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2018 Volvo XC90 Review

The 2018 Volvo XC90 ranks in the top half of the luxury midsize SUV class, thanks to its lovely cabin materials, roomy seating, and generous array of standard tech and safety features. However, a weak base engine and poor predicted reliability rating keep the XC90 from ranking higher.

Pros & Cons

  • Exceptional passenger room and cargo space
  • Premium interior materials
  • Abundance of standard safety and tech features
  • Highly fuel-efficient for the class
  • Ride grows harsh over rough pavement
  • Mediocre acceleration with base engine
  • Below-average predicted reliability rating

New for 2018

  • Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, adaptive cruise control, blind spot monitoring, and rear cross traffic alert became standard




Critics' Rating: 9.0
Performance: 7.4
Interior: 8.9
Total Cost of Ownership: 7.4
Safety: 9.8
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2018 Volvo XC90 Overview

Is the 2018 Volvo XC90 a Good Used SUV?

Yes, the Volvo XC90 is a solid used luxury midsize SUV. It’s elegantly styled inside and out, and it offers an exceptional amount of seating and cargo space. Lots of tech and safety features come standard, including Apple CarPlay, blind spot monitoring, and an advanced forward collision warning system. The XC90 is also one of the most fuel-efficient SUVs in this segment. That said, it’s not perfect. This Volvo rates poorly for predicted reliability, and its standard engine feels quite underpowered.

The 2018 XC90 has many strengths:

  • Lots of passenger and cargo space
  • Top-notch interior materials
  • Long list of standard features
  • Excellent fuel economy for the class

However, it has a few glaring weaknesses as well:

  • Awful predicted reliability rating
  • Sluggish acceleration with base engine
  • Firm ride
Why You Can Trust Us

We’ve analyzed 33 Volvo XC90 reviews, as well as performance specs, interior dimensions, fuel economy ratings, and more, to give you all the information you need to make a smart car-buying decision.

U.S. News & World Report has been reviewing cars, trucks, and SUVs since 2007, and our Best Cars team has more than 75 years of combined automotive industry experience. To remain impartial, we do not accept extravagant gifts from automakers, and an outside source handles our advertising.

How Much Is the 2018 Volvo XC90?

Based on listings for the 2018 XC90 on our site, the average price is $46,100. That's below average for the class. Prices range from $39,000 to $57,800 and vary depending on the vehicle’s condition, mileage, features, and location.

See the Best Used Car Deals »

How Much Does the 2018 Volvo XC90 Cost to Own?

At the time of this writing, there is no total cost of ownership information for the 2018 XC90.

Is It Better to Buy a Used or New XC90?

The 2019 Volvo XC90 (MSRP: $47,700) has a few upgrades compared to the 2018 XC90, including standard seven-passenger seating and automatic emergency braking, as well as an available Harman Kardon audio system. If you're interested in these extras, opt for the newer XC90. If not, stick with the fairly similar and likely more affordable 2018 XC90.

Read about the new Volvo XC90 »

The XC90 is part of a generation that debuted for the 2016 model year. The 2017 XC90 gained the Excellence trim, which is designed to make this Volvo almost a limo. It adds a rear-seat center console with a beverage cooler and a touch screen with heating and other controls. The 2018 XC90 adds standard smartphone integration technology via Android Auto and Apple CarPlay as well as standard safety features like rear cross traffic alert, blind spot monitoring, and adaptive cruise control.

Thanks to its additional standard safety equipment and standard smartphone integration technology, the 2018 XC90 is the most well-rounded used XC90 model. Budget-minded shoppers that can do without the 2017 and 2018 XC90s' added features will likely be content with the 2016 XC90.

Compare the 2018, 2019, and 2020 XC90 »

See the Best New Car Deals »

See the Best New Car Lease Deals »

How Reliable Is the 2018 Volvo XC90?

The Volvo XC90 has the lowest-possible predicted reliability rating of two out of five from J.D. Power.

Read more about XC90 reliability »

2018 Volvo XC90 Recalls

At the time of writing, there is one recall for the 2018 Volvo XC90:

  • Telematics GPS may not function in the event of a crash

Before buying any used vehicle, make sure all recalls have been addressed.

See more information on Volvo XC90 safety recalls »

Which Used Volvo XC90 Trim Is Right for Me?

