THE 2013 VOLVO XC90 REVIEW
Summary Review by Tess: Repeating the Mistakes of the Past
The Volvo XC90 SUV returns largely unchanged for the 2013 model year. With seating for seven, the XC90 offers a blend of passenger room and luxury features that will prove attractive to budget-minded SUV buyers, especially when the optional all-wheel drive is added to the mix. Average fuel economy and outdated styling will dim the appeal of this luxury crossover SUV for most of its target audience, however. The 2013 Volvo XC90 is available in two models, the 3.2 and the 3.2 R-Design; each features a distinctive exterior trim package.
Under the hood
Every 2013 Volvo XC90 vehicle is powered by a 3.2-liter inline six-cylinder engine that puts out 240 horsepower and 236 lb-ft of torque, enough power to take this luxury SUV from 0 to 60 miles per hour in 8.7 seconds and to allow it to haul up to 5,000 pounds when properly equipped. Front-wheel drive is standard, but most drivers will want to upgrade to the all-wheel drive version for added traction and maneuverability on the road. A six-speed shiftable automatic transmission is the only choice. Fuel economy is mediocre at 16 miles per gallon in the city and 23 in highway driving, making this a less than desirable choice for most green-conscious drivers. (See annual fuel costs for the XC90). Rear parking sensors are standard on the Volvo XC90 in keeping with the manufacturer’s reputation for safety; other safety features include emergency brake assist, antilock brakes, and traction and stability controls.
Inside the cabin
The 2013 Volvo XC90 SUV is well-equipped even on the base 3.2 model, which features a sunroof, two-zone automatic climate control, leather seats, cruise control, power adjustable front seats with specialized lumbar adjustments, and a CD sound system with eight speakers. Available options include a navigation system, rearview camera, and an upgraded surround-sound stereo.
On the road
The Volvo XC90 SUV offers responsive handling and a comfort-tuned suspension, but it is sadly underpowered compared to most of its competition. The six-cylinder engine simply cannot keep up with the demands of the vehicle, and acceleration suffers as a result. For drivers who rarely need to merge onto the highway and who practice a less aggressive form of driving, however, the XC90 is an acceptable choice for family transportation.
Unfortunately, the 2013 Volvo XC90 SUV continues to underwhelm. Its lackluster performance and mediocre fuel economy reduce its appeal significantly, especially with the number of viable competitors in the large luxury SUV marketplace. Most buyers would be better served by one of those competitors until Volvo updates the XC90 for modern drivers and modern driving needs.
Engine: 3.2-liter DOHC inline six-cylinder engine
Horsepower & Torque: 240 hp/236 lb-ft
Transmission: FWD or AWD six-speed shiftable automatic
Fuel Economy: 16/23
Towing Capacity: 5,000 lbs
Max Payload: 1248 lbs
0 to 60: 8.7 seconds
Base MSRP: $39,500
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