Volvo XC90

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Not to be confused with Suzuki X-90.
Volvo XC90
Volvo XC90 II, August 2014, 09.jpg
Manufacturer Volvo Cars
Production 2003–present
Body and chassis
Class Mid-size luxury crossover SUV
Body style 5-door SUV
Layout Front engine
front-wheel drive or four-wheel drive

The Volvo XC90 is a mid-size luxury crossover SUV produced by Volvo Cars since it was unveiled at the Detroit Motor Show 2002. It is based on the Volvo P2 platform, shared with the first generation Volvo S80 and other large Volvo cars. As Volvo's top-selling vehicle in the United States, the XC90 was also Volvo's best selling model worldwide in 2005 with 85,994 cars sold. Production of the first generation XC90 came to an end in 2014, in China it is still sold as the XC Classic.[1] The same year Volvo introduced the second generation XC90 that is based on Volvo's new global platform called Volvo Scalable Product Platform.

First generation (2002–2014)[edit]

Volvo XC90
Volvo XC90 V8 -- 02-26-2010.jpg
Production August 2002–July 11, 2014
Assembly Torslanda, Sweden (2002-2014)
Daqing, China (2014-Present)
Designer Doug Frasher (1999) [2][3]
Body and chassis
Body style 5-door Mid-size SUV
Layout Front engine
front-wheel drive or four-wheel drive
Platform Volvo P2 platform
Engine 2.5 L 210 hp turbocharged I5
2.9 L 272 hp turbocharged I6
3.2 L 238 hp I6
4.4 L 315 hp V8
2.4 L 185 hp (163 hp) Diesel I5
Transmission 5-speed Volvo M56 manual
4-speed GM 4T65EV/GT automatic
5-speed Aisin AF33 automatic
6-speed Aisin AWTF-80 SC automatic
Wheelbase 2003–04 & 2007–present: 2,857 mm (112.5 in)
2005–06: 2,859 mm (112.6 in)
Length 2003–06: 4,821 mm (189.8 in)
2007–present: 4807 mm (189.3 in)
Width 2003–2012: 1909 mm (74.7 in)
2013-: 76.2 in (1,935 mm)
Height 1784 mm (70.2 in)

At the January 2001 North American International Auto Show, hosted at Detroit, Volvo showcased the Adventure Concept Car to gauge reaction to the styling and features of its upcoming SUV.[4] Then in November 2001, Volvo released a teaser image showing the frontal styling of the production version, titled XC90. Notable as Volvo's first SUV model, the styling of the XC90 remained true to the concept.[5] The full XC90 unveiling occurred in January 2002 at the North American International Auto Show.[5] Production began in August 2002 after Volvo's traditional mid-year shutdown, with the first XC90s coming out of the Torslanda factory in Sweden.[5]

Pre Facelift Volvo XC90 D5 (Australia)
Facelift Volvo XC90 D5 (Australia)
Facelift Volvo XC90 3.2 (Australia)
Pre Facelift Volvo XC90 D5 (Australia)

At its North American launch for the 2003 model year, it was presented with a choice of two trim levels, the 2.5 T and the T6. The 2.5 T was the entry level version and offered a 2.5-litre B5254T2 "T5" turbocharged inline-five engine, putting out 208 hp (155 kW) and 236 lb·ft (320 N·m) mated to an Aisin co-developed five-speed AW55-50/51 automatic. The T6 offered a 2.9-litre B6294T twin-turbocharged inline-six with 268 hp (200 kW) and 280 lb·ft (380 N·m) mated to a GM-sourced, Volvo-modified four-speed 4T65EV/GT automatic. While the 2.5T came standard with front-wheel drive, a Haldex Traction all-wheel drive (AWD) system was optional. The T6 was offered only with the AWD system.

A new Yamaha V8 engine was added in 2005. This 4.4-litre Volvo B8444S engine produced 288 hp (215 kW) for the first few models later upgraded to 311 hp (232 kW) and 325 lb·ft (441 N·m) of torque. Volvo sold just over 40,000 XC90 units in North America that year.[6]

The XC90 won the North American Car of the Year award and Motor Trend magazine's Sport/Utility of the Year for 2003.

The XC90 is produced at Volvo's Torslanda Plant (Torslandaverken) in Sweden.

