- Exceptional interior
- Class-leading safety
- Huge amounts of space
- Petrol engine is thirsty
- Steering not the sharpest
- Not as refined to drive as some rivals
Class-leading luxury SUV is almost flawless
Volvo’s first foray into SUV manufacturing in 2002 brought it huge success. The first-generation XC90 received excellent reviews from every big-name car magazine out there. Driven by everyone from Jennifer Garner, to Avril Lavigne, to Jeremy Clarkson, the XC90 is one of the best SUVs on the planet. It offers a luxurious interior, oodles of space, and an impeccable safety record, all of which contribute to what is the complete package.
The second-generation XC90, introduced in 2015, included a complete overhaul, with a new chassis, body, interior, and engines, all contributing to create the best XC90, and arguably the best luxury SUV, ever.
Design, quality, space, and spec, all up there with the best
With so much competition in the luxury SUV market and with nearly every prestige brand offering a solid option, the continuing success of the XC90 depends upon its ability to excel in every area. The inside of the XC90 is one such place where it manages to do just that.
Whichever trim you choose to go for in your XC90, there’s enough quality on show to impress everyone. Even the entry-level Momentum trim features exceptional soft-touch plastics and brushed metal features. It really does feel prestige and is easily as good, if not better than the interiors on offer from the big German manufacturers. More expensive trims include stitched leather across the dashboard, and more exclusive leather seats, which make the XC90 even more luxurious.
Space-wise, there are few cars currently on sale that can match what the XC90 offers. It truly is a behemoth. With seven seats up, there’re 451 litres of boot space, and with five seats up, that figure goes up to 1,102 litres. That’s enough for pretty much anything you can think of. You can fit in suitcases, buggies, golf clubs, the big Christmas shop, bikes- it really is an incredible amount of usable space that no rivals of the XC90 can match.
When it comes to standard equipment, the XC90 is, again, monumentally impressive. Even the entry-level Momentum trim comes with cruise control, rear parking sensors, alloy wheels, automatic lights and wipers, electric drivers seat, climate control, and heated leather front seats. There’s also an exceptional infotainment system, that’s one of the best on the market. Through a 9-inch colour touchscreen, you can control the DAB radio, Bluetooth, USB connectivity, and sat-nav, all of which come as standard.
The interior of the XC90 really is a joy to behold. There’s a high-quality finish used throughout the interior, more standard kit than you can imagine, and a class-leading boot space that will take just about anything. It truly is the best in class.
Confident handling, decent refinement
For such a big car, the XC90 handles itself pretty impressively on the road. It isn’t quite as composed as a BMW X5 or a Porsche Cayenne, but it is an awful lot bigger. There’s plenty of grip through the corners, and handling is, likewise, responsive, though steering can become a little bit light at times. It’s not exactly a fun car to drive per se, but it’s mightily impressive for such a mighty car.
One area in which you could say lets the XC90 down is in its refinement. It’s certainly a good car to drive on motorways or at high speeds, ironing out rough surfaces without too much trouble. Around town, however, potholes noticeably feed back into the cabin, and speed bumps feel lumpy. The optional air suspension improves upon this quite a bit, and it’s a little disappointing this isn’t fitted as standard throughout the range.
Gearbox options in the XC90 are fairly limited. There’s only one on offer throughout the range, though it is pretty good. The 8-speed automatic flits through the gears with ease, though it can sometimes be a little unresponsive when you’re in need of a sudden burst of acceleration.
Quality diesel, disappointing petrol, exceptional hybrid
When it comes to deciding how you want to power your XC90, you’ve got three options: petrol, petrol-hybrid, or diesel. The diesel engine on offer is fuel-efficient and offers decent C02 figures. The petrol-hybrid on offer is a work of engineering mastery, however, and should be seriously considered.
If it’s power that you want from your XC90, the fastest non-hybrid engine in the range is the petrol-powered 2.0-litre T6. With 320bhp, you’ll be getting from 0-62mph in just 6.5 seconds. In any body's book, that's pretty impressive for such a big car. It is eclipsed, however, by the petrol-hybrid powered 2.0-litre T8, which packs 407bhp, and a 0-62mph time of 5.6 seconds. That’s astonishingly quick for a car of this magnitude, and it’s also much more energy efficient than the pure-petrol alternative.
The eco-conscious buyer out there will be pleased to know that there’s a hybrid on offer in the XC90 range. With just 49g/km of C02 emissions, there’s no car out there of this size that is anywhere near as good for the planet. It also happens to be the best option for money-savers. With fuel efficiency of up to 134.5mpg, you’ll save yourself a lot of money at the petrol pumps. The diesel-powered 2.0-litre D5 also provides good fuel efficiency for those not wanting to take the leap into hybrid technology, offering 49.6mpg.
Without a doubt, the standout engine in the range is the petrol-hybrid T8. It is the quickest, the greenest, and the cheapest to run. It may cost a little bit more than other models, but long-term you can save yourself some serious cash.
Full marks in NCAP safety tests, impressive standard equipment
Like nearly every car in its class, the XC90 easily achieved the highest possible 5-star NCAP safety rating. With scores of 97% in adult protection, 87% in child protection, and 72% in pedestrian safety, it also happens to be the class leader. NCAP rated it the safest large off-road vehicle currently on sale today. There’s also six airbags, traction control, road sign recognition technology, and Volvo’s city braking system, which detects upcoming hazards and brakes accordingly. The XC90 really is one of the safest cars for you and your family on sale today in the UK.
Cheap to run for a car of its size, so long as you avoid the cost of new-car depreciation
The Volvo XC90 is surprisingly cheap to run, especially for such a huge car. This obviously varies from model to model, but generally, you’re going to get pretty good value, so long as you avoid the petrol engine. Diesel engines offer good fuel economy and reasonable C02 emissions, though the petrol-hybrid Volvo offers is one of the cheapest and most efficient cars out there.
Insurance-wise, it again depends on which engine and trim the used XC90 you're looking at has, but it sits roughly in line with competitors. The cheapest model to insure in the range is the 2.0-litre D5 Momentum, which sits in group 33. The most expensive premiums are charged for the range-topping 2.0-litre T8 Hybrid Inscription, which sits in group 43. This may cost you a little more in insurance, but it’s sure to save you a lot of money on fuel and road tax.
Depreciation is a factor to consider with the XC90, but only if you choose to buy from new. With first year depreciation as high as 40%, you’re better off opting for an inspected used equivalent.
The Volvo XC90 really is the king of the large luxury SUVs. It has everything you could ever want from such a car. It’s stylish, it has an impeccable interior, astonishing standard spec, class-leading safety equipment, and one of the best hybrid engines ever to be produced on offer. If you’re looking for a large luxury SUV, there’s probably no package that can better the Volvo XC90.
Buying a used Volvo XC90 online with Carspring
If you’re after a used Volvo XC90 for sale, it can all feel like a bit of an ordeal. What, with long days spent around gigantic car supermarkets, or time spent trawling through classified websites, looking for that ideal used XC90. Carspring makes it simple. Buy your next used Volvo online with the touch of a button. Simply decide on the model you want and choose how you want to pay.
Looking to finance your used Volvo XC90? Not a problem, we work with our carefully selected finance partners to ensure that, if you’re paying monthly for your used XC90, you know you’re getting the best rates. What’s more, with any Carspring used Volvo XC90, you also get our 14-day money-back guarantee and 6 months’ free Carspring Warranty. Plus, you don’t have to leave your home. We’ll deliver your used Volvo to you at a time and place of your choice.
*This is an approximate figure based on the range of the car’s list price and the AA’s average 1st-year depreciation cost of 40%.