If driving verve isn’t a top priority when shopping for a mid-size luxury SUV, the 2022 Volvo XC90, which serves up a whole lot of style and safety tech, is a solid choice. As the only three-row in Volvo’s portfolio, it’s best suited for shuttling families, even if its far-back seats aren’t the most spacious. Still, it has one of the prettiest interiors in the class, which includes the BMW X5 and Porsche Cayenne. Both alternatives are better to drive, but they’re considerably more expensive, too. Along with two four-cylinder options, the XC90 is also offered with a plug-in hybrid powertrain which has 400 horsepower and perkier acceleration, but its pure-electric range and fuel efficiency are unremarkable. Regardless, the 2022 XC90 is one of the most satisfying upper-class, three-row utes.
What’s New for 2022?
The 2022 XC90 family receives some new standard features along with revised option packages. The base Momentum model adds standard built-in navigation. Every XC90 loses standard content such as the compass in its rearview mirror and the high-pressure headlight cleaner, but they gain a redesigned rear bumper with hidden exhaust tips. The Advance package now includes a 360-degree camera system, head-up display, and an enhanced air purification system. The Climate package now has a heated steering wheel, heated rear seats, and the aforementioned headlight cleaner. Models that used to have a leather-wrapped steering wheel now get a leather-free wrapping. Likewise, Volvo has discontinued leather key fobs as well as the drive-mode roller on the center console (modes are now exclusively selectable via the touchscreen).
Pricing and Which One to Buy
We think the snazzy and well-equipped Inscription trim level with the 316-hp turbo- and supercharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder (T6 designation) is the one to get. It has a host of features that we expect luxury SUV buyers will have on their short list. This includes statelier exterior trim, 20-inch wheels, a fully digital gauge cluster, lane-keeping assist, nappa leather upholstery, ventilated front seats with massage functions, and a Harman/Kardon audio system.
Engine, Transmission, and Performance
The XC90 can be had in three versions, all of them riffs on the theme of Volvo’s 2.0-liter turbo four. The 250-hp turbocharged engine (T5 designation) is the only one that pairs with front-wheel drive, but it’s also compatible with all-wheel drive, which is standard on every other model. The more powerful T6 version adds supercharging to the turbocharging system to result in 316 horsepower. This setup is standard on the gas-powered Momentum and Inscription. The 400-hp plug-in-hybrid XC90 (T8 Recharge designation) utilizes the T6 powertrain and adds two electric motors and a charging port on the exterior. All XC90 engine variants are paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission, and are rated to tow 5000 pounds, a respectable but not extraordinary figure for a vehicle this size. As with many vehicles in the class, the Volvo leans noticeably around curves, but its steering responses are accurate, and the wheel has a pleasing heft that splits the difference between feather-light and heavyweight. Our test car had the optional air suspension and provided a pleasant, insulated ride, and it handled most road situations well. Some clattering from the chassis over particularly sharp bumps betrays minor imperfections, one of only a few grievances with the otherwise graceful XC90.
Fuel Economy and Real-World MPG
With the exception of its plug-in-hybrid powertrain, the XC90 achieves similar fuel-economy ratings as its six-cylinder competitors. The turbo-only version is rated at up to 21 mpg city and 30 highway, but the turbo- and supercharged version sees those figures drop to 19 mpg and 27 highway. We tested the latter on our 75-mph fuel-economy route, which is part of our extensive testing regimen, and saw it match its highway rating. The plug-in hybrid earned 29 MPGe in the same real-world test. It also has 18 miles of estimated all-electric range, but that’s shorter than other plug-in-hybrids in this class such as the BMX X5 (31 miles) and Lincoln Aviator (21 miles). For more information about the XC90’s fuel economy, visit the EPA’s website.
Interior, Comfort, and Cargo
The XC90’s interior is a masterpiece of the medium. From the attractive design to the quality of the materials, we wish there were more vehicles like this. Adults won’t be happy in the third row, despite the fact that it offers more legroom than similar rivals, but preteens can probably be persuaded, provided the journey is short. The XC90’s wide, boxy silhouette helps in the cargo-hauling department, but interior compartments aren’t as cavernous as in some competitors.
Infotainment and Connectivity
A handsome, tablet-like 9.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system is standard in all XC90s, and its operation is mostly intuitive. Every model has Apple CarPlay and Android Auto capability; a mobile Wi-Fi hotspot is optional. The system could be improved by adding more redundant hard buttons.
Safety and Driver-Assistance Features
Volvo’s commitment to safety is legendary, and its three-row crossover has a loaded roster of driver-assistance technology. For more information about the XC90’s crash-test results, visit the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) websites. Key safety features include:
- Standard forward-collision warning and automated emergency braking
- Standard blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert
- Standard lane-departure warning
Warranty and Maintenance Coverage
The XC90 has a merely average warranty plan versus competitors. However, Volvo outdoes them by offering excellent complimentary scheduled maintenance.
- Limited warranty covers four years or 50,000 miles
- Powertrain warranty covers four years or 50,000 miles
- Electrical components are covered for eight years or 100,000
- Complimentary maintenance is covered for three years or 36,000 miles