2021 Volvo XC90

Research, photos, specs, and expertise
7 photos

Volvo XC90 highlights

Customer rating


  • Agile handling for a big SUV
  • Elegant styling inside and out


  • Some rivals deliver better EPA estimates and performance
  • Touchscreen isn't particularly intuitive to use

Mileage (EPA estimate)

18 city, 26 highway, 21 combined

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7 photos

The 2021 Volvo XC90 is a classy midsize luxury SUV

The 2021 Volvo XC90 three-row SUV is unusual among its competition as it's only offered with a choice of four-cylinder gasoline engines. The T5 base engine is a 250-hp 2.0-liter turbocharged unit, which works elsewhere in Volvo's range but feels a bit overwhelmed by the XC90's size. A better choice is the T6, which adds a supercharger to that 2.0-liter turbo engine, boosting output to 316 hp. If you want more power, you'll have to plug in since the top-flight engine is a hybrid. It mates that T6 engine to an electric motor and battery for a combined 400-hp output. Volvo has changed the name of its plug-in for 2021, simply calling it Recharge. All but the base models are all-wheel drive, and all have an eight-speed automatic.

Every XC90 comes with decent levels of driver aids, while even the entry-level Momentum trim (named Inscription Expression with the Recharge model) is comprehensively equipped. Opt for the R-Design if you want a sportier look and feel with your XC90; if you prefer luxury, choose the Inscription with its high-end features. The cabin is spacious and able to seat up to seven, yet the XC90 is enjoyable to drive thanks to its sharp handling. The 2021 XC90 is well worth considering if you're after a classy, capable family SUV.

All Volvo XC90 years

What is new for the 2021 Volvo XC90?

  • XC90 trims have been upgraded with Leatherette & Cloth, Heated Steering Wheel, and Quad Seats as standard equipment this year.
  • Power Folding Third Row features are now available as options on select trims.
  • The T6 R-Design trim now comes with Leatherette Seats as standard equipment.

2021 Volvo XC90 trims

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

T5 Momentum:

T5 R-Design:

T6 Momentum:

T6 R-Design:

T6 Inscription:

Volvo XC90 photos

5 reasons to buy the 2021 Volvo XC90

1. Luxurious interior

2021 Volvo XC90 Review: Front seats | CarMax

The 2021 XC90 features an interior styled with inspiration from Volvo's heritage. You'll love the plush comfort of the SUV's soft, hand-stitched leather seats. On the Inscription trim, you'll also enjoy heated and ventilated seats. Matte-finish natural wood completes the refined interior of the 2021 Volvo XC90. With such thoughtful touches, you and your passengers will be surrounded by luxurious comfort.

2. Space for your whole crew

2021 Volvo XC90 Review: Third row | CarMax

Thanks to three rows of seats, you can fit six or seven passengers in the 2021 Volvo XC90. With 12.6 cubic feet of cargo volume behind the third row, you'll have space for all your stuff, too. Fold both rows flat to unlock 65.5 cubic feet of interior cargo space. And you can rest easy knowing that your passengers will be comfortable no matter what row they're sitting in — even the third row offers 31.9 inches of legroom.

3. The latest technology

2021 Volvo XC90 Review: Dashboard | CarMax

Keeping up with the latest tech trends is easy with the 2021 Volvo XC90. Even the standard trim features a full suite of driving aids. Automatic parking, a surround-view camera, and wireless charging are just a few of the many modern technology features in this luxury SUV. Plus, an available steering-assist feature can help you navigate tricky situations on the road.

4. Powerful engine options

2021 Volvo XC90 Review: Engine | CarMax

The 2021 Volvo XC90 is a midsize SUV that's equipped for big tasks. Get the pulling power you seek with a standard turbocharged 2.0L four-cylinder engine that makes 250 hp. With the supercharged 2.0L four-cylinder engine with AWD, you'll get an estimated 5,000 lbs. of towing capacity, when properly equipped.

Or you can kick things up a notch with the 2021 Volvo XC90 hybrid, which combines an electric motor with a turbocharged 2.0L four-cylinder for a combined power of 400 hp.

5. Concert-like sound system

2021 Volvo XC90 Review: Cell | CarMax

Experience your music in high fidelity in the 2021 Volvo XC90. With Android Auto® and Apple CarPlay capability, you can stream from your favorite device. A Harman Kardon® premium sound system is standard on R-Design and Inscription trims of the XC90. Or, you can get that concert-hall feeling with the 1,400-watt, 19-speaker Bowers & Wilkins sound system, available on the Inscription trim.

Similar vehicles

If you're interested in the 2021 Volvo XC90, you should also check out these similar vehicles from Previous generation years.

Image of Mercedes-Benz GLE

The Mercedes-Benz GLE is a luxury SUV that delivers a smooth ride and premium materials in a spacious vehicle. The 2017-2019 GLE is powered by a standard 302-hp V6 (329-hp for 2019) and features optional all-wheel drive. Two twin-turbo V6 engine options are available, with one featuring additional power via an electric motor. AMG performance trims are also available for 2017-2019, with twin turbocharged V6 and V8 engine options.

In 2020, Mercedes updated the GLE for its fourth generation with a new 2.0L turbo four-cylinder engine making 255 horsepower. A 3.0L turbo V6 and a 4.0L turbo V8 also entered the revised lineup, both with a mild hybrid system and 362 hp and 483 hp, respectively.

Standard features on 2017-2021 Mercedes-Benz GLE Class models include:

  • Premium vinyl upholstery

  • LED daytime running lights and taillights

  • Dual-zone automatic climate control

  • Eight-inch display (12.3-inch touchscreen for 2020+)

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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
  • Fold-Away Third Row
  • Front Seat Heaters
  • Harman Kardon Sound
  • Heated Steering Wheel
  • Lane Departure Warning
  • Leather Seats
  • Leatherette & Cloth
  • 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 Sunshade
  • Rear View Camera
  • Satellite Radio Ready
  • Side Airbags
  • Smart Key
  • Third Row Seat
  • Traction Control
  • Turbo Charged Engine
  • 20 Inch Plus Wheels
  • Automated Parking
  • Bowers & Wilkins Audio
  • Full Roof Rack
  • Head Up Display
  • Heated Steering Wheel
  • Leather Seats
  • Rear Seat Heaters
  • Running Boards
  • 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.



2021 Volvo XC90 FAQ

More about the 2021 Volvo XC90

Color options

Exterior colors:

  • Birch Light Metallic (Inscription only)

  • Bright Silver Metallic

  • Burst Blue Metallic (R-Design only)

  • Crystal White Pearl

  • Denim Blue Metallic

  • Ice White

  • Onyx Black Metallic

  • Osmium Grey Metallic

  • Pebble Grey Metallic (Inscription only)

  • Pine Grey Metallic (Inscription only)

  • Thunder Grey Metallic

Interior details

  • 12.5 cubic feet of cargo space in the rear

  • Seating for six or seven passengers across three rows

  • 12.3-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay® and Android Auto capability

  • USB charge ports and available wireless charging

  • Genuine crystal gear selector (Inscription trim)

NHTSA Safety Ratings

The 2021 Volvo XC90 received an overall 5/5 rating by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Find out more about this rating and how NHTSA’s 5-Star Safety Ratings program evaluates the crash protection and rollover safety of new vehicles.

Keep in mind that certain vehicles may have unrepaired safety recalls. Click here to look up a specific vehicle.

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