The host of Top Gear, Jeremy Clarkson, has owned three of these vehicles, and claims they were designed by someone who must've had children due to its immense practicality.[citation needed]

The Passion Red avatar of the XC90 was heavily showcased in the 2009 film 3 Idiots, which has since become Bollywood's biggest box office success to date. Curiosity and demand for the car went up hugely in India and elsewhere, after its prominent feature in the film.[citation needed]


As with all Volvo models, the car's safety is a key part of its design. The Volvo XC90's front end is specifically designed to absorb frontal impacts and also deflect any pedestrians up on to the hood of the vehicle rather than underneath the vehicle. Volvo has patented the unique frontal structure that has renowned crumple zones, and predetermined positions for the engine and other ancillaries during a frontal impact.[citation needed]

The XC90's roof is reinforced with ultra-high-strength steel to help prevent a collapse in the passenger cavity in the event of a roll over. This Volvo system is called ROPS, and is closely associated with the Roll Stability Control (RSC), electronic stability control (DSTC), and SIPS systems of Volvo to prevent and ultimately minimize effects of a pending accident.

The XC90 has been designed on the rear end to absorb impact energy, but the occupants are also protected by a whiplash protection system. This Volvo WHIPS system cradles the entire body of the occupants when they are jolted during a rear end collision.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety awarded the Volvo XC90 their Top Safety Pick award. The XC90 was granted the IIHS's highest rating of "good" in front, side, rear and roof strength tests and has Electronic Stability Control as standard equipment to receive the award.[7]

The industry-first Roll Stability Control was first introduced in XC90 in 2003.[8][9]


At the end of July 2007, Volvo Car Corp. announced the recall of 42,211 2005 model year XC90s in order to check their batteries to avoid the risk of an internal short circuit and fire. The vehicles were manufactured in the Swedish Torslanda Plant between June 7, 2004, and May 13, 2005.[10] The recall only applies to cars in the U.S. and Canada.[11] There have been no reports of short circuiting in the vehicles.[citation needed]

IIHS scores:[12]
Moderate overlap frontal offset Good
Small overlap frontal offset Good1
Side impact (2005–present models) Good
Roof strength Good2
1 vehicle structure rated "Good"
2 strength-to-weight ratio: 4.51


Many owners of the T6 variant reported very early transmission failures, many before 60,000 miles (97,000 km).[13][14][15] Some owners reportedly went through two transmissions in that time.[16] The GM-sourced 4T65EV/GT transmissions usually show symptoms of failure by suddenly slipping while in gear. There was no recall for this issue, but the faults are widely known and documented. Various causes have been given, ranging from engine coolant entering the transmission fluid to problems arising from Volvo's modification of the original GM valve body[17] unit inside the transmission, but none has been substantiated. Non-GM-sourced transmissions have not suffered unusual failures of this type.[citation needed]

Many owners of early V8 models in 2005 and some in 2006 have reported problems with the counterbalance shaft. A crevice in the engine block where one of the sealed bearings is located collects water if the engine has been in a wet environment such as washing the engine bay. If the engine is not allowed to heat up and evaporate the water out of the crevice, the bearing will fail prematurely. This issue was addressed and fixed by Volvo by drilling a drain hole in the crevice.

2007 facelift[edit]

The XC90 was updated for 2007 with a restyled front and rear and a revised interior. The 235 hp (175 kW; 238 PS) 3.2 L SI6 straight-6 engine replaced the 208 hp (155 kW; 211 PS) B524T2 straight-5 in the base model for the US market. The 2007 XC90 debuted in April 2006 at the New York Auto Show.

2009, 2010, and 2012 updates[edit]

For the 2009 model year, the XC90 received a new rear logo, featuring larger lettering with wider spaces between the "VOLVO" letters.

In 2010, all XC90 models received painted wheel arches (previously they were optional). In addition, a new, larger, circular Volvo logo appeared on the front grille.

For the 2012 model year, new LED tail-lights became available on certain models, although entry-level models retain the previous style.

