Volvo XC90 SUV

Price  £46,250 - £64,205

Volvo XC90 SUV

reviewed by Carbuyer

  • Very comfortable and quiet inside
  • Luxurious, yet also spacious and practical
  • Advanced safety tech and clever touchscreen
  • Pretty expensive to buy
  • Petrol engine is noisy and thirsty
  • Hybrid can’t match economy claims

At a glance

Our Pick
2.0 D5 AWD Momentum 4wd Auto 5dr £46,250
The greenest
2.0 T8 AWD R-Design 4wd Auto 5dr £63,355
The cheapest
2.0 D5 AWD Momentum 4wd Auto 5dr £46,250
The fastest
2.0 T8 AWD R-Design 4wd Auto 5dr £63,355
Top of the range
2.0 T8 AWD Inscription 4wd Auto 5dr £64,205

"The new Volvo XC90 is one of the best large SUVs you can buy. It offers quality, space, efficiency, safety and comfort."

The new Volvo XC90 replaces a model that had been on sale for 12 years. That car was popular with owners for its mix of practicality, safety and dependability. However, it was beginning to look and feel dated.

This all-new version changes all that. It's designed to take on other large SUVs such as the BMW X5, Audi Q7, Mercedes M-Class and Mercedes GL-Class. It certainly looks more than a match for these rivals. An imposing grille but otherwise understated styling make it look classy and confident. It certainly feels so. The XC90's new engines are smooth and powerful, the seven-seat cabin is roomy and comfortable and it bristles with the latest technology.

There are three engines, all with four cylinders: a powerful and efficient 2.0-litre diesel badged D5, a 2.0-litre petrol badged T6 and a 2.0-litre petrol with a plug-in electric motor badged T8 Twin Engine. All versions of the XC90 are four-wheel drive with eight-speed automatic transmission.

Our favourite engine is the D5. It's likely to be the best seller, with buyers attracted by its strong pulling power, 49.6mpg fuel economy and £145-a-year road tax. It suits the XC90's relaxed and easy-going nature well. The T6 is a little quicker but less efficient, while the T8 boasts impressive technology but is very expensive. It's also highly unlikely that you'll get remotely close to its claimed 134.5mpg fuel economy in the real world. At least it's exempt from road tax.

Underway, the XC90 is comfortable and grips well. However, its steering is a little too light, and it leans in corners a bit too much if you take them quickly. A BMW X5 or a Porsche Cayenne will be more fun to drive.

The XC90's stylish, airy and well-built cabin is very spacious; even its third row of seats will accept a couple of grown-ups. There are plenty of storage spaces around the vehicle, while the boot is impressively roomy.

There are just three trim levels: basic Momentum, sporty R-Design and luxury Inscription. They're available with all three engines. Seven seats are standard, as is Volvo's Sensus sat-nav system, LED headlights, a hands-free boot-opening mechanism, a power-adjustable driver's seat and DAB digital radio.

Volvos are reliable cars and although it's early in the life of the new XC90, we’re confident the model will match its predecessor's reputation for dependability. You’ll certainly struggle to find a safer car. The new XC90, which was awarded five stars by Euro NCAP, earned an extremely impressive 97% rating for adult occupant protection. It has an immensely strong body and standard kit includes airbags along the length of the cabin, safety cameras all-round and automatic emergency braking.

MPG, running costs & CO2

4.2 / 5

T8 Twin Engine hybrid is the running-costs star of the new Volvo XC90 range, but cheaper D5 diesel will be satisfactory for most buyers

Engines, drive & performance

4.1 / 5

Powerful petrol, diesel and hybrid engines ensure the big Volvo XC90 isn’t short of power

Interior & comfort

4.3 / 5

The new Volvo XC90 interior combines sleek and stylish design with advanced yet easy-to-use technology

Practicality & boot space

4.7 / 5

Like its predecessor, the new Volvo XC90 offers a huge amount of space for passengers and luggage inside

Reliability & safety

4.8 / 5

Volvo has always been a car safety pioneer and the new XC90 is well placed to continue that tradition

Last updated 
4 Nov 2015
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