Volvo is one of my favorite luxury brands at the moment and the XC90 is one of our favorite models in the luxury mid-size SUV segment. To me, the Volvo XC90 is the complete package in this segment with a bold sexy exterior design, an elegant interior, and some solid driving dynamics. That’s not to say other SUVs in this segment don’t deserve your attention – not at all. The Audi Q7, Lexus RX, Mercedes-Benz GLE are stunners as well along with the higher-end models of this segment like the Porsche Cayenne and the Range Rover Sport.
Overall, the luxury SUV segment is better than ever and each luxury brand is doing its best to stay ahead of the pack — which is always the best situation for the consumer. So let’s see how the 2019 Volvo XC90 and how it stacks up against rivals.
2019 Volvo XC90 Exterior
The man responsible for the new Volvo face is none other than Peter Horbury, who is now the SVP of Design at Volvo’s parent company, Geely. Thomas Ingenlath, who used to be at VW, ran the show for a few years after Horbury and the title now belongs to Robin Page. Why is this important? Because things can only get better for Volvo from here, since Page’s background consists of working at Bentley, where he was responsible for the interior of the Continental and Mulsanne. He has also done design work for Rolls-Royce as well as Bugatti. That makes me pretty anxious to see what Volvo comes up with next.
The model I tested here, the Volvo XC90 T6 AWD Inscription, comes with some trim level exclusives including a chrome Inscription Grille, 20-inch silver alloy wheels, and aluminum roof rails. Exterior looks wise, there’s not much difference between the $55,700 Volvo XC90 T6 AWD Momentum and the $61,750 Volvo XC90 T6 AWD Inscription so if you’re looking to save a few thousand, go for the Momentum. You can upgrade the wheels on the Momentum for around $800 for 20-inch to $1,100 for 21-inch, if you want to go a little bigger than the standard 19-inch. Unless you’re about that life, there’s absolutely no need to go for the $104,900 Volvo XC90 Excellence.
Overall, I think the Volvo XC90 is one of the best looking models in the segment, with a perfect balance of a strong and elegant design language.
2019 Volvo XC90 Interior
In 2010, when Ford sold Volvo to Chinese billionaire Li Shufu and his company Zhejiang Geely Holding Group, many thought Volvo was bound to fail. Well, Volvo is doing better than ever. For those of you wondering whether or not Volvo’s quality and reliability has decreased, that is apparently not the case. Volvo’s quality and reliability has only gone up under Geely, and so have sales and profits in record numbers.
In terms of comfort, the 2019 Volvo XC90 totally nails it with extremely comfortable seats that offer a bunch of customizable support adjustments. The centerpiece of the Volvo XC90’s cabin is the nine-inch touchscreen display that has a little learning curve, but once you get used to it you’ll start appreciating it. It does control a bit too many functions, including the climate control which I prefer to be simple knobs. If you want to learn more about the tech you can check out my interior post on the Volvo XC40 but two things you probably should know are about Apple CarPlay/Android Auto and the amazing Bowers and Wilkins sound system.
Space wise you get a ton of legroom for the first and second row and a somewhat-comfortable third row (optional). Cargo capacity comes in at max 85.7 cubic-feet with the second and third row folded, and 15.8 cubic-feet with the second row in position.
2019 Volvo XC90 Performance
As a daily driver, the 2019 Volvo XC90 T6 AWD offers a quiet and comfortable ride on most type of road surfaces. I’ve driven an XC90 before and felt it was a bit rough over bumps and cracks, but the 2019 model I drove here seemed smoother and more refined. You can tailor the ride to your preference through the Drive Mode Selector which includes Eco, Comfort, Dynamic, and Off-Road modes.
The 316-horsepower Volvo XC90 T6 AWD I drove here provides quick acceleration, with a zero-to-60 time of 6.1 seconds. Fuel-economy comes in at 20/27 mpg* (city/highway).
That said, the steering doesn’t provide a lot of feedback and is moderately light. Even when you put it in Dynamic (Sport) mode you don’t feel a significant change in the steering feel. Nonetheless, the Volvo XC90 steering is very accurate and quick. Handling wise, I felt pretty confident taking exit ramps and sharp turns at higher than normal speeds since the Volvo XC90 feels stable and planted.
The brakes on the Volvo XC90 T6 AWD are very firm and controlled. There is virtually no jumpiness or nosedives during immediate braking action. Overall, I would say the Volvo XC90 is more on the sharper side of drivability when compared to rivals. As for those scared about the supercharged and turbocharged four-cylinder being less capable or smooth, you don’t have to worry because I honestly felt that I was driving a V6-powered SUV.
2019 Volvo XC90 Overall
I really think Volvo has checked all the boxes with the 2019 Volvo XC90. It has an exterior design that is a perfect balance of sport and elegance. The interior is one of the best in the segment in terms of comfort, quality, tech. The ride quality is very comfortable and can get a little exciting when you want to push it. Prices for the 2019 Volvo XC90 T6 start at $55,700**. Visit your local AutoNation Volvo dealership for a quick test drive.
*MSRP excludes tax, license, registration, destination charge and options. Dealer prices may vary.
**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.