What kind of car is the 2021 Volvo XC90? What does it compare to?

The 2021 XC90 is a six- or seven-seat luxury crossover SUV. It’s often compared with vehicles like the Audi Q7, BMW X7, and Acura MDX—but it takes a different path to its luxury credentials.

The 2021 Volvo XC90 puts bluff and rugged luxury SUVs on notice: there’s another way, it proves, with small engines and discreet style.

Is the 2021 Volvo XC90 a good car?

It’s very good, especially in T6 trim, where its price and performance hit a good balance. We give it a TCC Rating of 7.7 out of 10.

What’s new for the 2021 Volvo XC90?

All models now come with blind-spot steering assist, which directs the car away from approaching obstacles, and standard LED headlights. Wireless smartphone charging and front parking sensors are newly standard for 2021, too.

The XC90 remains one of our favorite luxury SUVs, thanks in part to its rationally attractive style. From its spare LED headlight signature to its relatively unadorned body, the XC90 doesn’t need to shout its luxury credentials with lots of chrome and bling. Inside it’s a master class in understated elegance, with high-end models draped in ribbons of whitewashed wood and neutral leather. It’s so good, the iPad-style screen in the center of the dash reads like a piece of statement jewelry.

Volvo sells a base T5 version of the XC90, with a 250-horsepower turbo-4 and front-wheel drive (all-wheel drive optional) and an 8-speed automatic, but most drivers will pick the turbo-4 with supercharging and all-wheel drive in the T6. That car’s blessed with a calm demeanor from its available air suspension to its light steering that’s the polar opposite of Germany’s brawniest SUVs. A plug-in hybrid, badged the T8 but being rebranded as the XC90 Recharge Plug-In Hybrid,caps the T6 drivetrain with 18 miles of electric driving, but that seems too little, too late when Volvo promises an all-electric XC90 soon.

The XC90 has six or seven seats with a generally high degree of comfort, though the back two rows aren’t as good at it as the sumptuous front buckets. We like them best in wool, though real or synthetic leather are more common. The XC90’s still a cargo champion, too, with as much interior space as the biggest three-row crossovers from its rivals.

It also scores top ratings in crash-tests, and comes with automatic emergency braking, though the XC90’s driver-assist setup isn’t as smooth as those from BMW or Mercedes.

How much does the 2021 Volvo XC90 cost?

The base $50,640 XC90 in T5 Momentum trim has synthetic leather upholstery, a power tailgate, and Volvo’s 9.0-inch touchscreen interface with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility. At the top end, more than $70,000 buys a plug-in hybrid in R-Design trim, before options.

Where is the Volvo XC90 made?

In Sweden, though it is due to be assembled in South Carolina soon.