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2014 Volvo XC90 Preview

Pros: Volvo reliability in a comfortable all weather package that is fun to drive, handles well and is distinctively designed should be taken seriously.

Cons: Originally derived from a Volvo station wagon, the XC90 still bears a strong resemblance to that type of car. Off-road ability is significantly reduced compared to some of its competitors.

Price: Volvo XC90 is available in five different trim levels with the most basic MSRP starting at $50,800. The R Design Platinum has the highest MSR at $61,000.

Volvo XC90 2014
Photo: Volvo

Fuel Economy (city/highway in L/100km): 13.3/8.6

Improvements and changes: XC90 comes into 2014 without any change since the big and long awaited change is going to happen for the 2015 model year.

Exterior styling: A station wagon on steroids with extra ground clearance, the standard Volvo grille, four doors and huge taillights around the rear lift gate and you have a good idea of what the outside of an XC90 looks like. There are subtle badging differences between models as well as tire and rim packages that help to distinguish one from another.

Inside: Seating for seven is standard. The third row seat is best used for children or adults who have no choice due to space limitations. Sitting in the second row is much better but the best seats in the house are the front bucket seats. Built to hold in total comfort, the seats are heated, well proportioned and suitable for long or short distance driving.

Instrumentation is easy to see day or night and all the controls are within reach of the driver. Leather interiors and quality entertainment/communications systems are the order of the day. Think of being in the XC90 as wearing orthopaedic shoes that are stylish and fun to wear.

Cargo/towing/payload capacity: Maximum payload is 654 kg (1,442 lb.) and maximum trailer towing weight is 2,250 kg (4,950 lb.). Cargo volume behind the third seat is 249 liters and with the third seat folded down it expands to 615 liters. With both seats folded down total space available is 1,914 liters.

Volvo XC90 7 seats 2014
Photo: Volvo

Powertrain: A DOHC, 24 valve 3.2L V6 that makes 240 horsepower and 236 lb-ft of torque is the only engine used in the XC90, just as a six-speed automatic and AWD is the only transmission package used.

Safety: Dual front, front mounted side impact and full-length side curtain air bags are standard. Four wheel disc brakes with ABS, electronic brake force distribution, brake assist, traction control, stability control and roll mitigation are standard. Tire pressure monitoring system, child proof rear door locks, LATCH system of anchoring child seats and three point seat belts in all seating positions are standard. Volvo is a top safety pick of the International Institute for Highway Safety.

Comparables: Acura MDX, Volkswagen Touareg, Porsche Cayenne, Mercedes Benz M-Class, BMW X5, Infiniti QX60, Lincoln MKT, Land Rover LR4, Audi Q7