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2006 Volvo XC90 V8 AWD

The Good :)  Roomy and comfortable interior cabin.  Loads of trunk space with fold up seats when you need them.  Quiet as well as powerful.

The Bad :(  Exterior looks are still conservative.  Sound system and rear seat video hard to use.  Low gas mileage. 

Download Apple QuickTime viewer here.  Watch the exterior, interior, and some offroading.  Click Here

iTunes:  Right click and 'save link target as' to Download a full version of this review for iTunes Click Here


From the outside the XC90 has a strong wide appearance.  It's tall, but not as tall as a large SUV such as a Excursion.  The body is nicely sculptured and pleasing to look at.  New for 2006 is the Willow Green color that does look very nice in real life.  It's like a light olive color.  The front end has a car like appearance with the grill being the same proportions as in the Volvo sedans.  Below the central grill is a small elongated air slot cut into the painted front bumper.  Beneath the headlights is a large plastic molding that offers protection against brush when offroading.  We liked the design of the headlights which featured a large circular driving beam and a smaller circular high beam all encapsulated in one single leans unit.

Looking from the side, the Volvo XC90 has perfect proportions.  The rear trunk is slightly shorter than the length of the front hood, which makes the XC90 appear much nicer than other SUV's that have a smaller rear end like the Porsche Cayenne.  The door panels are long with indented full door handles.  Below each door runs a line of plastic molding which is great since this is the area that gets hit with rocks and stones.  Along the window frames runs a line of chrome that gives the XC90 an upscale appearance, perfect for taking it to the country club.  Our test car had the optional 18-inch ďAtlantis' alloy wheels with 235/60-18 tires.  The wheels were very attractive with 6-spoke design that flares to create a 12-spoke look.

The rear of the XC90 is very distinct and also quite practical.  The red color lens unit runs along the edge of the rear window up to the roofline, creating a futuristic look.  The turn single and backup light are circular with clear lenses, blending nicely with the surrounding red lens unit.  This entire rear lens unit appears to be one single piece when viewed from afar.  Below the bumper again is a molded plastic trim that fits nicely with the look of the vehicle.  The rear truck lid has two parts.  The top portion opens, leaving about a 6-inch lid at the bottom intact.  This is good for gaining access to the truck to store grocery bags and other things that can rest against the back lid.  If you also open the bottom portion, you have completely flat access to the trunk, which is good for sliding large objects into the trunk.  The trunk is quite deep with the rear seats folded down, so for small items it is best to put up the third row so that things do not bounce around. 

            The moment you step into the XC90 you instantly notice the room.  This is one spacious vehicle. There is an abundance amount of legroom, head rim, and cargo room.  The cabin feels warm and welcoming.  The upper dash is attractively styled with a large center speaker flush mounted on the top of the dash.  The flow of the center console is perfect with all the control buttons for radio and climate within easy reach.  Between the driver and passenger seats is center console that has the automatic gearshift knob completely wrapped in leather and surrounded by wood.  A wood cover flips open to reveal two cup holders. The center armrest opens to a storage bin with slots for about eight CD cases.

The wood steering wheel is elegantly styled with just a touch of leather in the right spots.  Buttons for cruise and audio controls are located on each side of the wheel and feel nice to the touch.  On the left of the steering column is a stalk for turn signals and dial to cycle through the computer information display.  On the right is a stalk for both front and rear intermittent wipers.   The instrument display console is attractive with gauges surrounded by a fine chrome ring. The color of the gauge matched the color of the interior, a soft cream tone.

We liked the feel of the doors, they were solid with a nice 'thump' when opening and closing.  Each door had a nice cushioned armrest and the power window switches were located right at your fingertips, slightly tilting upwards.  Lacking was a grab handle in a ergonomic position.  The seats are very comfortable and made for long trips in typical Volvo fashion.  However, there is a very small lumber support which should be bigger for a more snug fit.  The seats have genuine leather in the inner parts and leatherette around the outer sides.  The quality of the leatherette was very good, at first we thought the entire interior was wrapped in leather. 

Rear seats can be adjusted for both legroom and back rest angle.  This was a very clever feature as most cars have fixed rear seats.  We liked how you can slide the seats forward if someone is sitting in the third row or you can slide them back and give second row passengers even more legroom.  Being able to adjust the backrest angle is very helpful specially if you plan on a long trip.   Folding and stowing the third row seats is quite easy in the XC90.  Simply slide the second row forward to gain access to the third row and raise the seat and pull out the seat cushion.  Stowing the seats is also easy: touch a small handle and the bottom cushion slides backwards and the backrest folds forward and flat.  With the third row folded, the truck is very large and has more than enough space for those weekend trips to Home Depot.  Fold the second row and you can fit lumbar, large boxes and even a mattress.

