as turbocharged. The result is 316 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque. Despite that extra power, fuel consumption is pretty good at 19 mpg city/26 mpg hwy/22 mpg combined.

Adding an electric motor to the engine and AWD setup of the T6 produces the T8 AWD plug-in hybrid version. The whole system develops 400 hp and 472 lb-ft of torque. The EPA states an all-electric range of 17 miles and an average miles-per-gallon equivalent of 58 MPGe. In standard hybrid mode, combined consumption is 25 mpg. Charging the lithium-ion battery from a 240-volt outlet takes 2.5 hours, while using an 120-volt outlet takes almost three times as long.

Standard Features & Options

The 2019 Volvo XC90 comes in T5, T6 and T8 versions. Accommodation is for seven, except the super-luxurious T8 Excellence trim level that seats four.

The T5 is sold in Momentum and R-Design trims. The T6 is available in Momentum, R-Design or Inscription. And the T8 comes in Momentum, R-Design, Inscription or Excellence trims.

T5 Momentum ($48,695) comes well equipped with 18-in alloy wheels, a panoramic sunroof, quad-zone automatic climate control, premium vinyl upholstery, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, 10-way power-adjustable front seats with driver’s-side memory settings, heated front seats (AWD versions), a hands-free lift gate, roof rails, rain-sensing wipers, heated windshield washer nozzles, a garage door opener, a compass in the self-dimming rearview mirror, dark birch wood trim, drive mode selection, a rearview camera, navigation, keyless entry/ignition, a 12-volt outlet in the cargo area, Bluetooth phone and audio, a 9-in touchscreen (set vertically) and a 10-speaker audio system with satellite radio, Apple CarPlay/Android Auto, USB port and an auxiliary input. A suite of advanced protection features (see the Safety section below) are also part of the stock package.

T5 R-Design ($55,945) adds a sportier steering wheel with gearshift paddles, plus 20-in alloys, sport seats, leather upholstery, automatic high beams, sun shades for the rear side doors, navigation, Harman Kardon audio and various cosmetic touches.

T6 Momentum ($57,295) brings its own specific drivetrain, then adds 19-in wheels, heated front seats and leather upholstery.

T6 R-Design ($62,245) builds on the Momentum in much the same way as the T5 version.

T6 Inscription ($63,345) has even nicer leather upholstery to accompany its own set of plusher cosmetic additions. Comfort comes more to the fore as heated/ventilated front seats provide adjustable bolstering.

T8 Momentum ($67,995) includes the plug-in hybrid drivetrain, but otherwise echoes the Momentum versions of the T5 and T6. It’s a similar formula for the T8 R-Design ($72,945).

T8 Inscription ($74,045) contributes adaptive LED headlights and daytime running lights, crystal-topped gear shift and extendable under-thigh support for the front seats.

T8 Excellence ($105,895) is limousine quality. Virtually everything is standard. Rear accommodation consists of two reclining captain’s chairs with heating, ventilating and massaging functions, folding trays, heated/cooled cup holders (with a pair of crystal glasses), a rear touchscreen, a refrigerator, more leather, more sound insulation and 21-in alloy wheels.

Among the many options are built-in children’s booster seats (for the outer positions in the second row), adaptive air suspension, 22-in wheels and a Bowers & Wilkins 19-speaker audio system.

The third row can split and fold in 50/50 fashion. Behind these seats is a generous 15.8 cu ft. of cargo space. Fold down the second and third rows for a maximum of 85.7 cu ft. No rivals can offer anything better.


The words Volvo and safety go together like parks and recreation. As well as the mandatory anti-lock brakes, airbags and traction control, the XC90 comes standard with a forward-collision warning system featuring automatic braking and detection of pedestrians and cyclists, plus adaptive cruise control, and blind spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert.

Run-Off Road Protection is also standard. Should the XC90 suddenly leave the pavement, the system tightens seat belts and uses shock-absorbing seat cushions to reduce the risk of spinal injuries. Optional safety features are lane departure intervention and a 360-degree camera system.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has given the XC90 five out of five stars overall. In front and side impacts, it earned five stars. It took four stars in the rollover test. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) has made it a Top Safety Pick+ after awarding the vehicle its highest score of Good in all the major categories.

Behind the Wheel

Inside this tranquil cabin are cool surfaces of aluminum trim and matte-finish wood accents. Even with three rows of seating, there’s still plenty of passenger space. The seats themselves are typically sumptuous and typically Volvo, some of the most comfortable in the business. And the controls are all laid out in a tidy manner; Volvo doesn’t go in for clutter.

The handling is similarly tidy, with stability and composure shining through even when tackling corners. But here’s the usual piece of advice about not going for a big wheel/lower-profile tire combination. Comfort levels will be far better with smaller wheels and more forgiving tire sidewalls.

Other Cars to Consider

2019 Acura MDX — Can seat seven and has a tempting equipment-to-expenditure ratio.

2019 Audi Q7 — In generational terms, even younger than the XC90. Packed with technology, space and cool designs.

2019 BMW X5 — The driver’s choice, but not too firm. Comes with diesel and plug-in hybrid alternatives. An all-new generation debuts for 2019 with optional third-row seating.

2019 Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class — A plug-in hybrid is available. Seating for five and classy enough to wear its famed badge. An all-new generation debuts for the 2020 model year, offering a third seating row.

2019 Lexus RX — Well built and a big seller. The looks might deter some buyers. The unremarkable driving experience might put off others. A hybrid version is available. Seats five.

2019 Land Rover Range Rover Sport — Has much of its bigger sibling’s plushness in a more accessible package. Seats five.

Autotrader’s Advice

Even though Momentum is the entry level trim, it still comes with many features. We’d be inclined to pass on the T5 setup and look at the T6 first. From that point, it would depend on how much more is needed or wanted. Find a Volvo XC90 for sale

Our editors are here to make car buying easier. We’ve driven, reviewed and compared thousands of cars. We’ve bought and sold more than our fair share, too. And as part of the sprawling Cox Automotive group of companies, we have exclusive access to a range of valuable data and insights. Whether you’re looking for the best car, the best deal or the best buying advice, you can trust... Read More about Autotrader

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