Wrapping up a week in the XC90 V8 leaves me feeling like Volvo has rounded out its line-up, but the V8 doesn't add much to the already successful SUV. The XC90 is Volvo's best selling model after all. I think the V8 option is there just to keep up with the Joneses. I understand the maneuver though. When a buyer walks into the showroom ready to drop the coin on a luxury SUV there is a good chance they'll ante up the extra dough for the top of the line trim. With the new V8, Volvo can satisfy that need.
But driving the SUV I didn?t feel that same need. Around town, where I spent most of my drive time, the V8 didn?t help much with sluggish off the line performance and fuel economy that dipped below 14 mpg. On the highway the XC90 was a much sweeter ride and proved a lovely driving experience.
Since I haven?t reviewed the XC90 previously, I wanted to show
everyone the third row of seats. Just a few years ago getting seats up and down in most SUVs was a hardship. But like
the new Jeep Grand Cherokee that we reviewed last week, the Volvo uses simple buttons and cords to move the seats into
the required position.
Getting into that third row doesn?t look that easy however as the second row seat must be in it?s full down position to get back there. And even then it doesn?t look too comfortable for adults. I could barely sit back there for a few minutes in my own test. Kids will probably love climbing back there though.
Overall performance was car like and hard to find much fault with, but I still think the Land Rover LR3 edges the XC90 out for the top SUV in this range. However, style is a big part of a buying decision and the Volvo excels in that arena. Most soccer moms will opt for this sleek people mover and the dads can feel secure knowing there?s a V8 somewhere under the hood.
Bonus images of the XC90s cargo area.