2014 Volvo XC90 Review

March 17, 2014
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With little changes for 2014, the Volvo XC90 is essentially the same. It is a family car to consider if a booster and third-row seats are necessary for you. There are more vehicles in the class, though, that offer more cargo space and sportier handling. Nevertheless, the XC90 received the Top Safety Pick recognition from the IIHS (Insurance Institute for Highway Safety).

NEW FOR THE 2014 XC90

  • standard folding front-passenger seat on R-Design models
  • optional 19-inch wheels

UNDER THE HOOD

The Volvo XC90 is powered by a 3.2-liter V6 that makes 240 horsepower and 236 pound-feet of torque. Front-wheel drive is standard and all-wheel is optional. But both powertrains work with a six-speed automatic transmission with manual shift control. The XC90 can tow a maximum of 3,970 pounds.

The 2014 XC90 gets the following fuel economy estimates from the EPA:

City Highway Combined
XC90 FWD 16 mpg 25 mpg 19 mpg
XC90 AWD 16 mpg 23 mpg 18 mpg

ON THE ROAD

The 2014 Volvo XC90 is not competitive on the road as it delivers only adequate performance. Acceleration is ordinary and the suspension was tuned for ride comfort rather than for sharp handling. But the sport-tuned suspension in R-Design models improves the XC90’s cornering abilities. Steering is communicative for some reviewers, but numb and lifeless for others.

INSIDE THE 2014 XC90

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The XC90’s interior is stylish. Genuine wood trim, aluminum inlays and leather meld to create a plush look and feel for the 7-seater SUV. The controls in the center console are neatly put in place. They look simple and are easy to use.

The front row is roomy but second- and third-row seats may feel cramped especially for taller passengers. This is disappointing because a lot of the XC90’s rivals offer more space, even at least in the second row.

Cargo space is decent at a maximum of 85.1 cubic feet. But with the second- and third-row seats up, it is just 8.8 cubic feet. That means it can’t hold all of the seven passengers’ stuff, making the rooftop cargo carrier necessary.

KEY FEATURES

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The 2014 Volvo XC90 3.2 comes standard with LED daytime running lights, steering-wheel-mounted audio and cruise controls, auto-dimming rearview mirror, Bluetooth, booster seat, dual-zone climate control, flat-folding second-row seat, leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, leather seats, 8-way power front seats, rear park assist, third-row seat, aluminum interior trim, satellite radio, power sunroof, driver-seat memory function, headlight washers, rain-sensing wipers, 8-speaker CD/MP3/WMA/iPod/USB audio system, and 18-inch alloy wheels.

The R-Design models add R-Design-specific interior and exterior details, 19-inch alloy wheels, active bi-xenon headlights, sport-tuned chassis, Quickfold front passenger seat, digital compass, and sport steering wheel.

The blind spot information system and a rear-seat entertainment system are optional on all models. The available Climate Package offers heated front seats and interior air quality system. The Premier Plus package includes active bi-xenon headlights, digital compass, grocery bag holder, Red Wood interior inlays, and power sunroof. The Platinum package offers the same features but also has rearview camera, navigation system and premium audio system.

Photo credit: volvocars.com

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