2020 Volvo XC90

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2020 Volvo XC90 Review: Supercharged Style

Not many midsize SUVs can comfortably fit three rows of seating, but the Volvo XC90 makes a valiant effort, and it does so with impeccable style. If that weren't enough, it also presents buyers with impressive cargo space. However, despite two available engines, with the twin-charged four-cylinder developing 316 horsepower and 295 lb-ft of torque, the XC90 doesn't have quite as much power as rivals that utilize a V6 engine. On top of that, the Volvo doesn't deliver the kind of ride quality we'd expect from a vehicle in this price bracket, especially with other premium competitors like the BMW X5 and Mercedes-Benz GLE. That aside, the XC90 comes with a long list of standard and available features, which, combined with the stylish and plush interior, make for a compelling case in the luxury SUV market.

Read in this review:

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2020 Volvo XC90 Changes: 🚙What’s the difference vs 2019 XC90?

The Volvo XC90 sees only minor changes for the new year, with every model getting a new grille and front bumper, as well as restyled 19-inch alloy wheels. Trim-specific changes include integrated roof rails and tailpipes for the Momentum, and gloss-black grille, mirror-cap, and window trim accents for the R-Design. A few features have also made their way into the standard offering. The Momentum now comes with a 12.3-inch driver information display and road sign recognition, while the R-Design adds full Nappa leather contour seats and front parking assist. Numerous color changes have been made, both inside and out, with three paint colors dropped from the palette, four new colors added, and extra upholstery hues offered for the Momentum and Inscription trims.

Pros and Cons

  • Premium Swedish style
  • Long list of standard features
  • Impressive passenger space, even with three rows of seats
  • Competitive cargo capacity
  • Precise steering and decent handling
  • Lackluster standard powertrain
  • Available T6 powertrain is unrefined
  • Cramped third row of seats

Best Deals on 2020 Volvo XC90

2020 Volvo XC90 Trims

See trim levels and configurations:

Trim Engine Transmission Drivetrain Price (MSRP)
T5 Momentum
2.0L Turbo Inline-4 Gas
8-Speed Automatic
Front-Wheel Drive
All-Wheel Drive
T5 R-Design
2.0L Turbo Inline-4 Gas
8-Speed Automatic
Front-Wheel Drive
All-Wheel Drive
T6 Momentum
2.0L Twincharged Inline-4 Gas
8-Speed Automatic
All-Wheel Drive
T6 R-Design
2.0L Twincharged Inline-4 Gas
8-Speed Automatic
All-Wheel Drive
T6 Inscription
2.0L Twincharged Inline-4 Gas
8-Speed Automatic
All-Wheel Drive
See All 2020 Volvo XC90 Trims and Specs

2020 XC90 Exterior

2020 Volvo XC90 Frontal Aspect Volvo
2020 Volvo XC90 Lateral View Volvo
2020 Volvo XC90 Sideward Vision Volvo
See All 2020 Volvo XC90 Exterior Photos


  • Length 194.9 in
  • Wheelbase 117.5 in
  • Height 69.9 in
  • Max Width 79.1 in
  • Front Width 65.7 in
  • Rear Width 65.8 in
  • Curb Weight 4,394.0 lbs

Exterior Colors

  • Ice White
  • Crystal White Metallic
  • Bright Silver Metallic
  • Osmium Grey Metallic
  • Onyx Black Metallic
  • Denim Blue Metallic
  • Thunder Grey Metallic
  • Bursting Blue Metallic
  • Birch Light Metallic
  • Pebble Grey Metallic
  • Pine Grey Metallic

2020 XC90 Performance

2020 Volvo XC90 Driving Front Angle Volvo
2020 Volvo XC90 Driving Back View Volvo
2020 Volvo XC90 Rim Volvo

Engine and Transmission

  • Engines
    2.0L Turbo, 2.0L Turbo Inline-4 Gas, 2.0L Twincharged, 2.0L Twincharged Inline-4 Gas, 2.0L Twincharged Inline-4 Plug-in Hybrid
  • Transmission
    8-Speed Automatic
  • Drivetrains
    AWD, FWD

Handling and Driving Impressions

The Volvo may not be the most athletic vehicle on the road, but it handles quite well for its size and weight. Steering is light and precise, as you'd expect from a town-oriented SUV, which allows for dextrous maneuvers on the busy streets. However, put the pedal to the metal, and the steering gains some heft to help keep the XC90 stable at higher speeds.

The brakes do an adequate job when traveling at regular speeds, but despite being a bit sensitive, they lack stopping power when it's really needed. Still, the Volvo remains grounded, never lurching or stuttering as it comes to a stop.

