While the trend seems to be the bigger the vehicle the better, the 2012 Volvo XC90 proves that you can combine seven-passenger seating with a smaller size – without overly sacrificing comfort. For those who want a smaller footprint but want to haul the family and a few toys, this SUV might be a great fit.

Key Features

Numerous safety features, including a child safety seat that slides, a steel reinforced passenger compartment and the available Blind Spot Monitoring and rain-sensing wipers make the 2012 Volvo XC90 a great family SUV. Throw in a V6 engine that offers acceptable power and can handle towing up to 4,960 pounds, and you have an SUV well worth considering.

Changes for 2012

One of the most significant changes for 2012 was the discontinuation of the available V8 engine, which means the 3.2-liter V6 is now the only option. With two models available, the R-Design or 3.2, and a host of trim packages, you’re likely to find the option that’s right for your needs. All models also received the Caspian Blue color option and Bluetooth connectivity, and the R-Design was upgraded to xenon headlights and 20-inch alloy wheels.

What We Like

The overall safety and practicality of the 2012 Volvo XC90 are major considerations for many buyers. A stability control system and a wider track make for acceptable road performance, while the available center child seat that slides ups the safety factor for families.

What Concerns Us

Those who require the third row seating should be aware that doing so greatly reduces the available cargo space, which could make long trips a bit cramped. The cabin also leaves a bit to be desired when compared with other models available in this class.

Available Models

There are two models available for the 2012 Volvo XC90; the 3.2 and the R-Design. Both models are available with either all-wheel drive or front-wheel drive. There are also numerous premium and platinum level trim packages that are available for each model. All available options use the same 3.2-liter V6 engine, which offers 240 horsepower and 236 lb-ft of torque. The front-wheel drive options deliver a city/highway fuel economy of 16/22 mpg, and the all-wheel drive provides 16/22 mpg.

Major Recalls

There have been no major recalls issued for the 2012 Volvo XC90. However, there are 10 service bulletins issued.

Common Issues

There are also no common complaints concerning this SUV.

This article originally appeared on YourMechanic.com as A Buyer’s Guide to the 2012 Volvo XC90 and was authored by Valerie Johnston.


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