There are three different configurations of the 2018 XC90: T5, T6, and T8.

T5 models come standard with seating for five, and they feature a 250-horsepower turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine. T6 models have seating for up to seven people, a stronger 316-horsepower twin-charged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine, and standard all-wheel drive. There's also an all-wheel-drive plug-in-hybrid T8 model that has a twin-charged four-cylinder engine and an electric motor that deliver a combined 400 horsepower.

This model has seating for four or seven people, depending on the trim you choose. Since the T5 model has an underpowered engine, we recommend the T6. That said, if you're a fuel-conscious shopper, you may prefer the T8 model's plug-in-hybrid powertrain.

The 2018 Volvo XC90 comes in four trims: Momentum, R-Design, Inscription, and Excellence. The base Momentum trim has a wealth of safety, technology, and comfort amenities that should please most shoppers.

  • Volvo XC90 Momentum: The Momentum trim comes with loads of safety features, including lane departure warning, lane keep assist, road sign detection, adaptive cruise control, blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, rear parking sensors, pedestrian detection, forward collision warning, and low-speed automatic emergency braking. It also comes with a 9-inch touch-screen infotainment system, a 10-speaker audio system, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, navigation, Bluetooth, two USB ports, a power-adjustable driver's seat, synthetic leather upholstery, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, a hands-free liftgate, keyless entry, dual-zone automatic climate control, and a panoramic moonroof. This trim comes in all three configurations (T5, T6, and T8).
  • Volvo XC90 R-Design: The R-Design trim adds sporty styling enhancements, a 12.3-inch driver's display, and leather upholstery. This trim comes in all three configurations as well.
  • Volvo XC90 Inscription: The Inscription trim adds heated and ventilated front seats, quad-zone automatic climate control, and elegant styling enhancements. This trim comes in the T6 and T8 configurations.
  • Volvo XC90 Excellence: The Excellence trim is only available in the T8 configuration, and it seats up to four people. This trim also gets massaging front seats, rear footrests, a beverage cooler, and two crystal glasses.

See 2018 Volvo XC90 trims and specs »

What Does Volvo's Certified Pre-Owned Warranty Cover?

Volvo offers a certified pre-owned program for vehicles five years old or less and with fewer than 80,000 miles. Eligibility is determined by the vehicle’s initial sale date. All certified pre-owned Volvos come with an unlimited-mileage comprehensive warranty providing exclusionary coverage until five years from the new-car purchase date. Additional coverage is available for a fee. Each CPO Volvo must pass a 170-point inspection. Additional benefits like mobile app connectivity, 24-hour roadside assistance, towing, and trip interruption benefits may be available, so read the Volvo warranty page carefully.

Volvo’s CPO program is one of the better ones available from a luxury automaker. Infiniti, Lexus, Jaguar, Tesla, and Land Rover are the only programs that are more robust.

See the best CPO programs »

How Safe Is the XC90?

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the 2018 XC90 the highest rating of Good in all crash tests performed. Additionally, the XC90 earned the highest rating of Superior for front crash prevention, and it received ratings from Marginal to Acceptable for how well the headlights illuminate the road ahead.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gave the 2018 XC90 an overall rating of five out of five stars, with five stars in frontal and side crash tests and four stars in the rollover test.

Standard advanced safety features:

  • rearview camera
  • lane departure warning
  • lane keep assist
  • road sign detection
  • adaptive cruise control
  • blind spot monitoring
  • rear parking sensors
  • rear cross traffic alert
  • pedestrian detection
  • forward collision warning
  • low-speed automatic emergency braking

Available advanced safety features:

  • 360-degree parking camera
  • head-up display
  • front parking sensors
  • active park assist

See XC90 safety scores »

2018 Volvo XC90 Versus the Competition

Which Is Better: 2018 Volvo XC90 or 2018 Acura MDX?

The 2018 Acura MDX is a budget-friendly alternative to the XC90. The MDX's cabin isn't as roomy or well-made as that of the XC90, and it doesn't offer as many luxuries as the Volvo, like massaging seats. That said, the MDX is the superior SUV in this comparison. It boasts a generous list of standard features, good fuel economy, and a smooth ride. Its handling is more engaging than the XC90's, and it has a slightly higher predicted reliability rating than the Volvo.

Which Is Better: 2018 Volvo XC90 or 2018 Audi Q7?