Our test car had the optional rear seat entertainment system.  Two screens are built into the headrest with the DVD player and controls located in the front center console armrest between the driver and passenger seats.  There is a 12-volt adaptor and audio/video inputs so you can attach an Xbox or any other gaming system.  The entertainment system features a remote control and that is the only way to turn on the screens or power on the unit.  One thing we didn't like was that the sound from the entertainment system only comes from the rear speakers.  The front speakers do not get used when playing a DVD.  On one hand this is convenient for the front passengers since they can listen to their own music while the kids watch the movie, but it doesn't make sense because the noise of the rear speakers interferes with the sound coming from the front speakers.  Rear passengers can use the wireless stereo headphones that come with the system.  Overall the fit and finish of the interior is very good with quality parts used throughout.

            The XC90 has a 4.4 liter 8-cyclinder alloy engine that produces 311 horsepower at 5850 rpm and 325 lbs.-ft. of torque at 3900 rpm.  The engine features continues variable valve timing to get better gas mileage and qualifies as a ULEV II, ultra-low emissions vehicle.  Combined with a Geartronic 6-speed automatic transmission with adaptive shift control and all wheel drive with instant traction, the XC90 provides a nice smooth operation.  Engine response was very good and we felt no jerks during gear changes or acceleration.  Reaching highway speeds from a standstill was effortless.  The all wheel drive system can deliver up to 50% more torque to the rear axle when needed such as during takeoff without the typical lag time when wheels begins to loose traction.  Gas mileage was an average of 17 miles per gallon and we suppose that is to be expected with a V8 engine. 

Behind the wheel the overall ride is smooth and comfortable, with low interior noise.  The handling is very good and you feel in control at all times thanks to the front independent strut suspensions w/ anti-roll bar and anti-dive geometry.  The fully independent rear multi-link suspension gives this SUV a car like ride.  Further helping improve traction is the all wheel drive system that monitors wheel slippage at all four wheels. 

All XC90 models are equipped with roll stability control, dynamic stability and traction control, and a side impact protection system with side airbags and inflatable curtain airbags for all three rows. 

Our test car had a base price of $45,840.  Optional was the metallic willow green paint for $475.  The climate package with heated front seats and headlamp washers added $675.  The touring package with 18 inch Atlantis wheels, premium sound system with 6 CD in dash player and wood inlays as well as the wood steering wheel and shift knob in leather added $1,795.  The rear seat entertainment system costs $1,995.  A $695 destination fee brings our total MSRP to  $51,475.  The vehicle is assembled in Gothenburg, Sweden with engine and transmission parts being from Japan. 

The XC90 sounds like the perfect car for a growing family.  Its versatility and comfort is well suited for many things like camping or long road trips. We just think the exterior styling needs to be more modern looking, while still reminding us that this is a Volvo. Make it a hybrid and help us save on gas as well.



Base Pricing 43,651 45,840
Destination 695 695
Climate Pkg  Includes Headlamp Washer/Wipers & Heated Front Seats 580 675
Convenience Pkg  Includes Cargo Cover, Cargo Net, Power Child Locks, Power Folding Mirrors & Rear Parking Sensors. 1,113 1,295
Rear Seat Entertainment System 1,715 1,995
Headlamps, Bi-HID w/Automatic Leveling 602 700
Navigation System, DVD-Based GPS Voice Activated 1,823 2,120
Touring Pkg 1,543 1,795


