Volvo XC90 (2015 - present)

The Volvo XC90 is an ultra-luxurious large SUV that incorporates the very latest technology

Strengths & Weaknesses

Strengths 

Extremely comfortable and quiet
Very spacious and practical
Classy, hi-tech interior

Weaknesses 

All versions are expensive
Touchscreen gets grubby very quickly
Can be hard to match hybrid economy claims
Best finance deal

Volvo XC90 Diesel Estate (2006-2014) 2.4 d5 [200] se lux 5dr geartronic

Finance price £294 per month

Cash price £16,290

Volvo XC90 prices from £25,490  Finance from £375 per month

The second-generation Volvo XC90 has been on sale since 2015, and has remained one of the best large SUVs on the market throughout its lifespan - it's still the case today. Volvo really pushed the boat out in terms of styling and technology when it first launched, a fact that has meant even the initial models have aged remarkably well.

It's certainly not cheap, but the quality you're getting here is worth every penny. The XC90 is a strong contender for best in its class, alongside esteemed rivals such as the BMW X5, Audi Q7 and Mercedes GLS. A key part of the Volvo’s appeal is its understated yet classy Swedish design, evident from both the exterior and interior styling, buyers may like the idea of standing out from the crowd with something a little different from the norm.

A series of revisions in 2019 saw some minor styling changes with a new front end, a redesigned grille, a lower front bumper and striking air intakes. Three new paint colours were also introduced for an extra splash of personality.

Inside, there’s no shortage of the all-important boot and passenger space, with three good-sized rows of seats and lots of room for occupants’ luggage, too.

The XC90 is also one of the safest cars on the road, scoring 97% in the adult occupant protection section of Euro NCAP’s evaluation and the maximum five-star overall rating, too.

In addition to its robust nature, it also packs a whole host of clever technology designed to stop you crashing in the first place, such as cameras that can detect pedestrians and cyclists and an automatic braking system that brings the car to a stop if it detects you’re about to run into the car in front.

Connectivity is another focus, with Volvo’s On Call connected services platform, which includes help from an automatically connected call centre in the event of an emergency. There’s also a XC90 also an embedded data SIM card, which provides access to up to 100GB of data for 12 months.

There’s also the ‘Volvo Pilot Assist’ system, which uses a combination of active cruise control and lane-departure warning to almost drive the car itself in heavy stop-start traffic. The upshot of all this was a perfect 100% score for safety assistance from Euro NCAP.

Last Updated 

Tuesday, September 22, 2020 - 16:15

Key facts 

Warranty: 
3 years / 60,000 miles
Boot size: 
356-1,856 litres
Width: 
2008mm
Length: 
4953mm
Height: 
1776mm
Tax: 
£0 to £855 in first year and £135-£145 thereafter

Best Volvo XC90 for... 

Volvo XC90 T8 Twin Engine R-Design
On paper, the T8 hybrid has a fuel economy figure of 100.9mpg, but the real-world figure will depend on how you drive it, and if you keep it charged up.
Volvo XC90 2.0 D5 Momentum 5dr AWD
The least expensive Volvo XC90 is also the most sensible choice. There's plenty of performance and standard equipment. It's efficient too.
Volvo XC90 2.0 T8 Hybrid R DESIGN 5dr Geartronic
Volvo calls its sportiest models ‘R-Design’ and although in this case there’s no more power on offer than elsewhere in the range, you do get sports seats, a choice of driving modes and 20in alloy wheels.
Volvo XC90 T6 Inscription Pro
The T6 feels surplus to requirements in the XC90 range, as it’s both more expensive and less efficient than the D5 diesel, as well as nowhere near as economical as the hybrid.

 

Early 2015 Volvo XC90 goes on sale.
August 2015 Recall of 1,688 Jan-Jul ‘15 cars for potential third-row airbag problem.
November 2015 Sportier R-Design trim is launched and Polestar performance upgrades become available.
February 2019 A fresh face is added. Non hybrids gets clever new energy recovery system.
September 2019 XC90 is revised, with styling tweaks and addition of 48-volt mild hybrid diesel engine

Understanding Volvo XC90 car names 

  • XC90
  • Engine
    T6
  • Trim
    Inscription
  • Driven wheels
    AWD
  • Gearbox
    Automatic
  • Engine
    The petrol versions are badged T, diesels are badged as D and the mild hybrid diesel is known as B5. A hybrid version that uses an electric motor alongside a petrol engine is T8.
  • Trim
    The trim level dictates how much equipment comes as standard. The more expensive the trim, the more you get. There are six trim levels for the XC90
  • Driven wheels
    All XC90 versions have all-wheel drive.
  • Gearbox
    All XC90s are fitted with an eight-speed automatic gearbox. Pre-facelift versions are called Geartronic.

