The 2017 Volvo XC90 benefits from a handsome, sculpted look that goes much deeper than the sheetmetal. Nowhere is this more obvious than under the hood, where the goals of improved fuel economy and improved power are seemingly at odds with one another. Power comes from a 2.0L engine that is both turbocharged and supercharged. The result is an almost-unbelievable 318 horsepower with fuel economy ratings of 20 mpg in the city and 25 mpg on the highway. All of those numbers are up significantly since 2014, when the XC90 was still powered by a larger, less powerful 6-cylinder engine, showing just how effective Volvo's engineers have been in maximizing both power and fuel economy. All-wheel drive is standard on the Volvo XC90, and the only transmission choice is an 8-speed automatic.
The hybrid powertrain takes the same impressive 2.0L and adds an 82-horsepower electric motor at the rear axle and a crankshaft-mounted generator, for a 400-horsepower total, along with 472 pound-feet of torque. The hybrid battery rides mid-ship to keep its effect on handling minimal. Like other hybrids, it features an energy-reclaiming braking system, and like the standard XC90 Drive-E, the SUV comes with automatic engine stop-start.
The XC90 is offered in four trims: Momentum, R-Design, Inscription and Excellence. All but the Momentum are offered with the plug-in hybrid powertrain, with that system being the only way to propel the top-of-the-line Excellence.
The base Momentum comes with plenty of luxury features, as is generally expected in this class. Standard items include heated windshield washer nozzles, 4-zone automatic climate control, 10-way power adjustable and heated front seats, power rear headrests, a panoramic power sunroof, a navigation system, a rearview camera and backup sensors, a power tailgate, 19-inch wheels, a lane departure warning system and satellite radio with a 6-month subscription.
The R-Design trim has a sportier personality. Setting it apart are numerous exterior and interior upgrades to add just a little bit of flair the XC90. Standout features include 20-inch alloy wheels, dual exhaust pipes, a unique front grille, LED headlights, aerodynamic upgrades, sport front seats, paddle shifters mounted on the steering wheel, sport pedals and aluminum inlays.
The Inscription model includes exterior chrome accents, Nappa leather upholstery, vented front seats, aluminum roof rails, rear sunshades and a dash accented with walnut and leather.
Finally, the top-of-the-line XC90 Excellence takes luxury SUVs to a new level, with a premium placed on rear-seat comfort. Unlike the other trims, the Excellence is powered exclusively by the hybrid drivetrain. It has only four seats, and rear occupants are treated to their own heated and cooled massaging function. There are also airline-style fold-out tables, along with a small refrigerator. A Bowers & Wilkins premium sound system provides the tunes, while a solid crystal shift knob replaces "ordinary" materials like aluminum, wood or leather.
The XC90 wouldn't be a Volvo if it didn't offer world-class, innovative safety systems. In addition to features like lane keep assist and blindspot warning, Volvo's Pilot Assist II driver assistance technologies allow the XC90 to steer and brake autonomously at speeds up to 80 mph, while its City Safety suite provides features like run-off road mitigation and large animal detection.