Once the icon of restrained luxury and bank-vault safety, the Swedish automaker Volvo fell on tough times, seeing sales slump because of an aging, uninspiring model line. Flush with an $11 billion cash infusion from its Chinese owner, Geely, Volvo's XC90 flagship SUV represents a make-or-break moment, its executives admit.
Alerts
There are 2 recalls on this vehicle. Learn More.

Road Test Results

Performance
Acceleration Acceleration Acceleration tests are conducted on a smooth, flat pavement straightaway at the track. Time, speed, and distance measurements are taken with a precise GPS-based device that’s hooked to a data-logging computer.
0 to 60 mph 0 to 60 mph (sec.) The time in seconds that a vehicle takes to reach 60 mph from a standstill with the engine idling.
Transmission Transmission Transmission performance is determined by shifting smoothness, response, shifter action, and clutch actuation for manual transmissions.
Braking Braking The braking rating is a composite of wet and dry stopping distances and pedal feel. Braking distance is from 60 mph, with no wheels locked.
Emergency Handling Emergency Handling Several factors go into the rating, including the avoidance maneuver speed and confidence, as well as how the vehicle behaves when pushed to its limit.
Comfort / Convenience
Ride Ride Our expert judgment of how well the suspension isolates and absorbs road imperfections and how steady it keeps the body on various road surfaces.
Noise Noise Our expert judgment of the vehicle's interior noise level in everyday driving.
Front Seat Comfort Front Seat Comfort Our judgment of how comfortable the front seat is for drivers of various heights.
Rear Seat Comfort Rear Seat Comfort Our judgment of how comfortable the rear seat is for two passengers to sit across.
Interior Fit and Finish Interior Fit and Finish An expert evaluation of the interior quality and craftsmanship.
Trunk/Cargo Area Trunk/Cargo Area Our rating is based on the amount of luggage or cargo space that a vehicle has in the trunk or cargo area.
Fuel Economy & Emissions
Fuel Economy Fuel Economy We perform our own fuel-economy tests, independent of the government's often-quoted EPA figures and the manufacturers' claims. Using a precise fuel-flow measuring device spliced into the fuel line, we run two separate circuits to represent city and highway consumption.
CR's Overall Mileage CR's Overall Mileage CR's overall mileage is a composite of measured fuel usage on a prescribed city course and highway cruising; and CR's 150-mile test trip of mixed driving, if tested. In recent road tests, we've discontinued the 150-mile trip test.
CR's City Mileage CR's City Mileage Measured fuel usage on a prescribed city course.
CR's Highway Mileage CR's Highway Mileage Measured fuel usage on a prescribed highway cruising.
Annual Fuel Cost Annual Fuel Cost The cost and amount of fuel used in 12,000 miles and is calculated from CR's overall mileage.
Greenhouse Gas Greenhouse Gas The Greenhouse Gas Rating represents the amount of carbon dioxide the vehicle emits compared to other vehicles of the same model year. This score from the EPA ranges from 1 (worst) to 10 (best).
Smog Rating Smog Rating The Smog Rating represents the amount of health-damaging and smog-forming airborne pollutants the vehicle emits compared to other vehicles of the same model year. This score from the EPA ranges from 1 (worst) to 10 (best).

