Engine: 2-liter, supercharged, turbocharged, inline 4-cylinder
Transmission: 8-speed Geartronic automatic
EPA Ratings: 20/city, 28/highway, 23/combined
Base Price: $49,800
As Tested: $67,155
Overview: The 2016 Volvo XC90 is the first redesign of the Chinese-owned Swedish automaker’s flagship SUV since it debuted to numerous accolades in 2003. Having owned a 2004 and now a 2013, we were looking forward to seeing if the new XC90 lived up to all the media hype. It does.
The basic design has been stylized, with smoother edges, longer overall dimensions, shorter overhangs, a longer hood, striking LED headlamps and a bolder grille.
Interior: The 2016 XC90 is roomier than the previous version and exceptionally comfortable and luxurious inside, boasting leather upholstery covering supportive, comfortable seats. While taller than the average sedan, it’s more wagon-like, offering easy ingress and egress.
The Sensus Connect infotainment system with Apple CarPlay is positioned in the center stack. Featuring a 9-inch vertically oriented touchscreen, it responds to pinch, tap and swipe commands. There’s a volume knob and other control buttons but the screen handles almost everything.
At 85.7 cubic feet, the XC90 offers much more cargo space than the BMW X5, Audi Q7 or Mercedes-Benz M-Class. Cargo room behind the third-row seat doubled to 15.8 cubic feet; however, the front passenger seat no longer folds flat.
Behind the Wheel: The 316-horse super- and turbocharged 4-banger delivers the smooth performance of a V6. Throttle responsiveness is quick, with no flat spots, surges or turbo-lag at any engine speed. We wouldn’t call handling “sporty” — especially when compared to the Audi Q7 or BMW X5 — but it has a quiet confidence that’s very reassuring. Steering is precise and the huge brakes get the job done.
Bottom Line: With a long menu of standard equipment, including Volvo’s legendary state-of-the-art safety features, leather seating, navigation, panoramic sunroof and smartphone-like infotainment, the 2016 XC90 just raised the bar in the luxury crossover segment.