2012 Volvo XC90

Research, Photos, Specs and Expertise

Volvo XC90 highlights

Customer rating


  • Cheaper than similar-size European luxury SUVs
  • Smooth-riding and easy to drive


  • Age counts against it, particularly in the infotainment system
  • With the V8 dropped, the sole six-cylinder feels underpowered

Mileage (EPA estimate)

16 city, 23 highway, 18 combined

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2012 Volvo XC90 feels dated, but it's still worth a look

Volvo's successful formula for the XC90 mixes SUV looks with a dash of minivan-like practicality. The thing is, the Swedish firm introduced this first-generation XC90 back in 2003, which is a long time in the automotive world. Competitors have caught up, and cars like the Buick Enclave and Ford Flex offer all the practicality of the 2012 XC90, if not the prestige of the Volvo brand. Volvo, however, doesn't quite reach the lofty standards of German rivals from Audi, BMW, or Mercedes-Benz, and the XC90 is priced accordingly.

Power comes from a 3.2-liter six-cylinder gasoline engine with 240 hp. Volvo's decision to drop the optional V8 after 2011 is regrettable because the six-cylinder isn't particularly powerful or economical, especially when mated with optional all-wheel drive. Not only that, but Volvo chose not to fit the aging XC90 with the latest active driver-assist aids offered elsewhere in its lineup. The interior is nicely finished and comfortable, but the infotainment system again betrays the XC90's advancing years. Volvo offers two models, the 3.2 and R-Design, with trim choices of Base, Premier Plus, and Platinum available with either. All XC90s come with a decent level of standard equipment, and the Platinum is positively luxurious. 2012 brings the addition of Bluetooth® streaming capability across the lineup. The XC90 has its strengths, but newer alternatives are likely to appeal more.

All Volvo XC90 years

What is new for the 2012 Volvo XC90?

  • The 3.2 R and V8 trims have been discontinued for 2012.
  • XC90 trims have been upgraded with Fold-Away Third Row and 20 Inch Plus Wheels as standard equipment this year.
  • Rear Seat Heaters, Remote Start, and Running Boards features are now available as options on select trims.
  • The 3.2 trim now comes with 4WD/AWD as standard equipment.

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Ratings & reliability

Customer ratings

Above Average

RepairPal gave the Volvo XC90 an overall reliability rating of 3.5 out of 5 stars, which RepairPal describes as Above Average. This rating ranks Volvo XC90 17th out of 29 among Luxury Midsize SUVs.

View RepairPal's full rating of the Volvo XC90

Volvo XC90 features and specs

3.2 2WD 4D Sport Utility

Standard Features

  • 20 Inch Plus Wheels
  • ABS Brakes
  • Air Conditioning
  • Alloy Wheels
  • AM/FM Stereo
  • Automatic Transmission
  • Auxiliary Audio Input
  • CD Audio
  • Cruise Control
  • Fold-Away Third Row
  • Leather Seats
  • Memory Seat(s)
  • Overhead Airbags
  • Parking Sensors
  • Power Locks
  • Power Mirrors
  • Power Seat(s)
  • Power Windows
  • Rear Defroster
  • Side Airbags
  • Sunroof(s)
  • Third Row Seat
  • Traction Control
  • 4WD/AWD
  • Blind Spot Monitor
  • Bluetooth Technology
  • Front Seat Heaters
  • Full Roof Rack
  • Navigation System
  • Rear Entertainment System
  • Rear Seat Heaters
  • Rear View Camera
  • Remote Start
  • Running Boards
  • Satellite Radio Ready
  • Tow Hitch

Drive Wheels


Engine size


Engine type




2012 Volvo XC90 FAQ

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