The third-quarter update of Autoweek's yearlong experience with the 2004 Volvo XC90 finds the SUV performing in a yeoman-like capacity: it works efficiently enough, but does not inspire. It can get out of its own way, yet it is not particularly quick. It's not exactly ugly, but nor do its visuals make heart rates rise. The XC90 is commodious cargo-wise, but the seven-person seating seems ambitious with two adults crammed into the third row. A sportier disposition was requested by the AW crew, as while the vehicle is tolerable on the highway, its 208-hp inline five is lackluster and propels the SUV with zero fanfare. As far as maintenance concerns, after 19,000 miles, the only real concerns were a few seatbelt problems that were eventually replaced in a recall, and the scheduled oil changes and tire rotation. I think I speak for the world when I say we hope to see a high-performance R iteration of the XC90 soon.

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