  2006 Volvo XC90
V8 4dr SUV AWD (4.4L 8cyl 6A)
2006 Volkswagen Touareg
V8 4dr SUV AWD (4.2L 8cyl 6A)
2006 Land Rover Range Rover Sport
HSE 4dr SUV 4WD (4.4L 8cyl 6A)
2006 BMW X5
4.4i 4dr SUV AWD (4.4L 8cyl 6A)
2006 Infiniti QX56
4dr SUV 4WD (5.6L 8cyl 5A)
Pricing XC90 Touareg Range Rover Sport X5 QX56
MSRP $46,400 $44,750 $56,535 $53,600 $52,800
Invoice $43,651 $40,608 $51,447 $48,995 $48,501
Basic 4 yr. / 50000 mi. 4 yr. / 50000 mi. 4 yr. / 50000 mi. 4 yr. / 50000 mi. 4 yr. / 60000 mi.
Drivetrain 4 yr. / 50000 mi. 5 yr. / 60000 mi. 4 yr. / 50000 mi. 4 yr. / 50000 mi. 6 yr. / 70000 mi.
Roadside 4 yr. / Unlimited mi. 4 yr. / Unlimited mi. 4 yr. / 50000 mi. 4 yr. / 50000 mi. 4 yr. / 60000 mi.
Rust 12 yr. / Unlimited mi. 12 yr. / Unlimited mi. 6 yr. / Unlimited mi. 12 yr. / Unlimited mi. 7 yr. / Unlimited mi.
Base Engine Type & Cylinders V8 V8 V8 V8 V8
Base Engine Displacement 4.4 liters 4.2 liters 4.4 liters 4.4 liters 5.6 liters
Valvetrain 32 Valves
double overhead cam (DOHC)
40 Valves
double overhead cam (DOHC)
32 Valves
double overhead cam (DOHC)
32 Valves
double overhead cam (DOHC)
32 Valves
double overhead cam (DOHC)
Variable Valve Timing Standard Not Available Standard Standard Not Available
Horsepower 311 hp @ 5850 rpm 310 hp @ 6200 rpm 300 hp @ 5500 rpm 315 hp @ 5400 rpm 315 hp @ 4900 rpm
Torque 325 ft-lbs. @ 3900 rpm 302 ft-lbs. @ 3000 rpm 315 ft-lbs. @ 4000 rpm 324 ft-lbs. @ 3600 rpm 390 ft-lbs. @ 3600 rpm
Tires P235/65R17
all season
all season
all season
all season
Xenon Headlights Optional Optional Standard Standard Standard
Parking Assist rear parking sensors - Optional front and rear parking sensors - Optional front and rear parking sensors front and rear parking sensors rear parking sensors
Premium Brand Audio System Not Available Not Available harman/kardon Not Available Bose
Navigation System DVD navigation system - Optional DVD navigation system - Optional DVD navigation system w/voice activation DVD navigation system - Optional DVD navigation system
Handling XC90 Touareg Range Rover Sport X5 QX56
Turning Circle 40 ft. 38.1 ft. 38.1 ft. 39.7 ft. 41 ft.
Max. Cargo Capacity 93 cu. ft. 71 cu. ft. 71 cu. ft. 69 cu. ft. 97 cu. ft.
Max. Payload Capacity 1470 lbs. 1250 lbs. 1300 lbs. 1081 lbs. 1009 lbs.
Max. Towing Capacity 5000 lbs. 7716 lbs. 7716 lbs. 6000 lbs. 8900 lbs.
City 15 mpg. 14 mpg. 14 mpg. 16 mpg. 13 mpg.
Highway 21 mpg. 18 mpg. 19 mpg. 22 mpg. 18 mpg.
Length 188.9 in. 187.2 in. 188.5 in. 183.7 in. 206.9 in.
Width 74.7 in. 75.9 in. 75.9 in. 73.7 in. 78.8 in.
Height 70.2 in. 68 in. 69.6 in. 67.2 in. 77.8 in.
Weight 4610 lbs. 5300 lbs. 5468 lbs. 4927 lbs. 5714 lbs.
Wheel Base 112.6 in. 112.4 in. 108 in. 111 in. 123.2 in.
Ground Clearance 8.9 in. 6.3 in. 8.9 in. 8 in. 10.8 in.
Interior XC90 Touareg Range Rover Sport X5 QX56
Front Headroom 39.7 in. 38.7 in. 39.4 in. 39.9 in. 41 in.
Rear Headroom 38.4 in. 38.3 in. 38.4 in. 38.5 in. 40 in.
Front Shoulder Room 58.3 in. 57.7 in. 59 in. 58 in. 65.1 in.
Rear Shoulder Room 57.4 in. 57.4 in. 58.2 in. 57.2 in. 64.5 in.
Front Hip Room 55.4 in.       61.3 in.
Rear Hip Room 54.1 in.       60.1 in.
Front Leg Room 41 in. 41.3 in. 39.1 in. 39.3 in. 41.8 in.
Rear Leg Room 34.6 in. 35.6 in. 37.6 in. 35.4 in. 41.9 in.
Maximum Luggage Capacity 8.8 cu.ft. 31 cu.ft.   16.1 cu.ft. 20 cu.ft.
Maximum Seating 7 5 5 5 8


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