The 2014 Volvo XC90 is an excellent SUV offering the added space and functionality needed in SUV’s as well as a host of safety features that have come to make the Volvo name synonymous with safety for many years. One unique innovation is the second-row integrated child booster cushion allowing the small children to have a safe place to sit without the need of bringing along the booster seat. As expected, the XC90 was awarded Top Safety Pick by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), a goal Volvo seems to strive for with every vehicle.
Driving this SUV offers impressive stability even for a vehicle as tall as it is. This was due to the Roll Stability Control and a noticeably wide stance from the wheelbase. The steering is sharp and responsive and even through turns the XC90 keeps the passengers in place. Soaking up road noise and deformities like a champ, the XC90 is well insulated and offers a well-engineered suspension to keep the ride smooth and satisfying while the inhabitants enjoy their favorite music selections.
Using the Haldex viscous-coupling all-wheel drive (AWD) allows the torque to be split between the two axles with most of the power going to the front axle when the AWD is not engaged, but when a slippage shows up, the power is transferred to allow for the best traction possible, keeping everyone inside safe and allowing the driver better control of the vehicle. Offering the AWD in this manner allows the vehicle to experience much better fuel economy when the AWD is not engaged and keeps the AWD at bay until needed; quite a nifty innovation of driving technology.
Residing in the power region of the XC90 is a 3.2-liter V6 engine that provides 240 horsepower and 236 lb.-ft. of torque. According to New Jersey Volvo, when paired with the six-speed automatic transmission the XC90 experiences a fuel efficiency of 16 city/25 hwy mpg when in front-wheel drive and comes in at 16 city/23 hwy mpg when the AWD kicks in; a respectable fuel mileage from a nice V6 SUV with all the safety features and AWD that the XC90 has to offer an owner.
Offering the driver and all passengers some of the most comfortable seats in an SUV, the SC90 has supportive side bolstering and plush padding all decked out in supple leather trim to hug and caress the driver after a long day at work, or when heading out for some weekend fun. Offering unique controls, Volvo has designed a cockpit that allows the driver to focus on the road without having to search for a specific knob or button. The third row of seats features a 50/50 split and fold-flat design to allow for a wide variety of cargo options and the second row with the child booster cushion also has a sliding center seat to allow the child to be closer to parents seated in the front.
Offering fewer sleek lines and sweeping curves that have become a large part of exterior car design, the XC90 wears a simpler, more classic, yet elegant body style that brings back the style of not too long ago. With its more traditional design and taller build the XC90 offers plenty of head room inside for the riders of the vehicle. Offering a more affordable wheel set up than many competitors, this SUV rides on 18-inch wheels to allow for better ride comfort and a much lower cost when having to replace tires. Even on the outside, safety is first with a Volvo, offering side-mirror mounted cameras to watch the blind spot and a reinforced roof to protect occupants in case of a rollover.
The XC90 is full of great standard features to enjoy including dual-zone automatic climate control with a third-row control panel, power front seats, Bluetooth connectivity, rear parking assistance, leather seats, a power moon roof, front and rear fog lights, remote keyless entry, dual heated power mirrors, and an eight speaker sound system with HD radio and USB and auxiliary ports. If the R-Design is chosen the standard features add a special grill and trim, sport front seats, the Nivomat self-leveling rear suspension and 19-inch wheel. As expected, all models of the XC90 are equipped with anti-submarining seats to keep passengers form slipping out of their seatbelts in case of a crash. Now that is a long list of standard features on the base model of a vehicle, it’s no wonder the XC90 is such a great SUV, but there are some options to look into as well.
The optional equipment for the XC90 as with many vehicles purchase today are packaged into the different trim packages. The AWD is offered on all models, and the different trim levels are base, Premier Plus and Platinum. The sporty R-Design comes in on the base or Platinum trims for those looking for a bit more of a sport SUV. The Premier Plus Trim includes bi-xenon headlights, upgraded leather and wood inlays while the Platinum trim includes a navigation system, a rearview camera, and a 650-watt 12-speaker premium audio system which are all excellent additions to an already stellar SUV.
The XC90 sounds like a luxury SUV with all the standard features and plush leather interior, but starts at a base price just above $40,500. The AWD only bring the price up by $2,000 which is almost a steal for the added driving control offered from having AWD onboard. At the highest price, a loaded R-Design Platinum model of the XC90 can bring an asking price around $50,000 but at that price the SUV is truly a sport and luxury laden SUV full of fun toys to play with.
The 2014 Volvo XC90 offers the owner a ton of outstanding standard features, a laundry list of safety features consistent with Volvo safety and quality standards, and plenty of options to choose from in order to make the XC90 unique. Awarded as the IIHS Top Safety Pick for its class the XC90 is certainly worth a look when shopping for a capable SUV.