2014 Volvo XC90 Introduction

The Volvo XC90 got fresh styling and a revised interior for the 2013 model year, the most significant updates since the seven-passenger SUV was launched as a 2003 model. The XC90’s appearance was previously freshened for 2007, and sporty R-Design models joined the lineup for 2009. Because it’s been in the Swedish automaker’s lineup for so many years without a full redesign, Volvo’s largest sport-utility is dated, compared to rival premium-level SUVs.

For 2014, Executive C-pillar emblems and floor mats are added to the XC90 3.2, and 19-inch Galateia alloy wheels are newly optional. A folding front passenger seat is added to the Premium Plus model, which loses its Sovereign Hide soft leather seating surfaces (now an option). Premium Plus trim equipment now is standard on the XC90 R-Design, which features a folding front passenger seat, digital compass, Homelink remote garage door opening, and grocery bag holder.

Each XC90 comes standard with leather upholstery, a power glass sunroof, rear park assist and third-row climate control. An integrated center booster cushion adds versatility to the second-row seat and eliminates the challenges associated with installing a separate child seat.

2014 XC90 Premier Plus and Platinum trim levels are swathed in Sovereign hide soft leather seating surfaces and red wood inlays. A red wood steering wheel is available for XC90 Premier Plus and Platinum trim levels.

The 2014 XC90 R-Design features a fully color-coordinated exterior plus LED daytime running lights and taillights. Ixion alloy 19-inch wheels amplify its sporting appeal. The R-Design features a sport-tuned suspension and steering for an enhanced driving character, plus a unique R-Design grille, leather seating surfaces with embossed R-Design logo on the front seats, an R-Design steering wheel, watch dial instruments and floor mats.

The Volvo XC90 is available only with a 3.2-liter inline six-cylinder engine. Developing 240 horsepower and 236 pound-feet of torque, the 2014 Volvo XC90’s six-cylinder engine is mated to a 6-speed automatic transmission with manual shift control. EPA fuel economy estimates for the 2014 Volvo XC90 are 16/22 mpg City/Highway, or 19 mpg Combined for front-wheel drive models; and 18 mpg Combined for all-wheel drive.

We’ve found that the XC90 rides comfortably, handles well and is easy to park. It boasts more cargo space than many competitors. Its tow rating of 3,970 pounds is enough to haul light boat trailers, personal watercraft and snowmobiles, but not cars and horses.

The optional all-wheel drive works smoothly, without penalty in fuel economy, and it’s truly welcome when the weather gets foul. Buyers who don’t need all-wheel drive can choose an XC90 with front-wheel drive.

Competitors to the Volvo XC90 include the Acura MDX, BMW X5, Cadillac SRX, Lexus RX 350 and the Volkswagen Touareg. Good value alternatives include the Buick Enclave, Ford Flex and Hyundai Santa Fe. Volvo buyers might also consider the XC70, which features a more contemporary design in a slightly smaller, sportier package.

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