2016 Volvo XC90
(Volvo Cars of North America)

The redesigned 2016 Volvo XC90 currently ranks first of 18 luxury midsize SUVs, which is an improvement over the outgoing 2014 model that placed near the bottom of the class. Here’s how the changes for 2016 help make the XC90 a standout among luxury midsize SUVs.

[See full 2016 Volvo XC90 review]

Under the hood, the 2016 XC90 has a new turbocharged and supercharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that makes 316 horsepower, 76 more than the 2014 model’s six-cylinder engine makes. While most test drivers reported that the 2014 XC90 feels underpowered, they say the redesigned 2016 XC90 has plenty of power and quick acceleration for a midsize SUV. The new XC90 also earns praise from critics for its confident handling, communicative steering and strong brakes, all of which drew criticism from reviewers in the outgoing model.

2016 Volvo XC90
(Volvo Cars of North America)

Inside, the 2016 Volvo XC90 retains the 2014 model’s premium materials and very comfortable front seats, automotive journalists report, and they say the new infotainment system marks a significant improvement over the old setup. In fact, several reviewers say the system is the best on the market thanks to its intuitive smartphone-like operation and exceptional responsiveness. Critics are also impressed with the XC90’s improved rear-seat space, stating that even the third row can adequately accommodate adults.

The redesigned 2016 Volvo XC90 is available with several new driver-assistance technologies this year, including adaptive cruise control, a 360-degree surround-view camera system and pedestrian, cyclist and vehicle collision detection with emergency automatic braking.

2016 Volvo XC90
(Volvo Cars of North America)

Although the 2016 XC90 is an excellent choice for your next midsize SUV, be sure to check out some competitors before making a decision. The 2015 Acura MDX draws praise for its ample power, spacious seats and upscale cabin materials, and it gets better highway fuel economy than the XC90. If you’re looking to have some fun behind the wheel, test drivers think the 2015 Porsche Cayenne is a good choice, and are impressed with its extremely athletic handling and swift acceleration. The Cayenne also returns the best highway fuel economy in the class (excluding hybrids) at an EPA-estimated 29 mpg.

[See full luxury midsize SUV rankings]

If you’re considering buying a used SUV, there are better options than the XC90, as the 2013 model currently ranks near the bottom of 2013 luxury midsize SUVs. The 2013 Lexus RX 350 is a solid option, as critics liked its comfortable ride, spacious interior and high-quality cabin materials when it was new.

U.S. News Best Cars rankings are based off the consensus opinion of America’s top automotive journalists. Our team gathers every published, credible review of a vehicle, and for each third-party review, we score the vehicle on three components: Performance, Interior and Critic’s Rating, which is how strongly a reviewer recommends the vehicle. We combine these scores, along with reliability data from J.D. Power and Associates and safety data from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, into a weighted average that is based on what car buyers say matters most to them. The result is an overall score for each new car on a 1-10 scale, with 10 being the best possible score. Our rankings are continually updated as more reviews of a vehicle become available, as well as when new safety and reliability data is released.

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