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2017 Volvo XC90 Review



The 2017 Volvo XC90 T6 Inscription is an incredible vehicle with an insanely luxurious interior, a pleasant driving experience, loads of tech features and nearly autonomous driving.

The T6 Inscription package is new for 2017 and, even if your budget puts you in one of the six other Volvo XC90 trim packages, this is a mid-size SUV worth looking at.

Volvo delivers on the luxury that you can see and feel while still delivering a usable third-row and plenty of cargo space with tie downs and organizers that allow you to actually use the space.

2017 Volvo XC90 Review Summary


After a complete redesign for 2016, Volvo is back with an uber-luxurious interior that exudes style and avoids over-the-top gimmicks. For 2017 Volvo includes a new smart driving feature and upgrades to the Sensus infotainment system. You do need to opt for the 2017 Volvo XC90 T6 to get the seven-passenger layout with a third-row.

While the base Volvo XC90 t5 Momentum starts at $45,750 with room for five passengers, you will need to opt for the T6 AWD Momentum at $52,250 for seven passengers. The 2017 Volvo XC90 T6 Inscription starts at $57,350. Our review XC90 includes the Vision package, Climate Package with HUD, Convenience Package, Luxury Package, Bowers & Wilkins Premium Sound, 21-inch 8 spoke diamond cut alloy wheels, a 2nd-row booster and 4-corner air suspension that brings the price up to $72,805.

2017 Volvo XC90 Driving & Performance

The 2017 Volvo XC90.

The 2017 Volvo XC90.

The 2017 Volvo XC90 is comfortable to drive, with enough power when you need it and an array of driving modes to match road conditions and driver preferences. The car allows a lot of personalization so that drivers don’t need to constantly fiddle with settings when switching.

During our 2017 Volvo XC90 review, we put the luxury SUV through its paces with spirited driving as well as taking in-laws out to dinner with a focus on a smoother ride.The XC90 drives like a smaller vehicle with quick responses that inspire driver confidence. Overall the XC90 delivers a pleasing ride, even with the 21-inch wheels. This is likely in part to the air suspension that is active in Comfort driving mode. You can configure the air suspension to lower the ride when you park for easier entry and exit.

The Volvo XC90 is ready to go with multiple driving modes.

The Volvo XC90 is ready to go with multiple driving modes.

There are times where the transmission is confused, whining if you mash the accelerator and then lift off too quickly. It takes a longer push to activate the brakes and when they do engage there is a tendency to stick abruptly. We’d love to see a smoother transition here. The XC90 includes an auto start/stop feature that can help save fuel, but it is a very jarring experience and, at times, it seems slow to start back up. You can turn this off, but you need to turn it off every time you start the car.

In addition to helping you parallel park, the XC90 includes a Park Out option to help get you out of tight parking spots that the car can park you in.

The 2017 Volvo XC90 fuel efficiency is rated at 22 MPG combined for the T6 AWD Inscription model, which is similar to what we achieved during a mix of city and highway driving. With Comfort or Eco mode, you can achieve or beat these numbers on the highway.

2017 Volvo XC90 Design & Style

The 2017 Volvo XC90 exudes luxury above its price range. From the Walnut inlays and stunning leather that wraps nearly every surface in the car to the comfortable and customizable seats, this luxury SUV treats you every time you step inside. Volvo even wraps the key in leather that matches the seats.

The 2017 Volvo XC90 interior is incredibly luxurious.

The 2017 Volvo XC90 interior is incredibly luxurious.

With the Luxury package, both front seats include a massage option to go along with heated and vented comfort options. Volvo even allows the driver to control the passenger seat options using the touch screen and the driver side controls. The front seats offer lumbar, bolster and front edge customization options to find the perfect fit. Volvo delivers one of the most comfortable seats you’ll find in a car.

The second row is comfortable with plenty of legroom, heated seats and individual temperature controls. The third row works for adult passengers in a pinch but is better suited for kids. There is a lot of storage room with the third seat down and still a good deal of room with it up. We used the Volvo XC90 to pick up a Bowflex M3 trainer and had plenty of room. There are a lot of tie downs to secure cargo and there is a lift up shelf that can help keep groceries and other bags secure.

While you may think ‘boxy’ when you hear the name Volvo, the 2017 XC90 is anything but boxy. Volvo retains a distinctly Volvo look while delivering a sleek looking SUV with an exterior design that matches the luxury you’ll find inside. There are several smart features inside, including a sunshade that automatically closes on hot days to keep the sun coming through the panoramic roof from overheating you and your passengers, as well as a button to put the headrests down in the middle row if they are blocking your view.

The XC90 design, luxury and style live up to the price, even with the added packages that push the cost of the XC90 T6 AWD Inscription north of $70,000.

2017 Volvo XC90 Tech and Safety

A 9-inch touchscreen on the dash in portrait orientation delivers access to a range of car controls and to technology options that make your drive enjoyable and safe.

The Sensus infotainment system is easy to use if you are already familiar with using a tablet or a smartphone. Many options are to the left or to the right of the main screen and a lot of controls are only on the touch screen.

The 2017 Volvo XC90 infotainment system is one of the best we've ever used.

The 2017 Volvo XC90 infotainment system is one of the best we’ve ever used.

This system is very capable and responsive, with support for apps like Spotify and Glympse, but you can also use Apple CarPlay or Android Auto. One thing we love about this implementation is that you can still access the other car options with CarPlay in use. In most cars you can use the standard interface or CarPlay, but not both at the same time. Volvo’s portrait orientation allows CarPlay or Android Auto to exist on the bottom half of the screen while you can use other options on the top, as well as still swipe left or right for added controls.

Volvo offers the Volvo On Call app that lets you get roadside assistance, start your car, lock or unlock doors, check fuel level and control the temperature in your car right from your phone. The car has an internet connection and you can even use it as a WiFi hotspot to connect other devices.

One of the new features that Volvo packs into this upgraded XC90 is Pilot Assist. Combined with the dynamic radar cruise control this delivers a nearly autonomous driving experience. As long as you keep your hands on the wheel, the car will keep you in your lane. This works around curves at acceptable speeds and it will even slow you and stop you in traffic. You still need to play a role in driving, but on longer trips it definitely helps take away some of the stress of constantly monitoring every part of your drive. It’s impressive to see and use.

Control the many safety options on the touch screen.

Control the many safety options on the touch screen.

In addition to detecting cars, pedestrians, and cyclists, the Volvo XC90 includes large animal detection. The car can automatically brake if it detects a large animal in the road. Run off road mitigation can help steer you back onto the road if sensors detect you are about to drive off the road.

You’ll also find Lane Keeping Assist, Radar Cruise Control that works at speeds as low as 18 miles per hour, blind spot warnings and auto braking technology that works at speeds of less than 31 miles per hour.

The Vovlo XC90 LED headlights deliver an impressive amount of illumination at night. In inclement weather there is an option to allow them to turn with the wheel to light up your path even better.

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