Revving Up: Ranking the Best and Worst Years for the Volvo Xc90

The best and worst years for the volvo xc90 are 2016 and 2003 respectively. The 2016 model offers excellent safety features, a luxurious cabin, and a powerful engine, making it a popular choice among suv buyers.

On the other hand, the 2003 xc90 suffers from several mechanical issues, including transmission failure and electrical problems. The volvo xc90 has become one of the more popular luxury suvs in recent years. Its sleek design and impressive performance make it a top choice for buyers in the market for a high-end vehicle.

However, like all vehicles, some xc90 model years are better than others. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at the best and worst years for the volvo xc90, so you can make an informed decision when purchasing this suv.

Revving Up: Ranking the Best and Worst Years for the Volvo Xc90


Factors To Consider

Best And Worst Years For The Volvo Xc90

If you’re considering buying a volvo xc90, it’s important to know which model years are the best and worst choices. We’ve researched and analyzed every aspect of the xc90, so you don’t have to. Here are the essential factors you should consider before making your purchase decision.


  • The volvo xc90 has an impressive fuel economy compared to its competitors in the luxury midsize suv segment.
  • Models from 2015 and newer have more fuel-efficient engines that can help you save on gas expenses.
  • The hybrid powertrains, introduced in 2016 models, get the best mileage of all the xc90 versions.


  • The price range for a volvo xc90 largely depends on the model year and trim level.
  • Xc90s from 2016 and earlier models come at a lower price point but are generally less equipped than newer models.
  • Newer models can be quite pricey, especially if you choose a well-appointed trim level.
  • However, with the build quality, reliability, and safety ratings, the xc90 can hold its resale value well.

Safety Ratings

  • The volvo xc90 has an outstanding reputation for safety, and the carmaker has gone to great lengths to surpass the highest safety standards.
  • The newer xc90s have received near-perfect scores in every crash test from the national highway traffic safety administration (nhtsa) and the insurance institute for highway safety (iihs).
  • Some of the safer xc90 model years include 2019, 2020, and 2021, which all have advanced driver-assistance technologies.


  • The volvo xc90 has been a dependable vehicle with few problems.
  • Newer models tend to have fewer reliability issues compared to older ones.
  • However, some model years, like 2016 and 2017, have had reported issues with their electrical systems and the air conditioning.
  • But overall, the xc90 is a reliable luxury suv that can reach high mileage with proper maintenance.

Owner Satisfaction

  • Owners have expressed overall satisfaction with the volvo xc90, praising its excellent build quality, comfort, and safety.
  • Many owners have had positive experiences with their volvo, with some claiming that it’s the best car they’ve ever owned.
  • However, some have had minor issues, such as electrical or transmission problems, and found volvo’s customer service lacking.

The volvo xc90 is a first-rate luxury suv with a reputation for safety, reliability, and quality. Although most of its model years have outstanding features, some are better options than others. We hope this guide helps you make an informed decision when purchasing a volvo xc90.

Best Years For The Volvo Xc90

Description Of Top Years

If you’re in the market for a volvo xc90, you might be wondering which years are the best to buy. The xc90 was released in 2003 and has since undergone numerous changes. Here are some of the best years for the volvo xc90:

  • 2016: In 2016, the xc90 underwent a complete redesign, making it a top choice for buyers. This model has a luxurious interior, advanced safety features, and a turbocharged and supercharged engine that delivers plenty of power.
  • 2017: The 2017 model is similar to the 2016 model but with some minor improvements. It features a four-cylinder engine that delivers a smooth ride and has more ample storage space for families on the go.
  • 2020: In 2020, the xc90 received a refresh and has a sleeker exterior and updated tech features. The standard hybrid engine has also been upgraded, making it an excellent choice for those looking for an eco-friendly option.

Comparison Of The Best Years

While each of the years mentioned above has its unique pros, here is a breakdown of how they compare:

Body style: all three years featured a mid-size suv body style, and there were no major changes in the body design between these years.

