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 New Discount

Volvo XC90 Estate 2.0 t6 [310] inscription pro 5dr awd geartronic

Total RRP £65,110

Your quote £56,757

You Save £8,353

Volvo XC90 prices from £26,898  Finance from £379 per month

The first-generation Volvo XC90 remained on sale for a remarkable 12 years with minimal changes – testament to its popularity with those looking for a practical yet prestigious large family SUV. The second-generation version, which went on sale early in 2015, had a lot to live up to, so Volvo really pushed the boat out in terms of styling and technology.

The result is an undeniably expensive but also extremely impressive vehicle that can go toe-to-toe with the very best Germany has to offer – cars like the BMW X5, Audi Q7 and Mercedes GLS. A key part of the Volvo’s appeal is its understated yet classy Swedish design philosophy, evident from both the outside and the inside of the car. Buyers may like the idea of standing out from the crowd somewhat with something different from the norm. A series of revisions in 2019 saw some minor styling changes, with a new front end, with redesigned grille, lower front bumper and air intakes. Three new paint colours were also introduced.

Efficient diesel and hi-tech hybrid power are the highlights of the engine range, although the thirst for petrol leaves something to be desired. A B5 diesel mild-hybrid system was added in September 2019, which incorporates an energy recovery device into its braking system and an integrated starter generator. This harvests energy that would otherwise be lost under braking, which can be used when accelerating to reduce the load on the petrol or diesel engine. Mild hybrid petrol engines will be introduced in early 2020.

Inside, there’s no shortage of the all-important boot and passenger space, with three generously 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 

Monday, September 23, 2019 - 11:15

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.

Volvo XC90 History 

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, 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 a generous 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 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 real­world driving, according to Volvo – and lower levels of harmful NOx emissions.

The D5 and B5 are both so capable that they makes 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.

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’ petrol-electric 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 376 Volvo XC90s available on BuyaCar, with prices ranging from £26,898 to £78,940 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: £49,790

You could save up to: £7545

2.0 b5p [250] inscription 5dr awd gtron

  • Doors 5
  • Fuel petrol
  • Economy
  • Gears automatic

Starting at: £49,301

You could save up to: £7484

2.0 t6 [310] inscription 5dr awd geartronic

  • Doors 5
  • Fuel petrol
  • Economy 34.9mpg
  • Gears automatic

Starting at: £51,971

You could save up to: £7814

2.0 t8 [390] hybrid inscription 5dr awd gtron

  • Doors 5
  • Fuel petrol/plugin elec hybrid
  • Economy 108.6mpg
  • Gears automatic

Starting at: £59,984

You could save up to: £7046

Volvo XC90 Inscription Pro

2.0 b5d [235] inscription pro 5dr awd geartronic

  • Doors 5
  • Fuel diesel
  • Economy
  • Gears automatic

Starting at: £54,151

You could save up to: £8084

2.0 b5p [250] inscription pro 5dr awd gtron

  • Doors 5
  • Fuel petrol
  • Economy
  • Gears automatic

Starting at: £53,662

You could save up to: £8023

2.0 t6 [310] inscription pro 5dr awd geartronic

  • Doors 5
  • Fuel petrol
  • Economy 34.9mpg
  • Gears automatic

Starting at: £56,757

You could save up to: £8353

2.0 t8 [390] hybrid inscription pro 5dr awd gtron

  • Doors 5
  • Fuel petrol/plugin elec hybrid
  • Economy 100.9mpg
  • Gears automatic

Starting at: £64,468

You could save up to: £7462

Volvo XC90 Momentum

2.0 b5d [235] momentum 5dr awd geartronic

  • Doors 5
  • Fuel diesel
  • Economy
  • Gears automatic

Starting at: £46,497

You could save up to: £7138

2.0 b5p [250] momentum 5dr awd gtron

  • Doors 5
  • Fuel petrol
  • Economy
  • Gears automatic

Starting at: £46,008

You could save up to: £7077

Volvo XC90 Momentum Pro

2.0 b5d [235] momentum pro 5dr awd geartronic

  • Doors 5
  • Fuel diesel
  • Economy
  • Gears automatic

Starting at: £48,989

You could save up to: £7446

2.0 b5p [250] momentum pro 5dr awd gtron

  • Doors 5
  • Fuel petrol
  • Economy
  • Gears automatic

Starting at: £48,500

You could save up to: £7385

Volvo XC90 R DESIGN

2.0 b5d [235] r design 5dr awd geartronic

  • Doors 5
  • Fuel diesel
  • Economy
  • Gears automatic

Starting at: £49,434

You could save up to: £7501

2.0 b5p [250] r design 5dr awd gtron

  • Doors 5
  • Fuel petrol
  • Economy
  • Gears automatic

Starting at: £48,945

You could save up to: £7440

2.0 t6 [310] r design 5dr awd geartronic

  • Doors 5
  • Fuel petrol
  • Economy 34.9mpg
  • Gears automatic

Starting at: £51,615

You could save up to: £7770

2.0 t8 [390] hybrid r design 5dr awd gtron

  • Doors 5
  • Fuel petrol/plugin elec hybrid
  • Economy 108.6mpg
  • Gears automatic

Starting at: £59,618

You could save up to: £7012

Volvo XC90 R DESIGN Pro

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

  • Doors 5
  • Fuel diesel
  • Economy
  • Gears automatic

Starting at: £53,217

You could save up to: £7968

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

  • Doors 5
  • Fuel petrol
  • Economy
  • Gears automatic

Starting at: £52,727

You could save up to: £7908

2.0 t6 [310] r design pro 5dr awd geartronic

  • Doors 5
  • Fuel petrol
  • Economy 34.9mpg
  • Gears automatic

Starting at: £55,822

You could save up to: £8238

2.0 t8 [390] hybrid r design pro 5dr awd gtron

  • Doors 5
  • Fuel petrol/plugin elec hybrid
  • Economy 100.9mpg
  • Gears automatic

Starting at: £63,507

You could save up to: £7373