Volvo XC90 Engines 

D5, B5 diesel, B5 petrol, T5, T6, T8

The vast majority of Volvo XC90 buyers will probably specify the D5 diesel engine in their car, for the simple reason that it’s a great all-rounder. With 235bhp on tap, it gets the big SUV from 0-62mph in under 7.5 seconds while returning mid-40s mpg. That's more performance than a typical SUV-driver will ask of it, whether that’s efficient everyday commuting, long-distance motorway trips or towing a caravan or horsebox.

Alternatively, the B5 mild hybrid diesel added to the range in late 2019, replacing the D5, is said to offer all the advantages of the previous diesel engine, but with lower fuel economy – by up to 15% in real­ world driving, according to Volvo – and lower levels of harmful NOx emissions.

The D5 and B5 are both so capable that they make the T5 petrol seem almost irrelevant. The T5 is not only slower from 0-62mph, but you also pay the price for this in the shape of notably reduced fuel economy and higher annual road tax.

A new B5 petrol mild hybrid was also introduced in 2020, itself bringing better fuel economy up to around 30mpg along with a power increase up to 250hp.

The T6 is notably faster than the diesel, and the T5, while being not that much less economical. It is £3,500 more expensive than the T5, but is just over £7,500 cheaper than the T8 too.

The T8 ‘Twin Engine’ plug-in hybrid setup incorporates some very impressive, high-tech engineering and the results are eye-opening: up to 113.0mpg fuel economy paired with the ability to race from 0-62mph in a hot-hatch-beating 5.5 seconds. Of course, such numbers come at a price: around £20,000 more expensive than the equivalent D5 diesel version. Electric-only range for the original cars is 12-24 miles, but an upgraded battery to the cars revised from 2019 means that this has increased to between 21.7 and 28.6 miles.

FuelFuel economyPowerAcceleration (0-62mph)Top speed
D5Diesel45.6mpg235hp7.4 seconds137mph
B5Diesel37.7-44.1mpg235hp7.6 seconds137mph
T5Petrol26.9-30.4mpg250hp7.9 seconds134mph
T6Petrol26.2-28.8mpg310hp6.5 seconds140mph
T8Hybrid80.7-113.-mpg303+87hp5.8 seconds140mph

Volvo XC90 Trims 

Momentum, Momentum Pro, R-Design, R-Design Pro, Inscription, Inscription Pro

Bare-bones entry-level versions don’t really exist at this upper end of the car market, and the least expensive Volvo XC90 Momentum is a perfect illustration of this fact. As standard, it comes with seven seats, a nine-inch touchscreen, DAB digital radio, LED lights, satellite navigation, smartphone connectivity, rain-sensing wipers, four-way power-adjustable front seats, 19-inch aluminium wheels, leather seats, brushed aluminium interior trim, rear parking assistance and a hands-free power-operated tailgate.

Choosing the Momentum Pro trim adds features that include active headlights, heated steering wheel, front seat cushion extensions, head-up display and Nappa leather upholstery.

In the middle of the range sits the XC90 R-Design, which Volvo designates as the sporty member of the XC90 family. It’s not any quicker than the other trims, but it does have eye-catching visual additions such as silver mirrors, tinted windows and 20-inch alloy wheels. Inside there are body-hugging seats, metal pedals, and a choice of driving modes.

R-Design Pro also adds some of the same features on Momentum Pro, but with 22-inch alloys and adaptive dampers and air suspension.

Inscription offers buyers the ultimate in luxury. Key features here are even plusher leather upholstery, enhanced interior lighting, integrated sun curtain and a different design of 20-inch alloy wheels.

The range-topping Inscription Pro then adds some of the features in the other Pro packages (most notably the active dampers and air suspension), plus 21-inch wheels and massaging front seats.
 

Volvo XC90 Reliability and warranty 

Not enough owners have taken part in the Auto Express Driver Power survey for the XC90 to be assessed in the reliability stakes. However, there have certainly been no horror stories as yet.

The model has had a few minor recalls, but one of more major concern in mid-2019 covered diesel XC90s: a fault with the plastic intake manifold used on its 2.0-litre engine, was found to pose a potential fire risk, prompting a recall.

In common with other premium brands, Volvo isn’t a market leader when it comes to warranty cover, guaranteeing its cars for three years and 60,000 miles only. As far as large seven-seater SUVs go, the much cheaper Kia Sorento has it bested, and is covered for seven years or 100,000 miles.