Interior space: the 2017 xc90 has more cargo space compared to both the 2016 and 2020 models. However, the interior quality is slightly better in the 2020 xc90.

Performance: the 2016 and 2017 models have a similar engine design, while the 2020 model has an upgraded hybrid engine. The 2016 model has a better fuel economy than the 2017 model, but the 2017 model has a more comfortable ride.

Technology: all three models feature a sizeable infotainment screen, but the 2020 xc90 is more advanced in terms of features and ease of use.

Safety: the 2016 and 2020 models have received top safety ratings from the national highway traffic safety administration (nhtsa) and the insurance institute for highway safety (iihs), whereas the 2017 model received a four out of five-star rating from the nhtsa.

The 2016 xc90 is a top choice for buyers due to its luxurious interior and fuel-efficient engine. However, the 2017 and 2020 models have a few slight improvements and are also excellent choices. Ultimately, the decision will come down to the buyer’s preferences.

Worst Years For The Volvo Xc90

The volvo xc90 is one of the most luxurious and reliable mid-size suvs on the market, with a reputation for its robust build, comfortable cabin, excellent safety features, and powerful engine. However, it’s not without its faults. We’ll be diving deep into the worst years for the volvo xc90, with various models and manufacturing years to avoid.

Description Of Bottom Years

If you want to avoid the pitfalls and issues that come with owning a volvo xc90, here’s what you should know about the worst years of this suv model.

  • 2003-2005 volvo xc90 – this was the first generation of the xc90, and while it had significant improvements in suv technology at the time, it had numerous mechanical faults. Owners reported issues with transmission failure, engine failure, electrical problems, and overall poor fuel economy. According to, these years received the “beware of the clunker” rating, with the most-reported problem being transmission failure at around 100,000 miles.
  • 2016 volvo xc90 – although this was a more recent model, the 2016 volvo xc90 suffered from a considerable number of issues. One of the most significant problems was the battery’s inability to keep a charge, which led to the remote unlocking and engine starting issues. Additionally, owners experienced problems with brakes squeaking, engine stalling, and the airbag system.
  • 2012 volvo xc90 – another issue-prone year for the xc90 was 2012. According to the car complaints website, owners reported issues with engine failure, excessive oil consumption, catalytic converter failure, and issues with the transmission system. These issues were significant enough that volvo issued a recall affecting almost 10,000 cars.

Comparison Of The Worst Years

While each of these years is among the worst for the volvo xc90, each of them has specific issues and reasons for their problems.

  • 2003-2005 volvo xc90 – the first-generation volvo xc90 model has had numerous issues, with a range of mechanical faults causing concern. According to consumer reviews, the most common issue that owners faced was transmission failure. The transmission’s reported issues were not specific to a single model year, but they occurred quite frequently for this generation of the xc90.
  • 2016 volvo xc90 – the 2016 xc90’s problems seem to be primarily oriented around electrical components. Owners report issues with charging the battery, remote unlocking the car and starting the engine, and the airbag system. These issues were not present in any other year for the xc90 model.
  • 2012 volvo xc90 – the 2012 xc90’s problems involved multiple parts of the suv, from the engine to the transmission and catalytic converter. The most significant problem owners reported was engine oil consumption, which caused the engine to quit running. Volvo issued a recall for this issue, which reportedly affected around 10,000 vehicles.

The volvo xc90 might be an excellent mid-size suv, but certain model years are more problem-prone than others. Make sure to steer clear of the 2003-2005 xc90, the 2016 xc90, and the 2012 xc90 unless you’re willing to deal with the mechanical faults and issues.

Otherwise, go for the other years, and you won’t be disappointed.

How To Choose The Right Year

The volvo xc90 is a powerful suv with luxurious styling and excellent features. While it’s a top choice for many, it’s important to know which year is the right fit for you. Here’s a breakdown of the best and worst years for the volvo xc90, and how to choose the right year based on your personal needs and preferences.