For 2013, the XC90 received a cosmetic refresh that included standard LED daytime running lights and taillights, and an exterior touchup that saw the addition of body color bumpers, rocker panels, and new silver trim to replace the black plastic that was previously used. The refreshed model went on sale during late spring 2012. Base price was US$40,395 for a front-wheel drive Base model.[18] For the 2014 model year the base price is US$39,700.[19]

XC Classic[edit]

The first generation Volvo XC90 will continue to be sold in China as the "XC Classic". It will be produced at a new Volvo factory located in Daqing, Heilongjiang Province, with the necessary tooling being shipped from Sweden.[20]

Second generation (2014-)[edit]

Volvo XC90
2015 Volvo XC90 Front.jpg
Production Q4 2014
Assembly Torslanda, Sweden (2014)
Designer Thomas Ingenlath[21]
Robin Page (interior designer)[22]
Body and chassis
Body style 5-door Mid-size SUV
Layout Front engine
front-wheel drive or four-wheel drive
Platform Volvo Scalable Product Platform (SPA)
Engine 2.0 liter turbo Drive-E (Petrol, Diesel and Plug-in Hybrid variants)
Transmission 8-speed Geartronic automatic
Wheelbase 2,984 mm (117.5 in)
Length 4,950 mm (194.9 in)
Width 2,008 mm (79.1 in)
Height 1,775 mm (69.9 in)
Volvo XC90 Twin Engine

In May 2012 Volvo announced that the second generation XC90 will go into production in late 2014, with orders being taken in 2014 and the vehicle officially going on sale in 2015.[23] The SUV will be sold in Europe, Asia and North America. Volvo expects the United States to account for at least a third of global sales.[24]

The new XC90 is based on Volvo's newly designed Scalable Product Architecture (SPA) technology. The new technology, which will be used in all future Volvos, is a stronger platform, which offer weight reduction while improving safety and efficiency.

The vehicle features longer, taller and lower dimensions than its predecessor, creating a broader stance.[25] All engines in the XC90 will be 2.0 liter 4 cylinder Drive-E powertrains, all of which are focused on being powerful, whilst also more fuel-efficient than previous models. All XC90s will feature Volvo's 8-speed Geartronic transmission. The lineup will include two petrol engines: a turbocharged, supercharged 320 hp T6, producing 400 nm of torque and a turbocharged 254 hp T5, producing 350 nm of torque, two diesel engines: a twin turbo 225 hp D5, producing 470 nm of torque and a turbocharged 190 hp D4, producing 400 nm of torque. The top-of-the-line model will be the XC90 Twin Engine, a plug-in hybrid which combines the more powerful petrol engine at the front with an electric motor at the rear to produce 400 hp and 640 nm of torque.[26]

The First Edition of the all-new Volvo XC90, 1,927 individually numbered cars only available for sale via digital commerce, sold out in 47 hours after orders opened on September 3, 2014.[26] All 1,927 of the First Edition models, which could feature either the Petrol T6 or Diesel T5 engine, will be finished in Onyx Black and feature 21-inch alloy wheels and include every available vehicle option. The limited production run number represents the year the Swedish brand was launched, with each model fitted with uniquely numbered tread plates and a distinctive rear mounted badge,[27] with customers able to select their XC90 First Edition numbers.


Volvo XC90 Interior showing Bowers & Wilkins sound system, Orrefors crystal glass gear lever, diamond-cut center console controls and 9" touch-screen control console

The new XC90 has a completely redesigned chassis, made with both a smooth, solid ride and sharp handling and response in mind. The vehicle features a double wishbone front suspension and a new integral link rear axel incorporating a new transverse leaf spring, made of lightweight material. The new XC90 can also be equipped with electronically controlled air suspension with a choice of five modes.[26]

The interior features a 9" tablet-like touch screen control console, which is at the center of an all-new, user-friendly, virtually-button free in-car control system. This, along with the steering wheel controls and voice-control system, is linked to Volvo's new Sensus user interface, which allows for, among other things, access to a wide selection of cloud-based applications such as Internet radio, connected navigation, finding and paying for parking, music streaming, the ability to mirror and use Apple and Android devices in the touch screen display, and a Wi-Fi hot spot for using a tablet in the car. Other features include a gear lever made of crystal glass from Orrefors and diamond-cut controls for the start/stop button and volume control, located on the center console between the driver and passenger seats.