Owner Reports

Worse Better
Reliability History Reliability History The reliability charts are based on responses on hundreds of thousands of vehicles from our latest Annual Auto Survey. Consumer Reports subscribers reported on any serious problems they had with their vehicles during the past 12 months that they considered serious because of cost, failure, safety, or downtime, in any of the trouble spots included in the table below. The results are presented relative to the average model that year. Extra weight is given to the more serious areas such as major engine or transmission problems. Based on this data and further analysis, we predict reliability for the latest year. N/A indicates that we did not receive a large enough sample size to provide data for a specific year. An X indicates that the vehicle was not manufactured for a specific year.
2000
2001
2002
2003
NA
2004
NA
2005
NA
2006
NA
2007
NA
2008
NA
2009
NA
2010
NA
2011
NA
2012
NA
2013
NA
2014
NA
2015
NA
2016
2017
2018
2019
2020
NA
Reliability Trouble Spots
Engine Major Engine Major Engine rebuild or replacement, cylinder head, head gasket, turbo or supercharger, timing chain or timing belt.
NA
Engine Minor Engine Minor Accessory belts and pulleys, engine computer, engine mounts, engine knock or ping, oil leaks.
NA
Engine Cooling Engine Cooling Radiator, cooling fan, antifreeze leaks, water pump, thermostat, overheating.
NA
Transmission Major Transmission Major Transmission rebuild or replacement, torque converter, clutch replacement.
NA
Transmission Minor Transmission Minor Gear selector or linkage, leaks, transmission computer, transmission sensor or solenoid, clutch adjustment, rough shifting, slipping transmission.
NA
Drive System Drive System Driveshaft or axle, CV joint, differential, transfer case, 4WD/AWD components, driveline vibration, traction control, electronic stability control (ESC), electrical failure.
NA
Owner Satisfaction Owner Satisfaction To learn about satisfaction, CR has collected survey data from our annual survey on more than half a million vehicles. Our subscribers provide great insights into their satisfaction by answering one simple question: If they had it to do all over again, would they definitely buy or lease the same model? In addition, respondents also rate their cars in six categories: driving experience, comfort, value, styling, audio, and climate systems. N/A indicates that we did not receive a large enough sample size to provide data for a specific year. An X indicates that the vehicle was not manufactured for a specific year.
2000
2001
2002
2003
NA
2004
NA
2005
NA
2006
NA
2007
2008
2009
NA
2010
NA
2011
NA
2012
NA
2013
NA
2014
NA
2015
NA
2016
2017
2018
2019
2020
Driving Experience Driving Experience Includes acceleration and handling
Comfort Comfort Includes seats, climate control, noise, and ride
Value Value Did you get what you wanted relative to the price you paid?
Styling Styling How it looks inside and out
Safety Equipment
ABS and ESC standard. Side and head protection air bags standard.
Road Test

Once the icon of restrained luxury and bank-vault safety, the Swedish automaker Volvo fell on tough times, seeing sales slump because of an aging, uninspiring model line. Flush with an $11 billion cash infusion from its Chinese owner, Geely, Volvo's XC90 flagship SUV represents a make-or-break moment, its executives admit. The XC90 could be the vehicle that wins back those who walked away and attracts those who never thought they would find a Volvo in their garage.

Volvo has bet the farm -- and all of the moose that graze on it -- on a three-row SUV that could find a place on many luxury shoppers' consideration list with attractive styling in and out and an array of new technology. 

Seating
2 front, 3 rear, 2 third
Drive Wheels
AWD , Front
Warranty
Coverage varies among versions of this vehicle

In most cases, automotive warranties are based on the vehicle identification number (VIN), and the warranty will be valid regardless of ownership. The dealership can tell you exactly how much warranty is left.

Read more about extended warranties
Body Styles
4-door SUV
Transmissions Available
  • 8-speed Automatic
Engines Available
  • 2-liter 4 turbo (250 hp)
  • 2-liter 4 turbo (316 hp)
  • 2-liter 4 hybrid (400 hp)

Owner Reported Trouble Spots

The Reliability score is based on our latest subscriber survey of 2018 Volvo XC90 owners. The owner comments describe problems respondents experienced with this vehicle.

Brakes

Antilock system (ABS), parking brake, master cylinder, calipers, rotors, pulsation or vibration, squeaking, brake failure or wear.

What Owners Say

Antilock system (ABS)

"Some cylinder problem caused the vehicle to make rattly/mechanical noises while on automatic speed following in slow-speed or stop/go traffic. It was diagnosed at the dealership and fixed under warranty."

Anonymous, CA (2018 Volvo XC90 T6 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Premature brake wear

"In 11,000 miles, my Volvo XC90 is on its third set of front brake pads and second set of rear pads. And the brakes squeal constantly. Crazy bad."

