2018 Volvo XC90 review

Research, photos, specs, and expertise
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Volvo XC90 highlights

Customer rating


  • Spacious trunk and decent third-row space
  • Elegantly styled inside and out


  • Suspension makes for a bumpy ride on larger wheel choices
  • Central touchscreen lacks the user-friendliness of some rivals

Mileage (EPA estimate)

20 city, 27 highway, 23 combined

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7 photos

Entry-level 2018 Volvo XC90 remains a classy, competitive SUV choice

The 2018 Volvo XC90 exudes class and sophistication, which is a big part of its appeal. This upscale midsize SUV will seat up to seven in comfort, but Volvo offers the second row as a pair of luxurious captain's chairs in place of a three-seater bench seat on its top trim, the Excellence. All trims come generously equipped, even the entry-level Momentum. Add competent handling, and the Volvo XC90 certainly has appeal. But it's not without some shortcomings, chiefly around the powertrains. The base turbocharged 250-hp four-cylinder engine, dubbed the T5, feels a bit overwhelmed by the XC90's weight. The T6 above it adds a supercharger to up output to 316 hp, which works a bit more forcefully. Above that there's a 400-hp plug-in hybrid option, which Volvo calls the T8 Twin Engine, but you pay a lot for its added performance and the ability to make short trips on battery power alone.

Accept that it isn't the quickest SUV and you'll enjoy the 2018 XC90, particularly if you go for a Momentum model, which comes with plenty of standard features and the smallest alloy wheels, which benefit the ride quality. The lineup goes from there to a sportier R-Design, a plusher Inscription, and above that the Excellence, which brings super-luxury levels of equipment to the XC90. Stick with the Momentum with the T6 engine, though, and you'll have a fine all-rounder at an attractive price.

All Volvo XC90 years

What is new for the 2018 Volvo XC90?

  • XC90 trims have been upgraded with Automated Cruise Control, Blind Spot Monitor, Remote Start, and Android Auto as standard equipment this year.
  • Running Boards and DVD Video System features are now available as options on select trims.
  • The T5 R-Design trim now comes with Third Row Seat and Rear Air Conditioning as standard equipment.
  • The T5 Momentum trim now comes with Third Row Seat, Fold-Away Third Row, Rear Air Conditioning, and Apple CarPlay as standard equipment.
  • The T6 Momentum trim now comes with Apple CarPlay as standard equipment.

2018 Volvo XC90 trims

Curious how Volvo XC90 trims differ? Use our side-by-side vehicle comparison to see the differences and similarities

  • Momentum: Includes three trim configuration options (T5, T6, and T8), a nine-inch touchscreen, 10-speaker audio system, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration, two USB ports, Bluetooth connectivity, driver aids, power-adjustable driver's seat, synthetic leather upholstery, dual-zone climate control, panoramic moonroof, and more.

  • R-Design: Includes three trim configuration options (T5, T6, and T8), a 12.3-inch touchscreen, genuine leather upholstery, gear shift paddles on the steering wheel, illuminated tread plates, and more.

  • Inscription: Includes two trim configuration options (T6 and T8), ventilated front seats with massage function, four-zone climate control, and more.

  • Excellence: Includes T8 trim configuration, seating for four (no third-row seating), rear footrests, beverage cooler, crystal glasses, and more.

  • T5: This configuration has an eight-speed automatic transmission, seating for five, FWD or AWD options, and a 250-hp turbocharged 2.0L four-cylinder engine.

  • T6: This configuration has seating for up to seven passengers, a 316-hp twin-charged 2.0L four-cylinder powertrain, AWD, and an eight-speed automatic transmission.

  • T8: This configuration seats four passengers and is an AWD plug-in hybrid, with a gasoline engine and electric motor combo under the hood pumping out 400 hp.

Volvo XC90 photos

5 reasons to buy the 2018 Volvo XC90

1. Ample seating for passengers

2018 Volvo XC90: Back seats | CarMax

All 2018 Volvo XC90s with the T6 configuration are equipped with third-row seating, so you can comfortably travel with up to seven passengers. Whether you love to be the designated driver for out-of-town sports events or you want to hit weekend flea markets with your neighbors, you'll have room for everybody and everything.

2. Plenty of modern tech conveniences

2018 Volvo XC90: Steering wheel | CarMax

The luxurious cabin of the 2018 Volvo XC90 has the bells and whistles you want, including a nine-inch touchscreen display, navigation system, 10-speaker audio system, Apple CarPlay® and Android Auto integration, two USB ports, Bluetooth® connectivity, and a hands-free tailgate on the Momentum base model. Upgrade to the second-tier R-Design and the touchscreen display increases to 12.3 inches. Even your pickiest passenger will be happy on a road trip in this tech-forward vehicle.

3. Luxurious interior

2018 Volvo XC90: Front seats | CarMax

The 2018 Volvo XC90 base trim (Momentum) has beautiful synthetic leather upholstery and a leather-wrapped steering wheel illuminated by natural light streaming in from the panoramic moonroof. The second trim level (R-Design) adds real leather upholstery. The third level (Inscription) includes walnut wood inlays and illuminated metal tread plates. The top trim (Excellence) adds massaging front seats and rear-seat footrests—sure to wow any business partner passengers.

4. Plug-in hybrid model

2018 Volvo XC90: Engine | CarMax

Love SUVs, but want to stick to your green lifestyle? The base-trim 2018 Volvo XC90 Momentum, third-tier Inscription, and top-tier Excellence come in a T8 model featuring AWD and a plug-in hybrid twin-charged four-cylinder engine paired with an electric motor to offer a zippy 400 horsepower.

