If you’re in the market for a new car, look no further than the 2020 Volvo XC90. With excellent performance and features that are quiet, plush and modern, the XC90 maintains Volvo’s reputation for reliable elegance and adds a sporty new twist. The 2020 Volvo XC90 is a three-row SUV that is the result of continuous improvement. Unlike some other makes/models, which only get a “mid-cycle refresh,” this car has been upgraded annually since 2016. Already equipped with a 2.0-liter turbo four-cylinder engine and front- or all-wheel drive in its T6 version, the new T8 adds horsepower, increasing from 316 to 400-hps. With great power comes great responsibilities, as Volvo learned in 2015: the XC90 still gets 20-28 mpg. The T8 also features a plug-in hybrid with a range of 20 miles. Read on to hear more about the Volvo XC90.
Handling of the XC90 has also improved: a smooth, eight-speed automatic transmission is better designed with optional air suspension. In addition, the new model features smoother breaking and a cleaner, almost indiscernible transition from the hybrid’s regenerative mode-electronic control over the hydraulic brakes makes for a more consistent, firm feel on the pedal as one moves from regeneration to friction braking. Secure, balanced, and predictable, this car handles curves and turns with firm assurance. An array of safety features also contribute to this reassuring ride: the Pilot Assist program provides forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, blind-spot warning, and even large-animal detection for those late-night cross-country trips. Large windows and relatively thin roof pillars allow for high driver visibility, an uncommon and welcome benefit for a luxury SUV. And for late-night trips, the LED headlamps are among the best available. It’s easy to see why Volvo calls its running lights, “Thor’s Hammer.”
While these mechanical features are relatively similar to prior models, the 2020 XC90 really struts its new stuff on the inside. The interior sports luxurious interior materials like leather seats and wood paneling, (including a “tailored wool” trim option). With the optional reduction from seven seats to six and the introduction of second-row captain’s chairs, the spacious interior feels even more airy. There’s a nice gap for kids to scoot through to the third row, and this may be the only luxury SUV with the option for built-in booster seats. In short, the inside makes this car a spacious, comfortable, and stylish choice (not to mention the optional massaging front seats!). The touch-screen infotainment system, which handles audio, phone, and navigation, also gets an upgrade in 2020 with the Sensus system’s 50-percent quicker processor. A surround view camera and front park assist are included. With these luxury features, it’s easy to see why the Volvo XC90 has gotten high ratings for owner satisfaction.
On the outside, the XC90 sports some subtle new features: concave grille slats, front-bumper detailing, extra chrome trim, and fresh wheel designs. These are the gilding on a luxury SUV that surprises by starting at under $50,000. Consumer Reports lists the base range at $47,700 and recommends the Momentum Trim and the Convenience package. Beginning with the entry-level T5, other models and optional features take the price up 10 to 20k, from the T6 turbo- and super-charged models to the range-topping T8. The market average is just under 53k, and the MSRP is around $57k.