2016 volvo xc90 Model Overview
New for 2016
The redesigned 2016 Volvo XC90 is all-new and rides on Volvo’s Scalable Platform Architecture (SPA). It’s powered by the Drive-E family of turbocharged four-cylinders — Volvo’s new generation of engines. A new design language and interior design also debut in the XC90, which features a new grille, logo design, and optional “Thor’s Hammer” LED headlights.
The 2016 Volvo XC90 is a three-row, luxury all-wheel-drive crossover with seating for up to seven passengers and serves as the brand’s flagship.
The base engine in the 2016 XC90 T6 AWD is a super- and turbocharged 2.0-liter I-4 rated at 316 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque. Those looking for more power should consider the XC90 T8 Twin Engine, the plug-in hybrid variant that combines the same four-cylinder I-4 in the T6 with an electric motor for a total output of 400 hp and 472 lb-ft. The only gearbox available in both models is an eight-speed automatic transmission. Fuel economy is respectable, with the T6 achieving 20/25 mpg city/highway. The EPA hasn’t tested the T8 yet.
The XC90’s more upright dimensions means it has generous amounts of space for people and gear. There’s 15.8 cubic feet of cargo space behind the third row, 41.8 cubic feet behind the second row, and a maximum capacity of 85.7 cubic feet when the second and third rows are folded. Passenger space in the front and second rows is ample for five passengers, but the third row is best suited for children on long drives or adults in a pinch.
In addition to the standard front, front-side and three-row side curtain airbags, the 2016 Volvo XC90 comes standard with lane departure warning, and automatic forward emergency braking. As part of the Vision package, blind-spot warning and rear cross traffic alert are bundled with a 360-degree-view camera system. The Convenience package adds adaptive cruise control with stop and go function and lane keeping assist. A head-up display is available on all models as a standalone option. Buyers can also opt for a second-row booster cushion that increases the seating height for children so that the side curtain airbags can protect them in an accident.
Trims, Packages, and What’s Standard
Base XC90 models come standard with 40/20/40 split-folding second row, navigation, Bluetooth connectivity, keyless entry and start, heated front seats, rearview camera, four-zone climate control, leather upholstery, 19-inch alloy wheels, panoramic moonroof, a 9-inch portrait-style infotainment touchscreen, and a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster. Stepping up to the R-Design adds metal mesh interior accents, 20-inch alloy wheels, LED headlights, paddle shifters, front seat cushion extender, leather-wrapped gearshift knob, and silver side mirror covers. The range-topping Inscription trim adds Linear Wood interior accents, a leather-clad key fob, memory function for the front passenger seats, 20-inch silver alloy wheels, and ventilated front seats. A 1,400-watt Bowers & Wilkins audio system with 19 speakers is available as a standalone option.
Buyers can also opt for an air suspension that features Volvo’s Four-C active chassis system in place of the standard Touring chassis. Comfort mode maximizes ride quality, while Eco mode lowers the crossover for better aerodynamics and fuel economy. Dynamic model lowers the crossover and firms up the chassis for better handling, and Off-Road mode raises the ride height for better ground clearance. There’s also an individual mode that allows drivers to tailor the car’s suspension based on their liking. At speeds above 62 mph, the air suspension lowers the XC90 to reduce drag and improved high speed stability. Owners can also lower the XC90 to make loading and unloading cargo and getting in and out of the car easier.
What We Think
In a First Drive review, we said the 2016 Volvo XC90 is exactly the product Volvo needs. The interior is a highlight because of its impeccable build quality and high-grade leather, plastics, and wood, and uniquely textured metal accents. Front and second-row seats are extremely comfortable and offer plenty of support, but the third row is best suited for small adults in a pinch or children, since there isn’t much headroom back there. Volvo’s new infotainment system, which features a 9-inch portrait-style touchscreen, is user-friendly, intuitive, and functional thanks to smartphone- and tablet-like controls that make it less fussy to use. One drawback to the XC90’s infotainment system is the lack of USB ports — there’s only one in the entire car.
Volvo’s new super- and turbocharged I-4 provides more than enough power to haul the XC90 around. When the drive mode selector is put into Power mode, the crossover comes alive and is more aggressive. The XC90 T8 PHEV is more impressive than the T6 model when it comes to performance thanks to the addition of an electric motor, and it blends power from both sources seamlessly. In a straight line, the extra torque from the electric motor makes the XC90 T8 feel downright quick, especially in Power mode. In EV mode (Pure mode in Volvo-speak), the XC90 T8 can travel around 20 miles before the gas engine kicks back in. Both versions of the XC90 handle relatively well despite the car’s size, with well-controlled body motions; however, when pushed too hard around corners, the crossover can feel tippy. The XC90’s 9.3 inches of ground clearances means it should be able to go off the beaten path without drama, especially with its standard all-wheel-drive system.
Volvo offers a European Delivery program, called Overseas Delivery, for all its vehicles, allowing buyers to customize their vehicles. A few perks included are access to exterior and interior colors only available in the European market, 14 days of road insurance in the European Union, Switzerland and Norway, complimentary hotel for one night, a Swedish meatball lunch at the Factory Delivery Center, and two round-trip tickets between the U.S. and Denmark, Norway, or Sweden. Vehicle prices are also discounted and are slightly lower than buying a car from a North American dealer. Volvo also waives the destination fee when ordering a vehicle via Overseas Delivery.
- Well-built and spacious cabin
- Comfortable seats in the front and second rows
- Strong acceleration, especially in the XC90 T8
You Won’t Like:
- Third-row seats are only good for small adults or kids
- One USB port in a luxury family crossover is unacceptable