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2010 Volvo XC90 Overview

Since its debut for the 2003 model year, the Volvo XC90 has presented a conundrum of sorts: Is it a midsize SUV, a glorified wagon, or a crossover? Call it what you will, the 2010 Volvo XC90 is a solidly built, roomy, four-door, seven passenger, family oriented vehicle that features over-the-top standard amenities and equipment, sprightly handing, a potent V8, and Volvo’s legendary safety properties. Available in three trims, the base 3.2, midlevel 3.2 R-Design, and top-shelf V8, the 2010 XC90 introduces standard third-row seating, standard rear parking-assist sensors, and a tweaked chassis, and its lineup no longer includes the V8 R-Design trim level. While the V8 trim is delivered with standard all-wheel drive (AWD), the two lower trims come with the standard front-wheel-drive (FWD) configuration, but each is also offered with AWD. Though the XC90 is a capable and reasonably priced family auto, prospective buyers ought to check out the Volkswagen Touareg, Lexus RX, Mercedes M-Class, and Volvo’s own XC60 before making a decision.

A pair of engines equips the 2010 XC90 line. The base 3.2 and midlevel 3.2 R-Design pack a 3.2-liter variable-valve-timed (VVT) inline six-cylinder (I6) engine and six-speed auto-manual transmission. This combo puts out 235 hp and 236 lb-ft of torque while munching an EPA-estimated 15/22 mpg in the FWD configuration and 15/21 with AWD. Additionally, this sweet I6 can haul 3,970 pounds of trailer. The V8 trim, as its moniker implies, boasts a 4.4-liter VVT V8 powerplant and six-speed auto-manual transmission that spanks the pavement with 311 hp and 325 lb-ft of torque. EPA estimates for the AWD-only V8 are 13/19, while its towing capacity exceeds 4,900 pounds.

Whatever its designation - crossover, SUV, or wagon - the 2010 XC90 certainly doesn’t lack for standard amenities and equipment. The base 3.2, for example, loads 18-inch alloy wheels, a roof rack, power sunroof, skid plates, leather upholstery, eight-way power front seats, cruise control, power windows, door locks, and heated mirrors, telescoping tilt-wheel steering, universal remote garage door opener, dual-zone climate control, leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, wood and alloy dash and passenger-door trim, memorized driver’s settings, and a 160-watt AM/FM radio with a single-CD player and eight speakers onto its sturdy chassis. The 3.2 R-Design adds a self-leveling suspension, 19-inch alloy wheels, and remote power door locks to the list of standard features, while the V8 trim tacks on heated front seats and upgraded alloy wheels.

Options for the 2010 XC90 run to the packaged variety, and for the 3.2 trim include AWD and a 650-watt Dynaudio premium sound system with 12 speakers, DVD navigation, and satellite radio, as well as heated front seats, running boards, rear-seat DVD entertainment, a trailer hitch, and Bluetooth hands-free communications technology. The 3.2 R-Design additionally offers the available Executive Package with 20-inch alloy wheels and massage-capable, ventilated front seats, while the V8 trim level sports available unique exterior colors and a leather steering wheel on top of all the 3.2 R-Design’s options.

In keeping with Volvo’s much-ballyhooed and well-earned reputation for safety, the 2010 XC90 features not only a slightly beefier chassis, but also four-wheel ABS, traction and stability control, dual front side-mounted airbags, front, rear, and third-row head airbags, active front whiplash protection, remote anti-theft alarm, rear parking sensors, front fog/driving lights, and turn-signal-integrated mirrors. As well, Volvo’s Blind Spot Information System (BLIS) and Xenon HID headlights with active bending are available for all trim levels.

Perfect safety scores are a way of life for Volvo, and the 2010 XC90 is no exception. Owners of the 2009 and 2010 Volvo XC90 cite its proven passenger-protection capabilities as a major factor in their purchase. There is, however, a bit of a tradeoff, with many owners complaining of poor gas mileage, pricey options packages, some technological features, including some less-than-state-of-the-art controls that are simply not worth the extra money, and only lukewarm re-sale value. In the minds of most owners, however, the XC90’s Euro-styling, ride comfort, overall cabin ambiance, and its roominess, not to mention its 93-cubic-foot cargo area (with the rear seats folded), competent handling characteristics, reasonable base price, and laudable warranty coverage overcome all obstacles in the decision to buy.


Have Laptop. Will Travel. I'm retired and travelling the country in a 34' motor home. I'm really digging meeting people . . and sometimes their cars . . . getting a sense of what makes this nation tick. The plan is to visit all the national parks in the continental US, then cruise to Alaska to visit Denali, and to Hawaii to check out Haleakala and the Hawaii Volcano's national parks. Anyhow, when I'm not horsing the motor home around the roadways, I'm tooting around in the 2012 Ford Focus that we tow behind, or making runs to Home Depot and various malls with the 2004 F-150 that just won't die.

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Volvo XC90 Questions

Any Suggestions On Belt Squealing

Hi, I have a 2010 volvo xc 90 with a 3.2 engine, I replaced the belt, belt tensioner, and the idler, put it together its good for a while the belt starts to squeal and no power steering, do you have...

XC90 Volvo Air Conditioner Does Not Cool Well At Idle

XC90 Volvo air conditioner does not cool well at idle ok while driving

The AC On My Volvo Xc 90 Works Sporadically

My AC works in the auto mode on full blast but struggles and blows luke warm air in other modes. I don't understand why it works sometimes and not others.