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Volvo XC90

A mid-size luxury crossover SUV, the Volvo XC90 made its debut in 2002 at the Detroit Motor Show. Recognized for its safety, practicality, and comfort, the XC90 is a popular vehicle around the world. The top selling Volvo model in the United States, the model was the best-selling car for Volvo worldwide in 2005.

XC90 History

The Volvo XC90 is Volvo’s first SUV offering, and came late in the SUV game. In a market where some manufacturers have 4 or more models, Volvo for years made just one. It debuted as a 2003 model, and sales have been higher than Volvo predicted.

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Premiering with two model choices, the original debut featured the 2.5T and the T6. The 2.5T was a standard, entry level model with a 2.5L, 20 valve turbocharged in-line 5 engine. The T6 offered a 2.9L 24 valve twin turbocharged in-line 6 engine, along with all-wheel drive (the 2.5T came with front wheel drive.) In 2005, a Ford/Yamaha V8 engine was introduced.

Special MVS investigative report: XC90 least expensive new automobile to insure?

XC90 - Cheapest new auto to insure?!

Seating up to seven people, the SUV is roomy and offers removable seats for additional cargo spacing.

Winning North American Car of the Year and Motortrend’s Sport/Utility of the Year award in 2003, the XC90 is well respected for its performance, comfort, and safety features.

XC90 Safety

In keeping with Volvo’s reputation for safety, the XC90 performed the best in the world in roll-over tests, and the front end is specifically designed to absorb impact and a roof reinforced with high impact steel to protect the passengers in a roll-over accident. Volvo strengthened and perfected the XC90 to do very well in this type of crash, if not avoid it altogether with its Roll Stability Control. RSC is a system designed to predict and actuate brakes and throttle to eliminate rollover accidents.

The Volvo XC90 has an inertia sensor that monitors the SUV’s attitude and its acceleration. The sensor can determine the difference between an impending accident and steep terrain. Working in concert with the inertia sensor are sensors that watch the body’s lean and measures its roll movements. But if there is a rollover, the airbags will deploy and remain inflated for up to seven seconds, or 4 rolls.

A concern over the potential for batteries to short circuit and fire resulted in a recall in 2007 of the 2005 year XC90 models. While many vehicles were recalled due to this concern, there were no reports of short circuts in the vehicles.

The 2008 model saw upgrades to the trim and additional features such as an automatically dimming rear view mirror.

XC90 Future

The XC90 is rated high for value within its class by Consumer Reports, and Volvo plans to move toward hybrid technology with newer models of the XC90, and future models are expected to grow slightly in size and be designed to compete in a more luxury market.

While the XC90 was originally slated to move into a third generation version in 2010, this plan has been scrapped in favor of a facelift for the vehicle, and the intention is to sell these production models through the year 2012.

The XC90 shares Volvo’s P2 platform with the V70, S60, XC70, and S80.


  • turbocharged and intercooled DOHC 20-valve 2.5-liter 5-in-line, 208 hp, 236 lb-ft
  • twin-turbo-charged and intercooled DOHC 24-valve 2.9-liter 6-in-line, 268 hp, 280 lb-ft
  • DOHC 32-valve 4.4-liter V-8, aluminum block and heads, port fuel injection, 311 hp, 325lb-ft
  • Transmissions 4- or 5-speed automatic with lockup torque converter
  • Wheelbase 112.6 in
  • Length 188.9 in
  • Width 74.7 in
  • Height 70.2 in
  • Curb weight 4450-4800 lb, depending on engine and FWD vs. AWD
  • Zero to 60 mph: 6.5 – 8.2 seconds, depending on engine
  • Top speed (governor limited) 128 mph
  • Fuel Economy: low teens (city) to mid-20s (highway)

11 Responses to Volvo XC90

  1. Pingback: Volvo XC90 Least Expensive Car to Insure in US

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  3. Pingback: XC90 Recharging Air Conditioning Tips

  4. Pingback: XC90 T6 Transmission Lawsuit

  5. Ismaila says:

    I change the inlet valve of the cx90 while working on this I miss the positions of the TIMING now the outer pollys are also not at the original positions and I don`t know the right positions of the 2 camsharfs and the gamsharf to start the engine again thanks ismaila

  6. Pingback: XC90 Transfer Box & Rear Diff Fluid Change

  7. Genaro says:

    Is it possible to upgrade my Volvo 2003 xc90′s T6 engine with a more modern DOHC v8?

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  9. Ettienne Swanepoel says:

    I hope you can help me. I need to drive a friends Volvo XC90 to JHB in a few days time. It’s an amazing vehicle. At this stage I can’t get hold of my friend due to the fact that he is out the country with the company he work for.
    The vehicle is acting very strange and I don’t want to take the risk of driving from the West Coast to JHB if I could damage it by doing the trip. If you could tell me what to look out for it would make my life a lot more stress free.

    The bottom hose on the radiator keep coming off from time to time. After parking the vehicle it sometimes just pop off after a few minutes. I have replaced the hose clamp with a new one and it seemed to work but then a few days later the same thing happened again.

    Please advise me what to do. I don’t want to allow anyone to work on the vehicle until I can get hold of my friend.

  10. joy woodruff says:

    How do you repair an input turbine speed sensor circuit Volvo 90xc 2006?

  11. Mark says:

    2007 XC 90 6 Cyl. has oil breather hi pitched wine at low rpms and after driving for 30 minutes. How do you replace/fix this condition?

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