Advice for buyers
What should I look for in a used Volvo XC90 4x4?
The XC90 is a large car and will have been used on school runs, rat runs and in tight car parks; so check bodywork carefully for scuffs and the alloy wheels for any kerb damage.
You should also inspect the carpets and upholstery for stains or marks, especially on versions with a light colour interior.
What are the most common problems with a used Volvo XC90 4x4?
Potential engine fire
Volvo is presently in the process of recalling around 70,000 cars in the UK fitted with a 2.0-litre diesel engine, over potential engine fires. There isn't a fix at the moment, so owners are being told to pay attention to any unusual smells coming into the interior, if the engine warning light illuminates, or if the engine hesitates under acceleration. Read our news story on this for further information or contact Volvo directly on 01628 854 210.
Cracked fuel hose
There was a recall for 30,777 examples of XC90 because a fuel hose was found to be cracking up from the inside, which could lead to a fuel leak if not fixed. This applies to cars built between 11 April 2015 and 30 March 2016, and a Volvo dealer will be able to tell you if your car is affected or not.
Airbag might not deploy correctly in an accident
There have been three recalls for airbags that might not deploy correctly during a collision. This first is due to airbags that don't meet the required specification and were fitted to models produced between 29 August 2016 and 7 September 2016. The second is for the third-row curtain airbags and concerns that the surrounding interior trim prevents it from operating correctly – it applies to early XC90s built up to 10 July 2015. The last action is for the retaining bolt on the curtain airbag; it could break and reduce the level of protection the airbag can provide. This recall affects certain XC90s built between 21 November 2016 and 1 March 2017.
A problem was found with the vehicle connectivity module (VCM), which sends location information to the emergency services after a collision. It applies to cars constructed between 4 May 2016 and 19 August 2016.
Seatbelt may separate from buckle
A small number of cars made between 16 February 2015 and 19 August 2016 had a problem with front seatbelt buckles that may not have been punched correctly during production. This could result in the buckle and seatbelt bracket separating during a collision.
Engine cooling hose may break
An engine coolant hose has been found to fail on a relatively small number of XC90 models built since the start of production and 26 May 2019, but your Volvo dealer will be able to tell you if your car is one of those affected.
Third-row seatbelt pretensioner
A pretensioner, which forms part of the seatbelt restraint system, has been found to be faulty on examples made between 21 November 2016 and 1 March 2017. It applies to the seatbelt fitted to the third row seat on the driver's side of the vehicle.
In March 2020 Volvo recalled nearly 750,000 vehicles worldwide amid concerns that their autonomous emergency braking (AEB) systems are faulty.
The fault - affecting 736,430 cars, 56,368 of which are in the UK - was identified by Danish motoring body FDM during a road test in late 2019. The emergency brake on a Volvo XC90 consistently failed, meaning that the car did not automatically apply the brakes as expected when driven towards a special test pillow that normally would engage the system. The affected cars are safe to use: the regular braking system in these cars is not affected by the AEB issue and has full functionality. It's worth checking that this recall has been applied to the vehicle you're looking at.
Is a used Volvo XC90 4x4 reliable?
Reliability is a bit of a mixed bag. In our most recent survey, the XC90 fared mid-table in the luxury SUV segment. There were reported issues with non-engine electrical items and software system problems that were not always remedied on their first visit to the garage.
Volvo as a brand finished 11th out of 31 manufacturers in the same survey.
All XC90s come from new with a three-year, 60,000-mile manufacturer’s warranty. T8 XC90’s have their battery packs covered by a separate eight-year, 100,000-mile warranty.
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