The 2013 Volvo XC90 Crossover is powered by a strong 3.2-liter inline-6 engine that delivers 240 horsepower and 236 pound-feet of torque. It comes standard as a front-wheel drive, with a six-speed automatic transmission, but all-wheel drive is an available option.
The XC90 takes a slow 8.7 seconds to accelerate zero to 60 mph, but it can tow as much as 3,970 pounds when properly equipped. To add to its slow acceleration, gas mileage is rather discouraging, returning only 16 mpg in the city and 23 mpg on the highway.
Although the XC90 is a rather large vehicle, it is more nimble than you might expect. A finely tuned four-wheel independent suspension seems to absorb most bumps and holes in the road to offer a smooth ride to all passengers. Steering is responsive, but you can expect to feel a little body roll on turns. Also, with a 40-foot turning circle, maneuvering in tight spaces and parking will be a challenge.
Other standard and optional features include SiriusXM, USB connection, iPod integration, Bluetooth and a portable navigation system.
When tested by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, the XC90 received a “Good” rating in roof-strength, side-impact and frontal-offset crash tests. That being said the many accident prevention technologies Volvo offers on their other vehicles is not available on this one. There still is a lot of safety features to speak of though, such as:
Small refreshing changes have been done to the XC90 for 2013, such as monotone paint scheme, headlight washers and LED taillights. This SUV offers a sophisticated styling, but with a rugged edge. A generous ground clearance, beefy front end and sporty wheels let you know it is okay to have fun off-road and get a little dirty.
Although the 2013 XC90 does offer three rows of seats, the third row is significantly smaller than what you will find in some competitors. Quite honestly, even the second row could use a little more legroom. If you are driving or riding in the front row, you will enjoy comfortable seats and an abundance of room in this vault-like cabin.
Something unique to this vehicle is that there is a booster seat built right into the middle row that slides forward to use with ease.
You will notice that the controls and gauges are arranged thoughtfully, making them easy to identify and use while driving. However, the infotainment system is inferior to what you find in other Volvos.
The XC90 does offer a significant amount of cargo space, but it falls short of competitors like Ford Flex and Buick Enclave. With both rear seats in place, there is only 88 cubic feet, which is obviously horrible. Those not using the third row seat will likely keep it folded to open up more space fulltime. If you need to haul a large item, the middle seat also easily folds to allow 85.1 cubic feet.