Car Reviews

One Year Test Update: 2003 Volvo XC90

It's been a long time coming for our 2003 Sport/Utility of the Year winner.

It's been a long time coming for our 2003 Sport/Utility of the Year winner.

Our original One-Year Test Volvo XC90 could’ve used a set of water wings when the ocean freighter Tricolor sank in the English Channel on December 14, taking the first run of U.S.-bound XCs down with it. This created a further supply problem for an already hot seller. Finally, our replacement T5 arrived for its tour of duty. The Crystal Green XC came with a $450 metallic-paint upcharge, the $595 Climate Package (interior-air-quality system, rain sensor, heated front seats, and headlamp washers), and a $1675 Versatility Package (third-row seats, third-row air-conditioning, rear headphone jacks, self-leveling rear suspension, and movable second-row center cushion).

We also added all-wheel drive for $1750 and $2575 for the Premium Package (leather seats, power passenger seat, auto-dim mirror, six-disc in-dash CD changer, Homelink, and rearview-mirror memory. With $685 in destination, our tester’s MSRP came to $42,170. So far, there are no problems to report, and we’ve asked our staffers to keep the XC away from ferries.

“The XC90 is an impressive package, blending great style with a comfortable interior and responsive powertrain. Volvo hit this nail on the head.”
–Scott Mead

Base price $34,444
Price as tested $42,170
Vehicle layout Front engine, awd, 4-door, 7-pass
Engine 2.5L I-5 turbocharged, DOHC, 4 valves/cyl
Horsepower @ rpm 208 @ 5500
Torque @ rpm 236 @ 1500-4500
Transmission 5-speed automatic
0-60 mph, sec 9.9
EPA mpg 18 city/24 highway
Total mileage 5614
Average test mpg 16.6
Problem areas None
Non-warr cost $0