Charles W., DC (2018 Volvo XC90 T5 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"Rotors wear prematurely, last only 7000 mi front and 20000 rear. rotors and pads have been replaced front 3 times and rear once. Seems to be a design flaw of the car or an inability of the dealer to fix it. For this reason we will get rid of the car once warranty is done. Normally we keep our large family car 10-12 years."

Anonymous, PA (2018 Volvo XC90 T6 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Pulsation or vibration

"The brake pads were replaced under warranty. They were wearing prematurely"

Anonymous, CT (2018 Volvo XC90 T6 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Rotors

"rusted up after parked for a month and was fixed at no cost"

Anonymous, NY (2018 Volvo XC90 T6 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Squeaking

"This Volvo is my second ever Volvo, and we absolutely love it. It's weakness though, is it's brakes. They squeak, we've been to the dealer 5 times for this issue and they've never been able to fully stop the squeaking. Worse, the rotor warped with less than 11,000 miles on the odometer and they had to replace the rear rotators. Then the same thing happened to the front rotors by 19,000 miles. I knew this because when it happens you go from normal braking to feeling a slight vibration under braking. Considering how complicated this car is, I've been thoroughly impressed by its comfort and overall reliability. I will buy another Volvo for sure, hopefully by then they'll have an all electric XC90."

Anonymous, MA (2018 Volvo XC90 T6 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

In-car Electronics

CD or DVD players, radio, speakers, GPS, communication system (e.g., OnStar), display screen freezes or goes blank, phone pairing (e.g. Bluetooth), voice control commands, steering wheel controls, portable music device interface (e.g., iPod/MP3 player), backup or other camera/sensors.

What Owners Say

Display screen goes blank

"If used to answer a phone call, does not restore radio operation (i.e. no music) until you turn off and turn on"

Anonymous, SC (2018 Volvo XC90 T6 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"While driving the big screen blanked off, although the car continued to operate and the dashboard display continued to work.."

Romi B., IL (2018 Volvo XC90 T8 Plug-in 2.0-L 4 Cyl plug-in hybrid)
In-dash navigation system (GPS)

"The maps are very outdated, even in well established areas (could not provide info to hotels that had been open for 10+ years, tried to take us on a route that was just an open farm/range instead of on the highway, not very reliable resulting in our use of cell phone and Google Maps. Very disappointed."

Anonymous, WA (2018 Volvo XC90 T6 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Routine software updates

"Dealers do not know what changes the updates are. We find things are different but it is hard to get explanation before. Owners manual is useless ."

Anonymous, VA (2018 Volvo XC90 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Software update fixes

"Volvo gets an A for providing prompt software updates to resolve bugs and freezing with the Sensus Connect infotainment system. But the system is still buggy a year later, slow at times to respond, and some touch items still are dangerously too small to hit correctly in a moving vehicle."

Charles W., DC (2018 Volvo XC90 T5 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

Exhaust

Muffler, pipes, catalytic converter, exhaust manifold, leaks.

What Owners Say

Exhaust leaks

"sensor pick up exhaust leak repaired"

George B., MA (2018 Volvo XC90 T6 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Other/unsure

"Emergency braking occurs randomly, with nothing in front of the car. Dangerous."

Anonymous, SC (2018 Volvo XC90 T6 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"The front sensors in the lower bumper have moved out of place a few times from either the car wash or hard rain."

R W., NY (2018 Volvo XC90 T6 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"we had multiple time that the brakes and collision warning sounded with NOTHING in front of us (once resulting in the car behind us being rear-ended because of that."

Anonymous, WA (2018 Volvo XC90 T6 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

Fuel System

Check engine light, sensors (includes O2 or oxygen sensor), emission control devices (includes EGR), engine computer, engine computer, fuel cap, fuel gauge/sender, fuel injection system, fuel pump, fuel leaks, stalling or hesitation.

