Volvo XC90: is this Swedish-made SUV a good family car?

Luc Williams

Let’s start with what’s most important in the context of a family car. A good family car, of course. A spacious boot? Certainly, after all, children often like to lug things around, and some adults don’t even go on a short trip without a month’s worth of clothes. Lots of space inside, great seats? Of course, the point is that long journeys should be peaceful and comfortable.

Excellent soundproofing, suspension that perfectly absorbs bumps? Without a doubt, because it’s not only the youngest passengers who like to take a nice nap on a longer journey. Modern multimedia and excellent sound system? Without a shadow of a doubt, thanks to this, every long journey becomes at least half as tiring.

And luckily, all of these conditions are met by a certain Swedish SUV. Namely, the Volvo XC90. In addition, this model still looks great, has a dignified, timeless line and something that definitely beats most of its rivals – the Volvo XC90 provides an incredibly high level of safety. And in the context of the ideal family car, this seems quite important, doesn’t it? True.

Dimensions XC90

But let’s start from the beginning. The XC90 is huge, measuring just over 4.95 m in length. Thanks to its high ground clearance (also adjustable), the Swedish SUV is not afraid of any urban obstacles, and even a dirt road is a piece of cake for it. In addition, the XC90 can transport up to 7 people as standard and offers a very spacious boot: in a five-seater configuration, we have 640 l (T8 plug-in hybrid) or 680 l (B5 mild hybrid), and after folding the second and third row seats, we get a space with a capacity of 1670 l (T8) or 1874 l (B5). And it is a perfectly flat and shapely cargo space, access to which is facilitated by the standard electrically operated boot lid.

The wheelbase of the Volvo XC90 is almost three meters, which in turn means that there is more than enough legroom (and headroom) in the second row of seats. And yes, the two rear seats (the third row; conveniently hidden in the boot floor) should not be regularly designated for exceptionally well-built people, and especially not on exceptionally long journeys, but teenagers (and slim adults) will be relatively comfortable there. And let’s emphasize this clearly – the third row of seats is standard, so it does not require any additional payment. Because the XC90 is simply a great family car.

Another significant advantage of the Volvo XC90 is its excellent travel comfort. Starting with the excellent soundproofing of the cabin, through the air suspension (option of height adjustment, off-road function) and excellent seats with a wide range of adjustments, ending with the audio system: the basic system already plays pleasantly, and the optional Harman-Kardon and Bowers&Wilkins systems are already a feast for true audiophiles. In cars from the current year, customers can count on the most modern multimedia based on the Android Automotive system and using Google software as standard (including maps, Google Play store).

Under the hood, there are two drive systems to choose from: a mild hybrid (B5) with 250 HP (plus 14 HP from a small electric engine) and a T8 plug-in hybrid with a total power of 455 HP. In the T8, we can travel almost 75 km on electricity alone (WLTP), so this is something for those who drive a lot in the city and have the opportunity to plug the car into a charger at night.

The traction battery has a nominal capacity of almost 19 kWh, and the charging time “to full” from the home network is about three hours. Not bad! Both engine variants have all-wheel drive as standard, which – by the way – also significantly contributes to improved driving safety in difficult road conditions. In the B5 we have a classic Haldex system (AWD) on board, while in the plug-in hybrid, an electric machine is responsible for the rear axle drive (eAWD). Both variants are combined with an 8-speed Geartronic automatic gearbox as standard.

photo: press materials


The B5 version already provides good performance, because in this case the acceleration time from 0 to 100 km/h is 7.7 seconds, and the average fuel consumption according to WLTP is 8.4 l/100 km. On the other hand, the T8 is almost an SUV rocket, because in this case 100 km/h appears on the counter after 5.4 seconds, and the powerful torque (709 Nm) additionally widens the smile on the driver’s face and makes overtaking maneuvers pleasantly short. And therefore safer. The fuel consumption of the T8 version according to WLTP is 1.2-1.5 l/100 km (when we set off with the battery charged to 100 percent).

The safety of the XC90’s occupants is also enhanced by the extensive standard equipment. Even in the basic Core version, we get, among others: a set of airbags, tempered side windows, LED headlights, a sign reading system, a lane keeping system, an Oncoming Lane Mitigation anti-collision system, Pilot Assist, adaptive cruise control, sensors and a rear reversing camera, the BLIS system and collision prevention when reversing out of a parking space. In addition: 19-inch rims, a High Performance audio system, four-zone air conditioning with a PM 2.5 filter, Apple CarPlay, Google services and an electric boot lid.

In the Plus version, customers can also count on, among other things: 20-inch rims, heated steering wheel and second-row seats, electrically adjustable front seats, Harman-Kardon audio with subwoofer and a sewn-in dashboard, and sunblinds in the rear doors. The top Ultra version adds to this, among other things: LED turning headlights, a glass panoramic roof, a nubuck headliner, and a HUD head-up display, thanks to which the driver basically never has to take his eyes off the road.

Note: when it comes to the B5 version, the Plus and Ultra lines are standard in the Bright version (style package), while customers choosing the XC90 in the T8 version can choose the Bright or Dark version in the Plus and Ultra versions. Prices for the B5 version start from PLN 334,900 (Core), and for the plug-in – from PLN 379,900 (Core).


Luc's expertise lies in assisting students from a myriad of disciplines to refine and enhance their thesis work with clarity and impact. His methodical approach and the knack for simplifying complex information make him an invaluable ally for any thesis writer.