XC90 2019 Awards

Volvo XC90 review

Space & practicality
Manufacturer price from:£51,860
What Car? Target Price:£47,704
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In this review

Space & practicality

How it copes with people and clutter

Volvo XC90 4x4 front space

Like rivals, the XC90 offers enough head and leg room to keep even tall adults very happy up front, and there’s also generous 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 well up to the challenge of accommodating taller passengers. 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 particularly comfortable to sit on.

All XC90s come with seven seats as standard. In fact, the T8 model is the only plug-in hybrid SUV to retain its third row of seats, its rivals have to go without a third row to make space for batteries. They've enough room for average-sized adults and children to be content, but anyone tall will find them rather tight on a long trip. If space for seven adults to travel together 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 only five seats in place, the boot space swells to enable two large pushchairs, 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. With air suspension fitted, it’s possible to lower the rear end at the touch of a button next to the tailgate opening, reducing the distance needed to heave something weighty up and into the boot.

As with its hybrid rivals', the T8's bootspace is reduced slightly to help squeeze in a battery under its floor. However, even with slightly less room than the rest of its lineup, the T8 wipes the floor with its hybrid rivals from Porsche and Range Rover.

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Trims
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...
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Fuel Diesel, Petrol
What Car? Target Price from
£47,704
Average Saving £4,156
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Momentum Pro
Momentum Pro adds niceties to Momentum trim such as a heated steering wheel, adaptive L...
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Fuel Diesel, Petrol
What Car? Target Price from
£50,457
Average Saving £4,403
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R DESIGN
Adds larger 20in alloy wheels and various sporty design touches inside and out. It may...
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Fuel Diesel, Petrol/Plug-In Elec Hybrid, Petrol
What Car? Target Price from
£50,915
Average Saving £4,445
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Inscription
Benefits from softer nappa leather, different 20in alloy wheels to R-Design trim, an el...
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Fuel Diesel, Petrol/Plug-In Elec Hybrid, Petrol
What Car? Target Price from
£51,282
Average Saving £4,478
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R DESIGN Pro
R-Design Pro adds the same additional luxuries as Momentum Pro, along with 22in wheels...
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Fuel Diesel, Petrol, Petrol/Plug-In Elec Hybrid
What Car? Target Price from
£54,815
Average Saving £4,795
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Inscription Pro
Inscription Pro follows the theme of adding extra luxuries that on this version includi...
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Fuel Diesel, Petrol, Petrol/Plug-In Elec Hybrid
What Car? Target Price from
£55,778
Average Saving £4,882
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