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.
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Watch the exterior, interior, and some offroading.
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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
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.