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2011 Volvo XC90 Overview

The 2011 Volvo XC90 remains an old faithful in the carmaker’s lineup, promising a safe and comfortable ride, the same thing it and its Swedish siblings have been doing for years and years. Volvo brought the XC90 out in 2003, its design hasn’t changed a whole lot since, and it continues to deliver for those interested in a seven-seat, family-friendly SUV. It may not be the most sporty midsize sports utility out there as far as hugging the road and high performance go, but the Volvo XC90’s V8 offering in particular can pack a bit of a punch, and its roominess, comfortable seats and, of course, those Volvo-wide safety marks it regularly hits are tough to beat.

Volvo presents the 2011 XC90 in three trims, the 3.2, 3.2 R-Design, and V8. The 3.2 trims come with a 3.2-liter six-cylinder that bumps up 5 hp to 240 in 2011 and provides 236 lb-ft of torque. The 4.4-liter V8 delivers 311 hp and 325 lb-ft of torque. Both engines team with a six-speed auto-manual transmission.

The 3.2 is offered with front-wheel drive (FWD) or all-wheel drive (AWD) and gets 16 mpg in the city and 22 on the highway. The V8 comes with AWD and is rated at 14/21.

The 2011 Volvo XC90 seats five in its front two rows, and things get a bit dicey when it comes to accommodating seven travelers. The last in had better be kids or small adults, because the third row gets a little cramped, both sitting back there and getting in. Cargo capacity, with the back seats stowed, is 85.1 cubic feet.

Volvo packs the XC90 with standard features, including a power front passenger seat, third-row air conditioning, a power moonroof, a high-performance audio system, Bluetooth hands-free system, and a USB and iPod interface. All trims come with a rear parking assist system, and the V8 gets a rear-view camera. Heated front seats, a blind-spot information system, and a dual-screen DVD entertainment system for the back seats are among the options available for all trims.

Some reviewers favor the V8, because they feel the hefty 2011 Volvo XC90 needs the extra power to get it around smoothly. They also note that others in the XC90’s high-end class may offer a more luxurious interior while pointing out that they are apt to be pricier, too. Others suggest prospective buyers check out the 2011 Volvo XC60, which they feel matches up very well against its big brother, the XC90.

Safety features, as always, tend to be a Volvo ace in the hole. The 2011 Volvo XC90, as expected, scores very well in crash and safety tests. It features roll stability control, which is designed to stop a rollover by cutting torque and applying individual brakes. Other safety items include standard electronic stability and traction control, antilock brakes with brake assist, and front, front-seat side impact, and side curtain airbags.

Updated by A. Lessels

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Volvo XC90 Questions


What Would Cause AC To Take A While To Cool?

Why is it taking a good 5 minutes for my AC to start to cool? It eventually cools and runs good. All my other XC90's are cool right off the get go. Is it a Freon issue? Condenser issue? Thank yo...