A three-row SUV with a spacious interior and style to spare, the 2021 Volvo XC90 is well suited for luxurious family duty. It’s Volvo’s biggest vehicle and it gives you seven-passenger seating plus more available cargo space than its smaller XC60 sibling.
Every XC90 comes with a turbocharged four-cylinder engine. This might seem odd given that six-cylinder engines are the norm for this class, but Volvo has applied enough techno-wizardry to make it work. There are actually three engine versions, which Volvo calls the T5, T6 and Recharge (formerly called the T8). The Recharge is a plug-in hybrid with an impressive 400 horsepower plus 18 miles of electric range. Volvo made noticeable improvements to the suspension and brakes last year that significantly elevated the hybrid’s standing in our eyes.
With that upgrade in the rearview mirror, and a next-generation model a few years away, not much changes for the 2021 model. Adaptive headlights, a wireless charging pad and front parking sensors are just a few of the newly standard features, and the interior trim and upholstery color combinations have been shuffled slightly.
Otherwise, the XC90 is the same as it’s always been, which is to say a fully competitive luxury crossover SUV with a surprisingly affordable price tag. It costs less than other three-row SUVs yet offers a broader range of standard safety and convenience features. At the same time, the XC90’s distinctive exterior and cabin designs help it stand out. Whether you’re looking to make a statement or simply save a few dollars, the pull of the XC90 is hard to resist, even in this illustrious class.
Which XC90 does Edmunds recommend?
A large people-mover like the XC90 requires an engine that can carry its weight, and we’re not convinced the base T5’s power is sufficient when you’ve got your XC90 laden with passengers and cargo. As such, the next-level T6 is worth the upgrade for its ability to accelerate effortlessly. We think it’s also worth paying extra for either the R-Design or Inscription trim level. Both cost roughly the same and add a healthy list of features.