2006 was the first full model year for the V8, which was developed specifically for this mid-size SUV and was added midway through the 2005 model year.
The 311-horsepower V8 is much more suited to this SUV's weight than the 2.5-liter V6 on the base model, especially when packed with people and their stuff. The trade-off, of course, is in fuel economy: expect 15 mpg around town and 21 on the highway.
Another thing you can expect is a safe arrival at your destination. Volvo goes above and beyond with the inclusion of a head-spinning array of lifesaving features that come standard on the XC90. Among them are driver and passenger air bags, ABS, protective side-beams, whiplash-reducing headrests, traction control, and stability control.
The 2006 XC90 was awarded the full 5 stars in the NHTSA Frontal Crash Test for the driverÃ?Â¢Ã¯Â¿Â½?Ã¯Â¿Â½?s side and 4 stars for the passengerÃ?Â¢Ã¯Â¿Â½?Ã¯Â¿Â½?s side. It also scored 4 stars in the Rollover Test. In the Side Crash Test it achieved 5 stars for both the Front Side and the Rear Side.
Although a manual transmission is not available, you can choose to shift this automatic manually when you wish to, such as when driving in snow or towing. ItÃ?Â¢Ã¯Â¿Â½?Ã¯Â¿Â½?s also a great way to truly feel what the XC90 is capable of. As if thatÃ?Â¢Ã¯Â¿Â½?Ã¯Â¿Â½?s not enough reason to give it a go, shifting manually can also give a tiny boost in gas mileage.
Many of the conveniences that make road travel more enjoyable come standard on this V8-powered gem: leather seats, air conditioning, CD player, power windows, power door locks, and power seats. There are numerous stand-alone options, such as the navigation system (which smoothly stows itself inside the dash when its work is done), as well as packages of options grouped by theme, for example, the Climate Package, in which heated seats are the main attraction.
This is the debut model year for the AWD with Instant Traction option, which first appeared on the mid-2005 released XC90 V8. The Instant Traction system monitors driving conditions and smartly transfers power appropriately from the front wheels to the rear, increasing control and minimizing under- and oversteering as well as excessive wheel spinning upon acceleration.
Drivers of the 2006 XC90 V8 have only good things to say about its ride, comfort, handling, safety, storage space (even with rear seat down), and great looks inside and out. Most of them also test-drove the other mid-sized European SUVs that are its main competition, and many found it no competition at all, citing the V8Ã?Â¢Ã¯Â¿Â½?Ã¯Â¿Â½?s power and the extensive array of standard features that the other manufacturers considered costly options.