2019 Volvo XC90 Review

XC90

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2019 Volvo XC90 Overview

The XC90 helped usher in the current era of Volvo design, shifting the focus from safety to elegance. For 2018, this midsize luxury SUV got some new standard features, good enough to usher in the 2019 model unchanged.

Still, Volvo hasn’t changed that much, since the XC90 is proudly, boldly boxy. It’s a little smoother than Volvos of the past, with modern lighting and plenty of glass to help open things up, but it’s hard to imagine mistaking the XC90 as belonging to any other brand.

There are three different powertrains available with the XC90, each based on a different 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine with an 8-speed automatic transmission. The T5 adds a turbocharger for 250 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque. Move up to the T6, and you’ll get both a turbocharger and a supercharger, good for output of 316 hp and 295 lb-ft. The T8 is a plug-in hybrid; it adds an electric motor and battery to the T6’s engine, for a total of 400 hp and 472 lb-ft. The T5 is available in front- (FWD) or all-wheel drive (AWD), while the T6 and T8 come standard with AWD. For the best fuel economy, go for the plug-in hybrid T8, which gets EPA ratings of 58 MPGe combined. The front-wheel drive T5 comes in at 21 city, 29 highway, and 24 combined. The all-wheel drive T5 returns ratings of 20 city, 27 highway, and 23 combined. If you want the T6, expect 19 city, 26 highway, and 22 combined.

The XC90’s cabin is pleasant, with a generous amount of space and high-end materials. The base Momentum includes synthetic leather, dual-zone climate control, a panoramic sunroof, a proximity key, and a hands-free liftgate. The sporty R-Design adds illuminated door sills and exclusive styling. The Inscription features a third row of seating and heated and ventilated front seats. The top-end Excellence reduces capacity to four, but all seats get leather, heat, ventilation, and massage functionality. The rear seats also get a beverage cooler with crystal glassware.

The XC90 gets an easy-to-use Sensus infotainment system with a standard 9-inch touchscreen display, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and navigation. A 10-speaker audio system also comes standard.

The 2018 Volvo XC90 earns a Top Safety Pick rating from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) and a 5-star overall rating from National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Every XC90 gets Volvo’s City Safety system, which includes forward-collision warning, automatic emergency braking, with pedestrian, cyclist, and animal detection. Other standard features include a reversing camera, lane-departure warning, lane-keep assist, adaptive cruise control, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, road sign detection, and rear parking sensors.

If you are looking for a stylish yet practical midsize luxury SUV, the Volvo XC90 should be on your list. It’s one of those vehicles that seems to offer something for everyone.

Updated

Cherise is a Chicago-based freelance writer and editor with nearly 15 years of experience covering the automotive industry. Cherise loves writing about car culture and sharing common-sense car-buying advice. She is eagerly awaiting delivery of a 2019 Subaru WRX Series.Gray, which will join her household's 2008 Toyota RAV4, 2007 Genuine Buddy Italia 150, and 2015 Honda Grom.

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