Space & practicality

Volvo XC90 review

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Volvo XC90 front
Review continues below...
24 May 2017 14:31 | Last updated: 18 Sep 2018 18:40

In this review

Space & practicality

How it copes with people and clutter

Volvo XC90 4x4 front space

Like its rivals, the XC90 offers enough head and leg room to keep even tall adults very happy up front, and there’s also good shoulder room, if not quite as much as you get in the Audi Q7.

Two large cupholders and a storage bin are positioned between the front seats. The two door pockets can hold a large water bottle and still have space for other items. The glovebox is opened electronically and is large enough to store much more than just the car’s manual.

Volvo XC90 4x4 rear space

The back of the XC90 is a great place to sit if you're tall. Head room is ample, and while the Q7 offers a whisker more rear leg room, the XC90 still offers more than rivals including the Land Rover Discovery, BMW X5 and Porsche Cayenne. It’s also roomy for three in the middle row, although the raised middle seat isn’t that comfortable to sit on.

All XC90s come with seven seats as standard. In fact, the T8 model is the only hybrid SUV to retain its third row of seats, which its rivals have to remove to make space for batteries. With the rearmost seats in place, there’s enough room for average-sized adults and children to be content, but anyone tall will be smarting on a long trip from the lack of space. If third-row seating big enough for taller adults is a priority, look at the Discovery instead.

Storage space for those in the rear is good, with cupholders and useful cubbies dotted around.

Volvo XC90 rear seats

Volvo XC90 4x4 seating flexibility

Entry-level Momentum models come with an electrically adjustable driver’s seat, while the front passenger has to make do with electrically adjustable height and lumbar support only. Upgrade to Momentum Pro and you get full electrical adjustment, with a memory function, on both front seats.

The three seats in the middle row can be slid forward and backwards independently of one another to improve rear leg room or maximise boot space. Middle-row passengers can also adjust the angle of the seatbacks; or, to accommodate longer loads, they can be folded completely flat.

Unlike its competitors, including the Discovery and Q7, the third row of seats aren’t power-operated and have to be lifted manually; this is at least easy to do with one hand. When not in use, they lay flush with the boot floor.

Volvo XC90 4x4 boot space

Even with all seven seats in use, there’s room for a couple of large bags in the boot and there’s additional underfloor storage, which is more than you’ll get behind a Discovery’s third row. With five seats occupied, the boot space swells to enable two large pushchairs or a couple of sets of golf clubs or three large suitcases to fit with ease.

It’s not just a large space, though; it’s practical, too. Being one of the longest boots in the class means you are less likely to have to fold down the middle seats to carry lengthy items, and being a relatively square shape with no load lip and a large aperture helps when loading bulkier items. If you have a model with air suspension, it’s possible to lower the rear end at the touch of a button by the tailgate opening, reducing the distance needed to heave something weighty up and into the boot.

Unlike some of its hybrid rivals that end up with reduced boot space, the T8 hybrid retains the same generous boot proportions as the rest of the range.

 

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There are 6 trims available for the XC90 4x4. Click to see details.See all versions
OUR PICK
Momentum
The pick of the bunch. Cruise control, automatic headlights and wipers, leather seats, front and rear parking sensors, sat-nav, a 12.3in TFT screen with digital instruments, LED headlights, Bluetoo...View trim
Fuel Diesel, Petrol, Petrol/Plug-In Elec Hybrid
What Car? Target Price from
£46,948
Average Saving £4,912
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Momentum Pro
Momentum Pro adds niceties to Momentum trim such as a heated steering wheel, adaptive LED headlights with headlight washers, nappa leather seat trim, an electrically adjustable passenger seat, a he...View trim
Fuel Diesel, Petrol, Petrol/Plug-In Elec Hybrid
What Car? Target Price from
£49,656
Average Saving £5,204
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R DESIGN
Adds larger 20in alloy wheels and various sporty design touches inside and out. It may enhance the look for you, but R-Design doesn’t really make much financial sense, so we’d stick to Momentum...View trim
Fuel Diesel, Petrol/Plug-In Elec Hybrid, Petrol
What Car? Target Price from
£50,107
Average Saving £5,253
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Inscription
Benefits from softer nappa leather, different 20in alloy wheels to R-Design trim, an electrically adjustable passenger seat and more illumination throughout the interior. We think there’s more sens...View trim
Fuel Diesel, Petrol/Plug-In Elec Hybrid, Petrol
What Car? Target Price from
£50,468
Average Saving £5,292
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R DESIGN Pro
R-Design Pro adds the same additional luxuries as Momentum Pro, along with 22in wheels (which hurt ride comfort) and adaptive air suspension...View trim
Fuel Diesel, Petrol, Petrol/Plug-In Elec Hybrid
What Car? Target Price from
£53,943
Average Saving £5,667
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Inscription Pro
Inscription Pro follows the theme of adding extra luxuries that on this version including cooling and massaging front seats, adaptive air suspension and 21in alloy wheels...View trim
Fuel Diesel, Petrol, Petrol/Plug-In Elec Hybrid
What Car? Target Price from
£54,890
Average Saving £5,770
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