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Volvo XC90: Large, sophisticated SUV


2018 Volvo XC90 Reviewed

Roseville, CA,- There are plenty of reasons to be enamored with the 2018 Volvo XC90, a sophisticated luxury crossover sport utility vehicle.

First off, it's a very attractive vehicle with a bold, yet classy look that would make any owner proud to have the XC90 parked in the driveway for the neighbors to admire.

For technological geeks, there's lots to love. And it starts with merely turning on and off the engine, which is initiated from a knob near the center console. The large center console in the elegantly-stylish cabin features a touch screen that uses infrared technology that reportedly improves response time.

For folks who love utilizing an electric motor, that's an option in the XC90 T8, a plug-in hybrid electric-motor/gas-engine. Note that there are some major limitations with this model. It only goes 19 miles in EV mode, up 5 miles from the 2017 version. The T8 has a mileage rating of 54 mpg - a somewhat underwhelming figure.

2018 Volvo XC90

* Performance: turbocharged 2.0-liter, four cylinder, 250 horsepower; 2.0-liter supercharged/turbocharged four cylinder, 313 horsepower; 2.0-liter supercharged/turbocharged hybrid, 400 horsepower
* Mileage estimate: 22-29 mpg; 20-27 mpg; equivalent 54 mpg
* Price estimate: $47,900 to $79,800
* Warranty: 4 years/50,000 miles; drivetrain: 4 years/50,000 miles; roadside assistance:4 years/unlimited; corrosion: 12 years/unlimited

The XC90 has three rows and seats seven people comfortably. Like all Volvos, this one has an exorbitant amount of safety features that add considerable value and peace of mind. Among the features are frontal collision detection with automatic braking (the brakes are applied if the driver attempts to turn in front of an oncoming car). There's also energy-absorbing seat cushions and self-tightening seat belts if the SUV suddenly careens off the road.

The engines are also a bit novel. The XC90 features an innovative turbocharged and supercharged/turbocharged engine - there are no V6 or V8 options. Take your pick, all three Volvo engines are performance laden and get solid gas mileage for an SUV.

The standard engine (T5) is a turbo 2.0-liter, four cylinder that produces 250 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. It goes 0-60 mph in 7.5 seconds. There's also a (T6) 2.0-liter supercharged/turbocharged four cylinder that generates 313 horsepower, 295 pound-feet of torque, and can travel 0-60 mph in 6.6 seconds.

Although we were very happy with performance, a knock against the XC90 is the overall acceleration is less than some of its leading rivals like the Acura MDX, BMW X5 and Mercedes-Benz GLS-Class. Another criticism is the Volvo SUV performs well on smooth surfaces, yet doesn't provide as smooth a ride on bumpy roads.

An impressive blend of textures - wood, metal, leather, carbon-fiber accents - gives the XC90 interior a cutting-edge look. Both front seat and second row occupants receive a healthy dose of room and comfort. And even the third row won't feel cramped for smaller adults. Cargo space is 15.8 cubic feet behind the third row and the capacity increases to 85.7 when the two rows are folded.

One thing we weren't crazy about was some of the interior technology can be difficult to initially master, which we've found to be a Volvo trait in previous experiences over the years.

There are plenty of reasons to like the 2018 Volvo XC90, starting with its attractive exterior and the option of owning a large people mover with EV capability. The XC90 is an SUV with lots of sophistication, the tremendous Volvo safety considerations, and an abundance of modern technology.

About Weidel on Wheels

Weidel on Wheels author Jeffrey Weidel is an award-winning writer from the Sacramento region who has reviewed automobiles for more than two decades. He can be reached at

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