New Volvo XC90 Troy MI

The 2018 Volvo XC90 - Presence Without Pretense, Capable Without Compromise

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One expects safety from a brand that is synonymous with the concept, but when you get behind the wheel of the 2018 Volvo XC90, peace of mind is just once facet of the experience. When it launched in 2016, this flagship utility redefined what luxury meant for the Swedish automaker, while also pushing the boundaries of technology and innovation. The result is the most-awarded luxury utility so far in the 21st century.

It all starts with your choice of model. The Momentum is the base trim, followed by the R-Design, Inscription, and Excellence, and can be had with T5, T6, or T8 Plug-in Hybrid powertrains and optional AWD. The 2018 XC90 can seat up to seven passengers and accommodate 85.7 cu-ft of cargo in its most basic form, and comes richly outfitted with semi-autonomous Pilot Assist, a full safety suite, and leatherette upholstery.

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A Natural Sanctuary on the Open Road
The 2018 XC90 exemplifies the latest Volvo styling, which draws heavily from Scandinavian tradition. Clean, uncluttered shapes with pleasing finishes are the unifying theme, from the Thor's Hammer headlamps up front to the design of the dash and wheel. Visually elegant on the outside, its classic SUV-presence isn't muddied by the pretense of size. Instead, it projects a confident persona on any road.

Within the cabin, you'll be greeted by the finest quality materials-even on the base Momentum model. The further up the range you climb, you'll find Nappa leather seating in Blond, Charcoal, Maroon or Amber, natural oak inlays, and diamond-cut controls. When the light shines in through the panoramic sunroof, you'll see why the XC90's cabin is called a natural sanctuary.

Move With Purpose-And Efficiency
The 2018 XC90's three engines run the gamut from a turbocharged inline-four to a supercharged/turbocharged plug-in hybrid-each offering plenty of power for merging and passing, and efficiency to match. The T5 engine is a 250 horsepower unit with up to 22 mpg city and 28 mpg highway, while T6 provides 316 horsepower and 20 mpg city, and 27 mpg on the highway. Not only does the T8 Plug-in Hybrid yield 30 mpg on the highway, but puts out 400 horsepower and can be charged in as little as two and a half hours, depending on voltage. AWD is optional on the T5, and standard on the T6 and T8.

Safety Front and Center
Volvo has continued to further its commitment to safety in the 2018 XC90, which offers standard Pilot Assist semi-autonomous driving, and assistance aids like lane-keeping aid, automatic emergency braking, blind-spot monitoring, parking sensors, and a rear-view camera. You can also get a 360 degree camera, and BLIS, which adds functionality to the blind-spot warning system. Between these features and excellent crash test ratings, the 2018 XC90 has a Top Safety Pick + rating from the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety (IIHS).

2018 Volvo XC90 Comparison

When you think of other full-size luxury SUVs, many names may come to mind. Among them are the Audi Q7 and Acura MDX, both of which can seat seven passengers and received recent redesigns. But having similar missions and praise doesn’t mean they’re created equal. Factor in your priorities for versatility, efficiency, as well as look and feel, and there’s plenty to consider. Don’t fret—we’ll make it easy.

Volvo XC90 vs. Audi Q7

At first blush, the XC90 and Q7 look to be on even footing. Both can seat seven, can be had with all-wheel drive, and are full of standard and optional safety equipment that seem to push the boundary for what is possible. This is one of those areas where you might need a microscope to pick the right match, but the XC90 comes out on top in a few key areas.

  • Choice in Power and Efficiency. You can get two engines on the Q7, and they’re both plenty powerful—with 252 or 333 hp--but efficiency is mediocre at best. The XC90, on the other hand, offers three that are more efficient, and more powerful. For example, the base engine on the Q7 returns 25 mpg on the highway with AWD, where the XC90’s returns 28 mpg with AWD. The XC90’s top-shelf engine isn’t just more powerful, but also mated to a plug-in hybrid powertrain.
  • More Cargo Room, Usable Rear Seat. Both models offer three rows, but you’ll have a hard time squeezing even adolescents in the back of the Q7. You’ll find no such issue in the XC90’s third row. But where you’ll get more use out of the Volvo’s third row, folding it down also opens up 85 cu-ft of cargo volume. Sure, the 71 cu-ft in the Q7 is impressive, but a 10 cu-ft lead puts the prize in the XC90’s court.
  • More Ways To Make It Your Own. There are plenty of leathers and woods to be found when tailoring your Q7 interior, but the four trims of the XC90 offer a wider swath. While this may be subjective to some—and both automakers are known for excellent interior treatments—the holistic, natural-inspired materials in the XC90 make a far-more impressive statement than the Q7.

Volvo XC90 vs. Acura MDX

Since its most recent redesign, the Acura MDX is better at catching eyes than ever before. It’s also even better at its three-row luxury mission than ever, and even has a Sport Hybrid to match the XC90 T8 Plug-in Hybrid. But where the MDX is a darling in the areas it excels, the fit, finish, and innovations found on the XC90 put it ahead of the Acura.

  • An Ergonomic Home-Run. Luxury utilities make convenience a top priority, but the split-screen setup and push-button shifter in the MDX seems to defy that logic. On the XC90, the Sensus Connect screen and all controls are easy to reach and use. You’ll find other settings throughout the Volvo that can make toggling to your preferences a snap, while in the MDX, you may still be figuring out what screen does what.
  • Better Power On Every Level. The XC90 made headlines when it debuted without a V8, or even a V6 in its engine lineup, but it’s quickly proved you don’t need them. The MDX has a V6, and a V6 hybrid with up to 321 horsepower and 27 mpg on the highway, but that’s not enough to overtake the T8 Plug-in Hybrid. Standard all-wheel drive, 400 horsepower, and 30 mpg highway all count in the XC90’s favor.
  • Innovation For Family Life. Rear seat entertainment and class-leading cargo volume are about as far as it goes on the MDX, and that’s still pretty solid. On the other hand, the XC90 can be had with rear seat entertainment, an adaptive air suspension system that improves comfort and offers ride height flexibility, four-zone climate control, and a full accessories list that lets you tailor your car to perfection before you order it.
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