Used Volvo XC90 

The XC90 is a highly rated and extremely sought-after model.

There are currently 221 Volvo XC90s available on BuyaCar, with prices ranging from £25,490 to £79,605 for nearly-new models.

Year-old XC90s tend to be only worth around 5% less than new examples.

Not many T6 petrol-engined XC90s will be sold in the first place, but those that are definitely won’t hold their value as well as the D5 diesels. If you don’t do much annual mileage and therefore aren’t too sensitive to running costs, one of these could make a canny used buy.

For a short period, Volvo’s tuning arm Polestar, offered power upgrades for the D5 diesel and T6 petrol for a cost of £835. These will be hard to find, but are worth seeking out if performance is important for you.
 

Volvo XC90 Prices

Volvo XC90 Inscription

2.0 b5d [235] inscription 5dr awd geartronic

  • Doors 5
  • Fuel diesel
  • Economy
  • Gears automatic

Starting at: £50,433

You could save up to: £9127

2.0 b5p [250] inscription 5dr awd gtron

  • Doors 5
  • Fuel petrol
  • Economy
  • Gears automatic

Starting at: £49,938

You could save up to: £9072

2.0 b6p [300] inscription 5dr awd geartronic

  • Doors 5
  • Fuel petrol
  • Economy
  • Gears automatic

Starting at: £53,088

You could save up to: £9422

2.0 t8 recharge phev inscription 5dr awd auto

  • Doors 5
  • Fuel petrol/plugin elec hybrid
  • Economy
  • Gears automatic

Starting at: £59,893

You could save up to: £8912

Volvo XC90 Inscription Pro

2.0 b5d [235] inscription pro 5dr awd geartronic

  • Doors 5
  • Fuel diesel
  • Economy
  • Gears automatic

Starting at: £55,068

You could save up to: £9642

2.0 b5p [250] inscription pro 5dr awd gtron

  • Doors 5
  • Fuel petrol
  • Economy
  • Gears automatic

Starting at: £54,573

You could save up to: £9587

2.0 b6p [300] inscription pro 5dr awd geartronic

  • Doors 5
  • Fuel petrol
  • Economy
  • Gears automatic

Starting at: £57,723

You could save up to: £9937

2.0 t8 recharge phev inscription pro 5dr awd auto

  • Doors 5
  • Fuel petrol/plugin elec hybrid
  • Economy
  • Gears automatic

Starting at: £64,605

You could save up to: £9350

Volvo XC90 Momentum

2.0 b5d [235] momentum 5dr awd geartronic

  • Doors 5
  • Fuel diesel
  • Economy
  • Gears automatic

Starting at: £46,293

You could save up to: £8667

2.0 b5p [250] momentum 5dr awd gtron

  • Doors 5
  • Fuel petrol
  • Economy
  • Gears automatic

Starting at: £45,798

You could save up to: £8612

Volvo XC90 R DESIGN

2.0 b5d [235] r design 5dr awd geartronic

  • Doors 5
  • Fuel diesel
  • Economy
  • Gears automatic

Starting at: £49,353

You could save up to: £9007

2.0 b5p [250] r design 5dr awd gtron

  • Doors 5
  • Fuel petrol
  • Economy
  • Gears automatic

Starting at: £48,858

You could save up to: £8952

2.0 b6p [300] r design 5dr awd geartronic

  • Doors 5
  • Fuel petrol
  • Economy
  • Gears automatic

Starting at: £52,008

You could save up to: £9302

2.0 t8 recharge phev r design 5dr awd auto

  • Doors 5
  • Fuel petrol/plugin elec hybrid
  • Economy
  • Gears automatic

Starting at: £58,795

You could save up to: £8810

Volvo XC90 R DESIGN Pro

2.0 b5d [235] r design pro 5dr awd geartronic

  • Doors 5
  • Fuel diesel
  • Economy
  • Gears automatic

Starting at: £54,033

You could save up to: £9527

2.0 b5p [250] r design pro 5dr awd gtron

  • Doors 5
  • Fuel petrol
  • Economy
  • Gears automatic

Starting at: £53,538

You could save up to: £9472

2.0 b6p [300] r design pro 5dr awd geartronic

  • Doors 5
  • Fuel petrol
  • Economy
  • Gears automatic

Starting at: £56,688

You could save up to: £9822

2.0 t8 recharge phev r design pro 5dr awd auto

  • Doors 5
  • Fuel petrol/plugin elec hybrid
  • Economy
  • Gears automatic

Starting at: £63,553

You could save up to: £9252