What Owners Say

Fuel injection system

"it started running rough. Called dealer, they paid for tow home and rental car. Injectors were replaced."

Anonymous, WI (2018 Volvo XC90 T6 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Sensors (includes O2 or oxygen sensor)

"The engine light went on and the car had to have to be serviced to correct the problem"

Leonard K., CT (2018 Volvo XC90 T6 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"I'm not exactly sure which sensor it is, but I know that it is a part of the Hybrid-drive thermostat either for batteries or for motors. Manifested in a check-engine light but but didn't affect the driving experience. Had to replace it twice, first time just a couple months in and then the second time in several more months. Both times it was covered by warranty and second time dealer has told me that it was a newer revision of the sensor, so it should have same faults."

Anonymous, (2018 Volvo XC90 T8 Plug-in 2.0-L 4 Cyl plug-in hybrid)

Body Hardware

Power or manual windows, locks and latches, tailgate, hatch or trunk, doors or sliding doors, mirrors, seat controls, safety belts, sunroof, convertible top.

What Owners Say

Glass defects

"Windshield cracked within first 500 miles of ownership. Huge cracked formed and dealership claimed it was a rock... Ended up having to pay $900 for replacement in first month of ownership"

Anonymous, TX (2018 Volvo XC90 T6 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

Suspension

Shocks or struts, ball joints, tie rods, wheel bearings, alignment, steering linkage (includes rack and pinion), power steering (pumps and hoses, leaks), wheel balance, springs or torsion bars, bushings, electronic or air suspension.

What Owners Say

Electronic or air suspension

"Air suspension compressor switch failed causing overpressure on the suspension raising the vehicle to the max height and being stuck there until compressor burned out."

Anonymous, KY (2018 Volvo XC90 T6 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

Paint/Trim

Paint (fading, chalking, cracking, or peeling), loose interior and exterior trim or moldings, rust.

What Owners Say

Paint (fading, chalking, cracking, or peeling)

"Chrome Trim on Door Handles peeled off"

Anonymous, TX (2018 Volvo XC90 T6 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

Body Integrity

Squeaks, rattles, wind noises, loose or cracked seals and/or weather-stripping, air and water leaks.

What Owners Say

Air or water leaks

"The sunroof was misaligned and not closing properly causing water leaks, wind noise and squeaks when opening/closing. The entire sunroof and its cassette had to be replaced. No further problems afterward."

Anonymous, TN (2018 Volvo XC90 T6 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

Climate System

Blower (fan) motor, A/C compressor, condenser, evaporator, heater system, automatic climate control, refrigerant leakage, electrical failure.

What Owners Say

Automatic climate control

"Evaporator freezing up, dealer unable to fix, Sweden doing work around to fix, but will probably require redesign"

John D., FL (2018 Volvo XC90 T6 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

Engine Minor

Accessory belts and pulleys, engine computer, engine mounts, engine knock or ping, oil leaks.

What Owners Say

Engine computer

"car wouldnt start due to electrical error"

Anonymous, TX (2018 Volvo XC90 T6 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

Electric System

Alternator, starter, hybrid battery and related systems, regular battery, battery cables, engine harness, coil, ignition switch, electronic ignition, distributor or rotor failure, spark plugs and wires failure.

Power Equipment

Cruise control, clock, warning lights, body control module, keyless entry, wiper motor or washer, tire pressure monitor, interior or exterior lights, horn, gauges, 12V power plug, remote engine start, alarm or security system

Engine Major

Engine rebuild or replacement, cylinder head, head gasket, turbo or supercharger, timing chain or timing belt.

Transmission Minor

Gear selector or linkage, leaks, transmission computer, transmission sensor or solenoid, clutch adjustment, rough shifting, slipping transmission.

Engine Cooling

Radiator, cooling fan, antifreeze leaks, water pump, thermostat, overheating.

Drive System

Driveshaft or axle, CV joint, differential, transfer case, 4WD/AWD components, driveline vibration, traction control, electronic stability control (ESC), electrical failure.

Change Vehicle