The top-of-the-line audio system in the XC90 features a 1400W Class-D amplifier and 19 Bowers & Wilkins speakers. It also includes one of the first air-ventilated subwoofers in a car. Integrated into the car body, it turns the whole interior space into a giant subwoofer. The latest sound processing software has ben used to manage the timing of the sound and co-ordination of the speakers.

The vehicle's seats have also been redesigned, resulting in more room for second and third row passengers. The new seats are available with adjustable side bolsters, seat cushion extension and massage. The second row features three individual seats with recline adjustment. The sliding function can be used to create more legroom for the passengers in the third row or to increase loading space. An integrated child booster cushion in the centre seat is available.

Volvo Cars’ CleanZone air purification system has been further improved for the new XC90 by adding a new carbon filter for more efficient capture of small, harmful particles and pollen in the incoming air. The new XC90 also features a 360° Surround view, providing the driver with a birds-eye view, whereby information from all cameras is added up digitally to form one 360° image. The Park Assist Pilot featured in the new XC90 now also offers automatic reversing into a parking bay.[26]

The new XC90 is the first Volvo to carry the company’s new, more prominent iron mark, which has the iconic arrow aligned with the diagonal metallic slash across the grille. Together with the new T-shaped “Thor’s Hammer” LED daytime running lights, the iron mark introduces an entirely new and distinctive front end for Volvo’s forthcoming generation of cars.

The car will be available in four trim levels, namely Kinetic (base trim level), Momentum, Inscription (a more luxurious trim) and R-design (a sportier trim).[26]


The vehicle features a comprehensive and technologically sophisticated standard safety package (IntelliSafe), including two world first safety technologies: Run-off road protection package and Auto brake at intersection. New systems include:

  • Run-off road protection package. In a run-off road scenario, the all-new Volvo XC90 detects what is happening and the front safety belts are tightened to keep the occupants in position. To help prevent spine injuries, energy-absorbing functionality between the seat and seat frame cushions the vertical forces that can arise when the car encounters a hard landing in the terrain.[26]
  • City Safety with auto brake in intersections. The XC90 is the first car in the world with technology that features automatic braking if the driver turns in front of an oncoming car.[28] This is a common scenario at busy city crossings as well as on highways, where the speed limits are higher.
  • IntelliSafe with City Safety has become the umbrella name for all of Volvo Cars’ auto brake Collision avoidance functions, which are standard equipment in the new XC90. This equipment now covers vehicles, cyclists and pedestrians in front of the car during both day and night.
  • Adaptive Cruise Control with Pilot Assist traffic jam assistant enables safe and comfortable semi-autonomous driving by automatically following the vehicle ahead in stop-and-go traffic. Acceleration, braking and now also steering are controlled automatically.[26]


The T8 plug-in hybrid version of the XC90 is based on technology used in the Volvo V60 PHEV.[24] The vehicle emits 64 g/km of CO2 and has a pure electric power range of 40 km (24 mi). Normal driving is conducted in the default hybrid mode, but the driver can push a button to switch to a mode that uses only electric power, for quiet, emission-free driving.[26] The batteries are situated at the center of the vehicle can be charged using an electric vehicle charger and can also store energy recovered by means of regenerative braking. Volvo says that the XC90 T8 sacrifices no passenger or cargo space to accommodate the hybrid equipment.[25] Sales of the XC90 T8 will start in the U.S. in the Fall of 2015.[29]

Technical data[edit]

Specification D4 AWD D5 AWD T5 AWD T6 AWD T8 AWD
Length 4950 mm (194.9 in)
Width 2140 mm (84.3 in)
Height 1775 mm (69.9 in)
Wheelbase 2984 mm (117.5 in)
Luggage area volume 704 l (186.0 US gal; 154.9 imp gal)
Seats 7
Curb weight
Tank Capacity 71 L (18.8 US gal; 15.6 imp gal) 71 L (18.8 US gal; 15.6 imp gal)
Cylinders In-line 4 (4 valves/cylinder)
Engine 2.0L Turbo Diesel 2.0L Twin-turbo Diesel 2.0L Turbo Petrol 2.0L Turbocharged & Supercharged "twincharged" petrol 2.0L Turbo Petrol with Supercharger and Electric motor (Twin Engine)
Displacement (cc)
Fuel economy (combined) 5.8 7.7
Max power output 190 hp (142 kW) 225 hp (168 kW) @ 4250 rpm 264 hp (197 kW) 320 hp (239 kW) @ 5700 rpm 400 hp (298 kW)
Max torque 400 N·m (295 lb·ft) 470 N·m (347 lb·ft) @ 1750-2500 rpm 350 hp (261 kW) 400 N·m (295 lb·ft) @ 2200-4500 rpm 640 N·m (472 lb·ft)
Acceleration 0–100 km/h (sec) 7.8 6.9 6.4
Top Speed km/h 205 km/h (127 mph) 230 km/h (140 mph)
Transmission 8-speed Geartronic automatic
CO2 emissions (g/km) 152 179 64
Environmental classification (EU) Euro 6 Euro 6


