Volvo XC90 Review

By Alexi Falson on 06 Aug 2021
image for Volvo XC90 Review If you’re looking for a large, luxurious SUV, there’s a huge number of options on the Australian market. The Volvo XC90 is another entrant to that segment of the market, promising a large, safe and stylish seven-seat SUV, but is it worth opting for the Volvo over its rivals from BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Audi? 

Let’s find out by taking a close look at the Volvo XC90 SUV lineup, unpack its entertainment and safety features, and see how it stacks up against its competitors in terms of comfort, practicality and fuel economy. 

Starting Price: $87,880

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Volvo XC90 - T8 RECHARGE PHEV (AWD) Specifications

Model Date 2021
Model XC90
Series 256 MY21
Drive AWD
Engine capacity 1969
Engine configuration VARIABLE DOUBLE OVERHEAD CAM / 16 valves
Engine RPM 6000 / 2200
Cylinders ST4
Torque 440
KW 246
Fuel tank size 71.0
Fuel usage specs 2.1 / 0.0
CO2 49
ANCAP security rating UNRATED

For more details and other variants, check Volvo XC90 car page.

How Much Does It Cost?

The Volvo XC90 SUV lineup kicks off at $87,880 for the XC90 B5 Momentum, moving to the XC90 B6 Inscription which is priced from $97,880, with the R-Design pack bringing the price tag to $99,880. Finally, the XC90 range tops out in the form of the XC90 Recharge plug-in hybrid variant, which is priced from $117,880. Please note that these prices do not include on-road costs or optional extras. 

How Much Can OnlineAuto Save You? 

Using OnlineAuto’s car buying service, you could save by sourcing one of our car specialists to help you find the best value model for you. 

What Features Does the Volvo XC90 Have?

The XC90 SUV range comes jam-packed with features, even in the entry-level specification. This means that the XC90 B5 Momentum comes riding on a 20-inch set of alloys, LED headlights, a 12-inch digital driver’s screen with heads-up display and 9.0-inch infotainment system with satellite navigation, digital radio, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, as well as wireless charging, adaptive cruise control, four-zone climate control, leather upholstery with heated electric seats, keyless entry and start, powered boot lift, surround-view camera and a set of parking sensors. 

Stepping up to the XC90 B6 Inscription adds a supercharged engine, as well as set of 21-inch alloys, chrome exterior features, leather key fob and a gear selector made from Orrefors crystal. The B6 R-Design pack adds larger 22-inch alloys, nappa leather and sports suede seats, metal pedals, R-Design exterior features and a sporty steering wheel. 

Finally, the range-topping XC90 Recharge plug-in hybrid adds a panoramic sunroof, adaptive air suspension, tinted windows, Bowers and Wilkins sound system and a type two charging cable. 

Range Features: 

  • 12-inch driver’s display, 9-inch infotainment system with Apple CarPlay & Android Auto

  • LED headlights 

  • Four-zone climate control  

  • Powered boot lift 

  • Leather interior 

  • Adaptive cruise control 

  • Surround-view camera 

  • 22-inch alloys (R-Design)

  • Panoramic sunroof (Recharge) 

  • Air Suspension (Recharge) 

Volvo XC90 Colours

Ice White Crystal White
Onyx Black Birch Light
Thunder Grey Bright Silver
Savile Grey Pebble Grey
Denim Blue

Is it Comfortable to Drive? 

Volvo’s XC90 is an incredibly comfortable car to drive thanks to its competent suspension system that irons out many of the bumps that feature on Australian roads. Volvo’s range of engine options means that you’ve got more than enough power in the base model, while the more expensive variants add some seriously impressive engine specs. As an all-rounder, the XC90 is equal parts smooth and quiet, which means it’s a relaxing car to drive around the city, even with its large proportions. Its size means that parking and manoeuvring in tight spots can be time-consuming, but Volvo’s surround view camera and parking sensors help give the driver all the information they need.   

If you’re looking for the most comfortable XC90 on the market, you should check out the range-topping Recharge variant, which comes fitted with air suspension as standard. Overall, though, the XC90 is a smooth, refined and capable crossover SUV that is the perfect companion for a school run, round of errands and even towing large objects for a weekend trip away. 

