Volvo XC90

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Not to be confused with Suzuki X-90.
Volvo XC90
Volvo XC90 V8 -- 02-26-2010.jpg
Manufacturer Volvo Cars
Production 2003–present
Body and chassis
Class Mid-size luxury crossover SUV
Body style 4-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 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.

First generation (2002–2014)[edit]

Volvo XC90
2006-2008 Volvo XC90 (P28) D5 wagon 01.jpg
Production August 2002–July 11, 2014
Assembly Torslanda, Sweden (2002-2014)
Daqing, China (2014-Present)
Designer Doug Frasher (1999) [1][2]
Body and chassis
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.[3] 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.[4] The full XC90 unveiling occurred in January 2002 at the North American International Auto Show.[4] Production began in August 2002 after Volvo's traditional mid-year shutdown, with the first XC90s coming out of the Torslanda factory in Sweden.[4]

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.[5]

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.[6]

The industry-first Roll Stability Control was first introduced in XC90 in 2003.[7][8]


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.[9] The recall only applies to cars in the U.S. and Canada.[10] There have been no reports of short circuiting in the vehicles.[citation needed]

IIHS scores:[11]
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).[12][13][14] Some owners reportedly went through two transmissions in that time.[15] 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[16] 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.[17] For the 2014 model year the base price is US$39,700.

Second generation (2014-)[edit]

Volvo XC90
Volvo XC90 II, August 2014, 09.jpg
Production Q4 2014
Assembly Torslanda, Sweden (2014)
Designer Thomas Ingenlath
Robin Page (interior designer)[citation needed]
Body and chassis
Platform Volvo Scalable Product Platform (SPA)
Engine 2.0 litre Drive-E engine
Transmission 8-speed automatic
Wheelbase 2984 mm (117.5 in)
Length 4950 mm (194.5 in)
Width 2140 mm (84.3 in)
Height 1775 mm (69.9 in)

In May 2012 Volvo announced that the second generation XC90 will go into production in late 2014.[18] The new lineup will come with a plug-in hybrid, the top-of-the-line model, and other four cylinder petrol and diesel Drive-E engines too. The S.U.V. will be sold in Europe, Asia and North America, where Volvo expects to sell at least a third of global sales in the United States.[19] This line up includes a 225hp D5 twin turbo diesel engine and 190hp D4 turbo diesel engine. Two other petrol engine will also be included in the line up including the T6 turbo engine with an output of 320hp and a T5 with 254hp.[citation needed]

Plug-in hybrid[edit]

Together with the new generation XC90, Volvo plans to launch in April 2015 a plug-in hybrid version based on technology used in the Volvo V60 PHEV.[19][20] The XC90 PHEV will combine a 2-litre gasoline-powered direct-injected engine in front, combined with two electric motors, one of them at the rear to provide all-wheel drive capabilities. Volvo is targeting a fuel economy of about 2.0 L/100 km (140 mpg-imp; 120 mpg-US) and emissions of 50g/km of CO2.[20][21] The 2015 Volvo XC90 plug-in hybrid is expected to have an all-electric range of 40 km (25 mi). The plug-in hybrid XC90 is expected to deliver 400 hp and accelerate to 100 km (62 mi) in 6.4 seconds.[19]


  1. ^
  2. ^,+Volvo+had+to...-a095526322
  3. ^ Pund, Dan (January 2001). "Volvo Adventure Concept Car". Car and Driver. Hearst Communications. Retrieved July 15, 2012. 
  4. ^ a b c Lacy, Justin (November 29, 2001). "First pics: Volvo joins the off-road boom". GoAuto. John Mellor. Retrieved July 15, 2012. 
  5. ^ "Volvo XC90 Leads Sales With Best Month of the Year. - Free Online Library". January 4, 2006. Retrieved 2012-01-21. 
  6. ^ "XC90 IIHS evaluation". Retrieved 2010-10-09. 
  7. ^ Hide Comments (December 1, 2002). "Mike Monticello"2003 Volvo XC90 AWD T6 - Road Test," Road and Truck". Retrieved 2010-10-09. 
  8. ^ "2003 Volvo XC90 – North American Truck of the Year,". January 5, 2003. Retrieved 2010-10-09. 
  9. ^ "Volvo recalls SUVs due to fire risk". Bloomberg News / The Arizona Republic. July 25, 2007. Retrieved 2007-07-27. 
  10. ^ "Volvo to recall 42,000 cars in North America because of short circuit risk". International Herald Tribune. March 29, 2009. Retrieved 2010-10-09. 
  11. ^
  12. ^ "Volvo XC90 T6 Transmission - CarSpace Automotive Forums". Retrieved 2009-07-21. 
  13. ^ "2003 Volvo XC90 T6 Comments (r69842), Page 4". Retrieved 2009-07-21. 
  14. ^ "Volvo XC90 Transmission Problems". Retrieved 2012-01-21. 
  15. ^ "2003 Volvo XC90 T6 Comments (r69842), Page 5". Retrieved 2009-07-21. 
  16. ^ "Common Faults and Diagnosis Volvo And Saab". Retrieved 2009-07-21. 
  17. ^ "2013 Volvo XC90 Photos and Info-Car News-Car and Driver". Car and Driver. May 3, 2012. 
  18. ^ Diana T. Kurylko (May 14, 2012). "Volvo's goal: Conquest more luxury-vehicle buyers". Automotive News. 
  19. ^ a b c Jack Ewing (2014-08-26). "Volvo Introduces Its First S.U.V. Made Under Chinese Ownership". The New York Times. Retrieved 2014-08-26. 
  20. ^ a b Antony Ingram (2014-03-10). "Five Green Cars We Can't Wait To Drive". Green Car Reports. Retrieved 2014-03-10. 
  21. ^ Matt Campbell (2013-11-20). "Volvo switching to petrol hybrids". Drive. Retrieved 2014-03-10. 

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