The 2018 Audi Q7 is a more well-rounded vehicle than the XC90. Though the Q7 offers less interior space, it touts lithe handling and a stronger base engine. This Audi also has a respectable list of standard and available features, good gas mileage, and a slightly better predicted reliability rating than the XC90. Just keep in mind that this Audi has a higher average list price than the Volvo.

Compare the XC90, MDX, and Q7 »

2018 XC90 Performance

How Does the 2018 XC90 Drive?

The XC90 feels composed around turns, and its steering is quick and lightly weighted, making it an easy SUV to park and maneuver. Its ride quality isn’t great though, especially if you opt for a model with larger wheels. The suspension tends to jitter and jolt over rough pavement, even becoming uncomfortable at times.

The standard 250-horsepower four-cylinder engine delivers mediocre acceleration, so we recommend stepping up to the 316-horsepower twin-charged (turbocharged and supercharged) engine for its quicker acceleration. Plug-in-hybrid models feature a 400-horsepower twin-charged engine and an electric motor. The XC90's standard eight-speed automatic transmission can be slow to downshift.

  • Base engine: 250-horsepower turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder
  • Available powertrains:
    • 316-horsepower twin-charged 2.0-liter four-cylinder
    • Twin-charged 2.0-liter four-cylinder and electric motor with a combined 400 horsepower
  • Drivetrain: standard front-wheel drive; available all-wheel drive
  • Transmission: eight-speed automatic
Does the 2018 Volvo XC90 Get Good Gas Mileage?

The XC90 has excellent fuel efficiency for the class.

  • 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder, FWD: 22/29 mpg city/highway
  • 2.0-liter twin-charged four-cylinder, AWD: 20/27 mpg
  • 2.0-liter twin-charged four-cylinder plug-in hybrid, AWD: 25 mpg combined city/highway; 62 MPGe rating

To learn more about MPGe ratings, check out What Is MPGe?

Read more about XC90 performance »

2018 XC90 Interior

How Many People Does the 2018 XC90 Seat?

The base 2018 XC90 seats up to five people in two rows. Models with an available third row have seating for up to seven, and models with second-row bucket seats can seat four.

There is plenty of space for the driver and passengers, and the XC90 oozes refinement with its supple, high-quality seats. Throughout its sleek cabin, you'll also find synthetic or genuine leather upholstery along with wood and metal dash trim.   

Standard seating features:

  • synthetic leather upholstery
  • leather-wrapped steering wheel
  • power-adjustable driver's seat

Available seating features:

  • genuine leather upholstery
  • heated and ventilated front seats
  • massaging front seats
  • rear footrests
How Many Child Car Seats Fit in the 2018 Volvo XC90?

The 2018 XC90 has two complete sets of LATCH car-seat connectors on the rear outboard seats and an upper tether on the rear middle seat. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the XC90's LATCH system the second-highest rating of Acceptable for ease of use.

2018 Volvo XC90 Features

The XC90 features a quick and responsive touch-screen infotainment system. It may take a while to get used to clicking through its many menu options, but you'll likely appreciate its functionality once you get the hang of it.

  • Standard infotainment features: a 9-inch touch screen, a 10-speaker audio system, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, navigation, Bluetooth, and two USB ports
  • Available infotainment features: a 12.3-inch driver's display and a 19-speaker Bower & Wilkins audio system
  • Additional standard features: keyless entry, dual-zone automatic climate control, and a panoramic moonroof
  • Other available features: quad-zone automatic climate control and a built-in beverage cooler

See 2018 Volvo XC90 specs »

Read more about XC90 interior »

2018 Volvo XC90 Dimensions

Volvo XC90 Cargo Space

The XC90 has ample cargo space for a luxury midsize SUV. There's 15.4 cubic feet of space when the available third row is in use, 41.8 cubic feet of space behind the second row, and 85.7 cubic feet of space when the second row is folded down. A hands-free liftgate is also standard.

These cargo dimensions are for comparative purposes. There is no substitute for visually examining the storage area in any car you’re considering.

2018 Volvo XC90 Length and Weight
  • Length: about 16 feet, 2 inches
  • Curb weight: 4,290 to 5,060 pounds

Where Was the 2018 Volvo XC90 Built?

Volvo built the XC90 in Sweden.


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