Overall, the SUV is well-behaved for its size and weight. However, you won't want to try daredevil driving at high speed. That's not to say the XC90 can't be playful, just keep its limits in mind. The subpar ride quality detracts a bit from the otherwise premium feel of the Volvo, with the larger wheels on the upper trims delivering a particularly choppy driving experience over rougher surfaces. The available rear air suspension helps a bit in this regard, but the Volvo XC90 still can't compete with the likes of Mercedes-Benz or Audi.

2020 XC90 Interior

2020 Volvo XC90 Dashboard Volvo
2020 Volvo XC90 Seat Details Volvo
2020 Volvo XC90 Gear Shifter Volvo
See All 2020 Volvo XC90 Interior Photos

Seating and Interior Space

  • Seating capacity
  • Front Leg Room 40.9 in
  • Front Head Room 38.9 in
  • Rear Leg Room 37.0 in
  • Rear Head Room 38.5 in

2020 XC90 Trunk and Cargo Space

2020 Volvo XC90 Front Seats Volvo
2020 Volvo XC90 Interior Overview Volvo
2020 Volvo XC90 Side View Volvo

2020 XC90 Safety and Reliability


  • Basic:
    4 Years \ 50,000 Miles
  • Drivetrain:
    4 Years \ 50,000 Miles
  • Corrosion:
    12 Years \ Unlimited Miles
  • Roadside Assistance:
    4 Years \ Unlimited Miles
  • Maintenance:
    3 Years \ 36,000 Miles

US NHTSA Crash Test Result

  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
  • Side Crash Rating

Verdict: 🏁Is the 2020 Volvo XC90 a good SUV?

The simple answer is yes. However, it behooves us to point out exactly why the Volvo XC90 deserves to be on your shortlist when shopping for a luxury midsize SUV.

The base engine won't impress you, sadly, but the available T6 powertrain certainly gets the job done with aplomb. However, the SUV will never be athletic, and it doesn't deliver the ride quality we have come to expect from this segment. But, look past these minor failings, and the Volvo certainly has a lot going for it. The cabin is quite spacious, both for passengers and cargo, and it is extremely well-appointed. Loads of features come standard, especially in terms of the driver-assistance suite.

Add to this the XC90's impressive handling and competitive mileage figures, and it's not hard to see the appeal of the Volvo SUV. Very few crossovers are as practical and enjoyable for daily driving. While it may be possible to find sportier or more luxurious vehicles on the market, you'd be hard-pressed to find one that combines both aspects so well. This is certainly a car you should take for a drive before coming to a final decision. You won't regret it.

Check out other Volvo XC90 Styles

2020 Volvo XC90 Comparisons

Audi Q7 Audi
Volvo XC60 Volvo
CompetitorHorsepowerMPGPrice (MSRP)
Volvo XC90250 hp21/30 mpg$50,900
Audi Q7 261 hp19/25 mpg$58,200
Volvo XC60 295 hp21/27 mpg$42,650

2020 Volvo XC90 vs Audi Q7

In a battle between the German and Swedish luxury SUVs, it's a pretty hard call to make. Much like the XC90, the Audi Q7 offers a turbocharged four-cylinder engine as the standard powertrain. And, again, much like the Volvo's, this engine is lackluster. However, rather than trying to supercharge the inline-four, Audi opted to skip straight to a turbocharged V6 paired with a 48-volt mild hybrid system, developing 335 hp and an impressive 369 lb-ft. This makes the Q7 far more athletic than its rival, sprinting to 60 mph in less than six seconds. It's also the more luxurious of the two SUVs, which is saying something, considering how well-appointed the XC90 is. However, the Audi has less maximum cargo capacity, and its standard list of features is a bit sparse compared to Volvo's generosity. If you want fun and speed above all else, the Q7 certainly looks appealing, but more practical shoppers might prefer the XC90.

See Audi Q7 Review

2020 Volvo XC90 vs Volvo XC60

The smaller sibling to the XC90, the Volvo XC60 is almost identical to its big bro. It's offered in the same trim levels with the same list of features. It also gets access to the same powertrains, either the T5 or T6 four-cylinder engines. However, the XC60 is smaller and lighter, so it can do more with the available power. This does mean it makes some sacrifices, though. It can't seat more than five, no matter how hard you try, and its maximum cargo capacity is more than 20 cubic feet below the XC90s. Still, unless you need the extra row of seats and enough space to pack the entire family's luggage as well as the dog, the smaller SUV should suffice for town living. It's also quite a bit cheaper than the XC90 and it gets better gas mileage figures, to boot.

See Volvo XC60 Review

2020 Volvo XC90 Popular Comparisons

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