  1. ^ press coverage
  2. ^
  3. ^,+Volvo+had+to...-a095526322
  4. ^ Pund, Dan (January 2001). "Volvo Adventure Concept Car". Car and Driver. Hearst Communications. Retrieved July 15, 2012. 
  5. ^ a b c Lacy, Justin (November 29, 2001). "First pics: Volvo joins the off-road boom". GoAuto. John Mellor. Retrieved July 15, 2012. 
  6. ^ "Volvo XC90 Leads Sales With Best Month of the Year. - Free Online Library". January 4, 2006. Retrieved 2012-01-21. 
  7. ^ "XC90 IIHS evaluation". Retrieved 2010-10-09. 
  8. ^ Hide Comments (December 1, 2002). "Mike Monticello"2003 Volvo XC90 AWD T6 - Road Test," Road and Truck". Retrieved 2010-10-09. 
  9. ^ "2003 Volvo XC90 – North American Truck of the Year,". January 5, 2003. Retrieved 2010-10-09. 
  10. ^ "Volvo recalls SUVs due to fire risk". Bloomberg News / The Arizona Republic. July 25, 2007. Retrieved 2007-07-27. 
  11. ^ "Volvo to recall 42,000 cars in North America because of short circuit risk". International Herald Tribune. March 29, 2009. Retrieved 2010-10-09. 
  12. ^
  13. ^ "Volvo XC90 T6 Transmission - CarSpace Automotive Forums". Retrieved 2009-07-21. 
  14. ^ "2003 Volvo XC90 T6 Comments (r69842), Page 4". Retrieved 2009-07-21. 
  15. ^ "Volvo XC90 Transmission Problems". Retrieved 2012-01-21. 
  16. ^ "2003 Volvo XC90 T6 Comments (r69842), Page 5". Retrieved 2009-07-21. 
  17. ^ "Common Faults and Diagnosis Volvo And Saab". Retrieved 2009-07-21. 
  18. ^ "2013 Volvo XC90 Photos and Info-Car News-Car and Driver". Car and Driver. May 3, 2012. 
  19. ^ "Volvo XC90 Price". NADAguides. 
  20. ^
  21. ^ "All-new XC90 will be the first Volvo built on the company’s new Scalable Product Architecture". Volvo Cars of North America. August 12, 2014. Retrieved November 14, 2014. 
  22. ^ Vijayenthiran, Viknesh (March 14, 2013). "Bentley Interior Design Chief Robin Page Heads To Volvo". Auto Express. Retrieved November 14, 2014. 
  23. ^ Diana T. Kurylko (May 14, 2012). "Volvo's goal: Conquest more luxury-vehicle buyers". Automotive News. 
  24. ^ a b Jack Ewing (2014-08-26). "Volvo Introduces Its First S.U.V. Made Under Chinese Ownership". The New York Times. Retrieved 2014-08-26. 
  25. ^ a b "New Plug-in Hybrid Volvo XC90 Boasts 400 Horsepower". Retrieved November 5, 2014. 
  26. ^ a b c d e f g h "The all-new Volvo XC90". Volvo Car Group. October 21, 2014. Retrieved November 5, 2014. 
  27. ^ Mildenhall, Owen (October 2, 2014). "New 2015 Volvo XC90 revealed in Paris: pics, specs, video and full details". Auto Express. Retrieved November 5, 2014. 
  28. ^ XC90 features integrated radar and camera system
  29. ^ Mike Szostech. "Volvo XC90 T8 plug-in hybrid Availability". MyXC90PHEV. MECF. Retrieved 24 February 2015. 

External links[edit]