Cars > Volvo > Volvo XC90 2013

By Ketan Patel


Volvo XC90 2013 Review

The Volvo XC90 has been around since 2003 and despite the fact that very few aesthetic changes have been brought to it during these past years, this aging SUV still has its appeal and manages not to look outdated. The 2013 Volvo XC90 received a mild facelift, but again, there's nothing too extreme.

Under its hood the XC90 comes with the same 3.2 liter straight-six engine able to develop 240 horsepower and 236 lb-ft of torque. The 3.2 liter power plant is mated with a 6-speed automatic transmission which sends the engine's power to the front wheels, however all wheel drive is available as an option.

In terms of exterior design the 2013 model suffered little changes but the manufacturer claims that a total of 322 changes were made. The most notable ones are the slightly redesigned bumpers, LED running lights and a new set of tail lamps. A couple of new colors have also been added, Flamenco Red Metallic and Twilight Bronze Metallic. Last but not least, a new set of 18-inch wheels have been made available as well as a new set of silver roof rails.

On the inside the 2013 model also undergone a few changes and is now offering a new three-spoke steering wheel, instruments with white backlight and aluminum trim. Android and iPhone connectivity and apps have also been added, a feature which in our day and age becomes more and more of a necessity.

Volvo's SUV -and Volvo's in general for that matter - are famous for their level of safety and the XC90 is no exception to that rule. It's undeniably one of the safest SUVs money can buy at this date. Not only does it delivers an outstanding rollover safety if it comes to that, but the XC90 comes packed with other safety features such as Roll Stability Control, Whiplash Protection System, Inflatable Curtain airbag and Side Impact Protection System. Speaking of airbags, the SUV comes with dual front and side impact airbags, and an extended Inflatable Curtain that will also protect the passengers sitting in the third row of seats.

In case you're looking for a safe 7-seat SUV the Volvo XC90 is probably your best choice, and price-wise the base model will set you back $32,950 MSRP. If however you feel that the XC90 feels and looks outdated, or you simply don't find it appealing for whatever reasons, then you can always turn your attention towards the Audi Q7, the BMW X5, or the Land Rover LR4.

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For the 2013 model year, the delightfully refreshed Volvo XC90 receives a bold new look along with an enhanced roster of standard features inside and out. The result is the most significantly updated XC90 since its launch a decade ago as one of the first luxury crossover SUVs.

A fully color-coordinated exterior makes the XC90 look sleeker and lower to the ground. Design elements include new body color front and rear bumpers, sill moldings and wheel arches. Enhancing the visual magnetism are new standard LED daytime running lights and taillights. The XC90 3.2 also receives a new silver front bumper bar, chrome taillight trim, silk matte exterior rearview mirrors, air intake décor trim and 18-inch "Thalia" alloy wheels. Twilight Bronze metallic and Flaminco Red metallic are new color choices.

The XC90 3.2's cabin gains exquisite luxury accents including sanded silver aluminum inlays, white instrumentation lighting and a leather strap on the tailgate. Premier Plus and Platinum trim levels receive standard Sovereign hide soft leather seating surfaces, red wood inlays and gearshift knob and Executive floor mats. A red wood steering wheel is a new option for both trim levels. All XC90s gain standard rain sensor windshield wipers and headlight washers.

Meanwhile, the XC90 R-Design also benefits from a fully color-coordinated exterior plus LED daytime running lights and taillights. New 19-inch "Ixion" alloy wheels amplify its sporting appeal. The R-Design continues to feature sport-tuned suspension and steering for an enhanced driving character, plus a unique R-Design grille, leather seating surfaces with embossed R-Design logo on the front seats, an R-Design steering wheel, watch dial instruments and floor mats.

Volvo's flagship XC90 premium SUV provides standard seating for seven passengers, satisfying performance from its six-cylinder engine, front or optional all-wheel drive and versatile cargo space. As a Volvo, the XC90 upholds a legacy of safety with features including a standard integrated center child booster cushion for the second-row seat.

Volvo's trim level strategy gives customers the flexibility to add additional features. Buyers can select the base XC90 3.2 and R-Design, or move up to the Premier Plus and Platinum trim levels for each.

For example, the Platinum trim level includes the Volvo Premium Sound System with Dolby® Pro Logic® II Surround Sound, 12 premium speakers and 650 watts, a Navigation System with real time traffic, remote control and Map Care plus a rear park assist camera.

Customers can add the Climate Packages to any XC90, as well as select individual items from a list of stand-alone options. The Climate Package includes heated front seats and an Interior Air Quality System (IAQS).

Individual options for the XC90 feature a dual screen rear seat entertainment system, Volvo's Blind Spot Information System (BLIS), new 18-inch "Situla" alloy wheels for the 3.2 (without Premier Plus or Platinum) and various hues of metallic paint.

All XC90s feature an audio streaming connection for the standard Bluetooth. Drivers can listen to music from their compatible cell phones via the XC90's audio system. They can create playlists using Pandora or Grooveshark, synchronize with the phone and then play them wirelessly using Bluetooth.

The XC90's advanced 3.2-liter in-line six-cylinder engine is a naturally aspirated powerplant that delivers 240 horsepower and 236 lb.-ft. of torque. It achieves performance and economy thanks to Variable Cam Timing (VCT) and Cam Profile Switching (CPS). With CPS, the intake valves can be lifted to different heights depending on engine revs and load - a lower lift for economical driving and a higher one for more power.

Full synthetic motor oil is now standard on the XC90, as it will be on all 2013 Volvo models. Thus, the recommended service interval increases to 10,000 miles from the previous 7,500 miles. Customers should refer to the Owner's Manual and maintenance schedule for more complete information.

A six-speed "Geartronic" automatic transmission is standard. All-wheel drive with Instant Traction is optional on all XC90s. This traction enhancing system employs computer-controlled Haldex AWD that instantaneously delivers up to 50 percent more torque to the rear axle only when needed, such as during takeoff.

Adhering to Volvo's core value of safety, all XC90s are equipped with an extensive array of safety features. Roll Stability Control (RSC), Dynamic Stability and Traction Control (DSTC), Side Impact Protection System (SIPS) with side airbags and Inflatable Curtains for all three rows are standard.

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