Is it Practical and Spacious? 

The Volvo XC90 is more than capable of accommodating a family’s worth of bodies and belongings for a holiday road trip, a crowded school run or a trip back from the sports fields. Three rows of seating means that the XC90 can comfortably seat seven people, so long as there’s no adults in the rear-most row of seats. Up front, Volvo’s minimalist approach to interior packaging means the cabin is uncrowded and spacious, with a number of stash spots and bottle holders on offer. 

In the rear of the cabin, there’s a huge amount of leg and headroom for those sitting behind the driver, which even offers adjustable seats, while the third row receives a set of cupholders and cubby holes for loose items, which is a nice, practical touch to the rear of the car. Overall, the XC90’s interior is every bit as spacious as it is practical, and we haven’t gotten to one of the best parts yet. In terms of cargo storage in the boot, there is 709L of space on offer, which means that the XC90 has one of the biggest boots on the market. This extends to 1868L with the rear seats folded down, which means you can throw huge, bulky items in the boot without a problem in the XC90. 

Overall, the XC90 is an extremely practical family SUV that is more than capable of handling whatever your family can throw at it.  

Is it Safe? 

Volvo is a brand synonymous with safety, and the XC90 is no exception. It has been awarded ANCAP’s maximum five-star rating, scoring 97 out of 100 for adult occupant protection, and 87 out of 100 for child occupant protection, meaning it is one of the safest family SUVs on the Australian market. As standard, the XC90 comes fitted with autonomous emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, surround-view camera with parking sensors, rear cross-traffic alerts, blind-spot monitoring and lane-keep assist. In terms of safety, the XC90 is a great option for those looking for a feature-packed and safe family SUV. 

Is it Fuel Efficient?

While Volvo is yet to confirm any updated economy figures for its MY2022 lineup, we’ll go off the current range’s economy figures to give you an idea of what you can expect. The B5 Momentum and the B6 Inscription are rated at 8.2L per 100km on a combined cycle, which is quite impressive considering the size and weight of the XC90 SUV. The range-topping plug-in hybrid, Recharge, has an economy figure of just 2.1L per 100km, thanks to its hybrid powertrain, which can travel around 44km on electric power alone. 

If economy is a key concern of yours, consider opting for the XC90 plug-in hybrid variant which will save you thousands over the lifespan of the car. 

Our Verdict: Is the Volvo XC90 Worth it? 

The Volvo XC90 is a highly-capable family SUV that has been designed with comfort and safety as a top priority. With these two factors in mind, it’s hard not to recommend the XC90 as a candidate for your next family car. To make things even better, Volvo packages a full suite of safety equipment in the entry-level model, which means you won’t have to spend extra if you’re looking for a comfortable, luxurious and safe family SUV. If you’re in the market for a new car, you can get a free quote and see how much OnlineAuto can save you on your next car, or call us on 1300 719 925 

Five Specs You Need to Know

  1. Five-Year, Unlimited KM Warranty

  2. Seven seats with large, 709L boot 

  3. Five-star ANCAP safety rating 

  4. Plug-in hybrid variant available 

  5. Air suspension in Recharge variant 


  • Ride quality 

  • Smooth engine and transmission combination 

  • Interior design and features 


  • No spare tyre 

  • Large wheels reduce ride quality 

  • Limited electric-only range in Recharge variant 

OnlineAuto Rating: 8/10

What are the Volvo XC90’s Rivals? 

The Volvo XC90 comes up against the likes of the Audi Q7, Mercedes Benz GLE, BMW X5, Range Rover Sport and Porsche Cayenne in the luxurious segment of the large SUV market. 

Volvo XC90

Audi Q7
Mercedes Benz GLE
Porsche Cayenne
Range Rover Sport


Alexi Falson

Alexi is an automotive journalist and road tester hailing from Byron Bay. He has an affection for both cars and motorbikes, a great admiration for the simplicity of old-school engineering, and a fascination of new technology making its way to modern cars. When he's not road testing, you'll find him surfing, hiking or helping people find their dream cars.

Have any questions? Call us on 1300 719 925

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