Test Drive Reviews Volvo 

2017 Volvo XC90 T6 R-Design Test Drive Review

For Volvo, things have changed- and they have changed drastically. Volvo has emerged from the ashes of neutral design and mundane technology features with the XC90 SUV.

The new Volvo XC90 is winning awards left and right as one of the best SUVs currently available on the market. With an extremely handsome exterior, an elegantly luxurious interior, and outstanding technology features, competitors will have a lot of work to do over the next couple of years to knock the XC90 from the number one spot. Oh, and by ‘number one spot’ we mean that the Volvo XC90 is the most awarded luxury SUV of the century. Let’s take a closer look at the 2017 Volvo XC90.


The Volvo XC90 is the first vehicle to launch the new exterior design language for the brand. If this is how all future Volvo vehicles are going to look, then we are definitely on board. Most luxury car brands focus on making the interior as luxurious as possible, but Volvo’s team of Scandinavian designers put their hours into making sure that every angle of the Volvo XC90 looks extremely beautiful and elegant.

In a vehicle segment that consists of the Audi Q7, BMW X5, and the Mercedes-Benz GLE – the Volvo XC90 is definitely a contender in the crowd. The new ‘Thor hammer’ inspired headlamps and aggressive new grille gives the XC90 an extremely sharp front end. While the rear has also been significantly redesigned, it still pays homage to Volvo’s sharp angled past.

Our Volvo XC90 T6 AWD R-Design model featured some extra design elements including full LED headlamps, illuminated tread plates, a lower front spoiler, a more aggressive R-Design grille, metal mirror caps, R-Design 20-inch five spoke alloy wheels, and more.

The 2017 Volvo XC90 sits on a wheelbase that measures 117.5 inches with an overall length of 194.9 inches. The width of the 2017 Volvo XC90 comes in at 79.1 inches and an overall height of 69.9 inches.


Take a seat inside and you’ll be welcomed by the new pinnacle of Swedish luxury. While Volvo vehicles were always known as a luxury vehicle, the new Volvo XC90 takes things up a couple of notches with the use of high-quality materials, a new infotainment system, and comfort.

Each and every component of the interior feels like something out of an ultra-luxury vehicle. Our Volvo XC90 T6 AWD R-Design featured some additional upgrades including R-Design Nubuck and Nappa Leather counter seats, metal mesh aluminum inlays, an R-Design perforated leather steering wheel, a nappa leather key fob, and R-Design badging all around.

Tech-wise, the 2017 Volvo XC90 does not disappoint. The center of Volvo’s tech offerings is the brand’s new Sensus infotainment system that is housed in a 9.5-inch touch screen display. While it does take a couple of minutes to get the lay of the land, the Volvo Sensus system is extremely useful – oh and Apple CarPlay comes as a standard option. The home screen mostly houses all the status of various apps that are in play and includes quick access to climate, audio, and navigation controls. Swiping left on the home screen will take you to the Function View which offers access to all the driver assist and safety features. Swiping right on the screen will bring you to the App screen and will provide access car settings, audio controls, additional apps and other functions. No matter which trim level of the Volvo XC90 you buy, you will get all the luxury technology options you would expect for a vehicle in this segment. Our test model included some extras including heated front and rear seats, four-zone climate control, an upgraded Bang and Olufsen sound system, and leather upholstery.

Comfort-wise, the Volvo XC90’s ride quality is very smooth. Interior measurements-wise, the 2017 Volvo XC90 offers 40.9 inches of leg room for front row passengers and 37 inches of leg room for rear passengers. If you opt for the seven seater option, third-row passengers will get a total of 31.9 inches of legroom. Cargo volume-wise the Volvo XC90 offers 41.8 cubic feet of space behind the second row and a total of 85.7 cubic feet with all the seats folded.


The 2017 Volvo XC90 is available with a line 2.0 liter four cylinder engines. The base engine is turbocharged and makes a total of 250 horsepower with a maximum torque of 258 lb-ft. The other two options are supercharged and turbocharged and make a total of 313 horsepower (the T8 model carries this engine but also gets help from two electric motors to produce more power) and 316 horsepower respectively.

Our test Volvo XC90 T6 AWD R-Design model is powered by the 316 horsepower engine option and produces a total of 295 lb-ft of torque. Mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission, the Volvo XC90 T6 AWD will go from 0 to 60 mph in just 6.6 seconds with a top speed of 130 mph. If you want something a little quicker – you may want to go for the for the XC90 T8, which allows for a 0 to 60 mph time of 5.3 seconds.

Fuel economy-wise, the Volvo XC90 T6 AWD averages an EPA-estimated fuel economy of 20/25 mpg* (city/highway).

Overall, the ride quality of the 2017 Volvo XC90 offers a great balance between comfort and sport. You do have the choice of picking between different driving modes. In Sport mode, the Volvo XC90 does tighten up the suspension and steering for better control.


Of course, since this a Volvo, the XC90 comes packed with a long list of safety features. The optional Volvo Intellisafe features add on driver assist technologies inching adaptive cruise control, lane keep assist, birds-eye view camera, driver alert control, blind spot monitoring and notification, pedestrian detection warning, City Safety auto-braking technology, and much more.


After spending a week with the 2017 Volvo XC90 it is clear to see why this SUV is winning awards left and right. At starting MSRP of $45,750**, the Volvo XC90 offers the most bang for your buck when it comes to luxury, comfort, style, and a long list of impressive standard features. If you’re in the market for a luxury SUV, make sure you visit your local AutoNation dealer for a test drive today.

*Based on EPA mileage ratings. Your mileage will vary depending specific vehicle trim, how you drive and maintain your vehicle, driving conditions, and other factors.

**MSRP excluding tax, license, registration, destination charge and options. Dealer prices may vary.

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