5. Room for a bit of everything

2018 Volvo XC90: Trunk | CarMax

You'll love the spaciousness of the 2018 Volvo XC90. When the third row is in use, you'll have 15.4 cu-ft of rear cargo space—perfect for small pets or luggage. Drop down that third row and you can use 41.8 cu-ft of space for sports gear or large dogs. There's also an optional steel grille and dog gate upgrade for the cargo area (all trims). Riding solo? Put the second- and third-row seats down and you'll have a total cargo area of 85.7 cu-ft to fit the supplies you need for a home remodeling project.

Similar vehicles

If you're interested in the 2018 Volvo XC90, you should also check out these similar vehicles from Previous generation years.

Image of Acura MDX

The Acura MDX is an excellent three-row crossover SUV. The 2019 model features a 290-hp six-cylinder engine, FWD, and a nine-speed automatic transmission as standard. A hybrid option is also available.

Standard features on the 2019 Acura MDX include:

  • Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration

  • Hatchback with cargo space behind the third row

  • Lane departure warning system

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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

T5 R-Design 2WD 4D Sport Utility

Standard Features

  • 20 Inch Plus Wheels
  • ABS Brakes
  • Air Conditioning
  • Alloy Wheels
  • AM/FM Stereo
  • Android Auto
  • Apple CarPlay
  • Automated Cruise Control
  • Automatic Transmission
  • Auxiliary Audio Input
  • Blind Spot Monitor
  • Bluetooth Technology
  • Lane Departure Warning
  • Leather & Suede Seats
  • Memory Seat(s)
  • Navigation System
  • Overhead Airbags
  • Panoramic Sunroof
  • Parking Sensors
  • Power Hatch/Deck Lid
  • Power Locks
  • Power Mirrors
  • Power Seat(s)
  • Power Windows
  • Rear Air Conditioning
  • Rear Defroster
  • Rear View Camera
  • Satellite Radio Ready
  • Side Airbags
  • Smart Key
  • Third Row Seat
  • Traction Control
  • Turbo Charged Engine
  • Automated Parking
  • Bowers & Wilkins Audio
  • Fold-Away Third Row
  • Front Seat Heaters
  • Full Roof Rack
  • Head Up Display
  • Heated Steering Wheel
  • Rear Entertainment System
  • Rear Seat Heaters
  • Rear Sunshade
  • Running Boards
  • Third Row Seat
  • Tow Hitch

Drive Wheels

Front Wheel Drive (2WD)

Engine size




Torque (ft-lbs)


Engine type

Turbo Gas

Fuel capacity




Overall length






Leg room

F 40.9"/M 37"/R 31.9"

Head room

F 38.9"/M 38.5"/R 36.3"

Front tires


Rear tires


Seating capacity


Max towing capacity

400/4000 lbs.



2018 Volvo XC90 FAQ

More about the 2018 Volvo XC90

Color options

2018 Volvo XC90: Color Options | CarMax

Exterior colors:

  • Bright Silver Metallic (Momentum, Inscription, Excellence)

  • Bursting Blue Metallic (R-Design)

  • Crystal White Metallic

  • Denim Blue Metallic (Momentum, Inscription, Excellence)

  • Electric Silver Metallic (R-Design, Excellence)

  • Ice White (Momentum, Inscription)

  • Luminous Sand Metallic (Momentum, Inscription, Excellence)

  • Maple Brown Metallic (Momentum, Inscription, Excellence)

  • Onyx Black Metallic

  • Osmium Grey Metallic

  • Passion Red (R-Design)

  • Pine Grey Metallic (Momentum, Inscription, Excellence)

Interior colors:

  • Amber (Momentum, Inscription)

  • Blond (Momentum, Inscription, Excellence)

  • Charcoal

  • Maroon Brown (Inscription)

Interior details

Inside the cabin of the 2018 Volvo XC90 Momentum, you'll find synthetic leather upholstery, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, and brushed aluminum decor inlays. Upgrade to the R-Design, Inscription, or Excellence trims to enjoy genuine leather upholstery. The R-Design features metal mesh aluminum and optional carbon fiber inlays. The Inscription trim adds walnut wood inlays.

Child seat details

The 2018 Volvo XC90 features theater-style seating, with elevated rear rows so you can keep an eye on the kids. You'll find two complete sets of LATCH car-seat connectors in the rear outboard seats, and an upper tether in the rear middle seat. There's also an integrated child seat in the second row for kids who have outgrown a removable child seat.


The 2018 Volvo XC90 offers robust powertrains, including a 400-hp hybrid electric/gasoline option with the T8 configuration. If you want a gasoline-fueled ride, the T6 offers an eight-speed automatic transmission and a 316-hp engine, and the T5 has an eight-speed automatic transmission with a 250-hp engine.

Year comparison

2004-2015 Volvo XC90 (First Generation)

The Volvo XC90 has three trim options from 2013 to 2015: Premier Plus, Platinum, and R-Design. All offer third-row seating for up to seven passengers. 2013-2014 models have a 3.2L six-cylinder engine; the 2015 model has a four-cylinder engine with gasoline and diesel options.

2016-Present Volvo XC90 (Second Generation)

In 2016, the Volvo XC90 got a complete overhaul. All models now feature a supercharged, turbo four-cylinder engine across four trim levels: Momentum, R-Design, Inspiration, and Excellence. Volvo also launched three configurations of the trims: T5, T6, and T8. The T8 is a plug-in hybrid.

Trim options and configurations stay the same on the newest models. The 2020 XC90 continues to offer four-cylinder engine options boosted with turbo and supercharged features. The hybrid is still in the lineup in 2020 and 2021. For 2021, we see a name change for the T8 configuration to Recharge. The Momentum with T8 configuration also updated its moniker and is now known as Recharge Inscription Expression.

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