Considerations For Personal Needs And Preferences

When considering the right year for your xc90, there are a few personal needs and preferences you should keep in mind. Here are some factors to consider:

  • Budget: The cost of a new xc90 varies depending on the year, so you’ll want to consider your budget when choosing a year.
  • Style: The xc90 has undergone some design changes over the years, so decide which style resonates with you the most.
  • Features: Each year’s model has its unique features, so consider which ones are most important to you, such as safety features, tech amenities, and other luxury features.
  • Fuel efficiency: If you’re environmentally conscious or trying to save on gas, you’ll want to consider each year’s fuel efficiency rating.
  • Ride comfort: The xc90 has an impressive ride quality, but each year may bring slight tweaks to the suspension and other features that impact ride comfort.

Best Years For The Volvo Xc90

The volvo xc90 has consistently been a top-rated luxury suv and has achieved many accolades over the years. Here are some of the best years for the xc90:

  • 2019: Featuring a new infotainment system and exterior design, this model year has earned high praise from critics and drivers alike.
  • 2020: Similarly, the 2020 xc90 has secured recognition for its updated interior design, excellent tech features, and smooth ride quality.
  • 2021: The current model year, the 2021 xc90, has received rave reviews for its new air suspension, refined powertrain, and stylish interior.

Worst Years For The Volvo Xc90

While the xc90 is mostly a top-performing suv, there have been a few less-than-stellar model years. Here are some of the worst years for the xc90:

  • 2004: The xc90’s first model year had issues with the transmission and electrical components, resulting in recalls and complaints from owners.
  • 2005: Although many of the previous year’s issues were resolved, the 2005 xc90 struggled with problems with the steering system, suspension, and brakes.
  • 2016: The 2016 xc90 received a lot of praise for its updated design and new tech features, but there were issues with the infotainment system crashing and an unresponsive touch screen.

Choosing the right year for your volvo xc90 depends on your personal needs and preferences. By considering your budget, style, features, fuel efficiency, and ride comfort, you can choose the right year that suits your individual wants and needs. Whether you opt for one of the best-performing model years or avoid the problematic ones, the xc90 is a top choice in the luxury suv market.

Frequently Asked Questions Of Best And Worst Years For The Volvo Xc90

Which Year Model Of The Volvo Xc90 Has The Best Reliability?

The 2013 volvo xc90 has the best reliability according to various sources, with the lowest reported problems.

Which Year Did Volvo Xc90 Have Mechanical Issues?

The 2016 volvo xc90 has been reported with the highest number of mechanical issues.

What Years Should I Avoid When Purchasing A Used Xc90?

It’s better to avoid the early 2003-2006 xc90 models when purchasing a used one.

Is The Xc90 A Good Vehicle For Long Road Trips?

Yes, the xc90 is a good vehicle for long road trips with comfortable seats, advanced safety features, and adequate space.

What Is The Estimated Lifespan Of A Volvo Xc90?

A volvo xc90 can last up to 20 years or 200,000 miles with proper maintenance.

How Does The Xc90 Compare To Other Luxury Suvs?

The xc90 ranks high among luxury suvs with its safety features, spacious interior, and overall quality.

Is The Xc90 Worth The Price, Given Its Reliability Track Record?

Yes, the xc90 is worth the price given its advanced safety features, excellent driving experience, and overall quality.


After taking a detailed look at the best and worst years for the volvo xc90, we can conclude that the suv has come a long way since its introduction in 2003. While the early models had their fair share of issues, the second generation xc90 has been a significant improvement, offering impressive performance, comfort, and safety features.

If you are considering purchasing a used volvo xc90, it is recommended to stick with the models from 2016 and above, as they offer the best value for money. However, it is important to remember that regular maintenance is crucial to keep the suv running smoothly.

Overall, the xc90 remains a popular choice for families and individuals looking for a reliable, luxury suv that meets their specific needs.