Volvo XC90 Problems: Should Be Aware Of

Volvo XC90 Problems – If you’re considering the purchase of a Volvo XC90, a midsize luxury SUV renowned for its safety features and overall reliability, it’s essential to delve into both its merits and potential pitfalls. Despite its many strengths, like any vehicle on the road, the Volvo XC90 is not without its share of reported problems and issues.

The Volvo XC90 stands out for its safety features, comfort, and overall performance, being aware of potential problems can aid in making informed decisions about its purchase and ongoing maintenance.

Volvo XC90 Problems

By staying vigilant, conducting regular inspections, and addressing any emerging issues promptly, owning a Volvo XC90 can be a rewarding and enjoyable experience.

Volvo XC90 Problems

The Volvo XC90 stands as a dependable midsize luxury SUV, lauded for its safety features and overall performance. However, beneath its reputation for reliability lies a landscape of reported issues that owners should be aware of.

Understanding these problems across different model years is crucial for informed decision-making and proactive maintenance.

Volvo XC90 Problems

1. Brake System Issues – 2016 Volvo XC90

For owners of the 2016 Volvo XC90, the brake system has been a source of concern. Reports indicate instances where automatic emergency brakes engage unexpectedly, particularly at highway speeds.

This alarming issue, often occurring in low-mileage SUVs, raises significant safety hazards.

Complaints range from auto-braking warning lights to sporadic seat belt engagement, yet no official recalls have been initiated to rectify these issues.

2. Climate Control System Problems – 2007 Volvo XC90

Among the frequently reported problems for the 2007 Volvo XC90 are issues within the climate control system. Owners have encountered intermittent failures with the A/C compressor, delaying its engagement until the vehicle warms up.

Instances of the A/C blowing warm air instead of cooling and heater malfunctions have also been noted.

To address these concerns, Volvo has introduced software upgrades for the A/C control module, aiming to alleviate certain climate control system faults.

3. Oil Leaks From AWD Differential Housing – 2006 Volvo XC90

Owners of the 2006 Volvo XC90 have voiced grievances regarding oil leaks from their all-wheel-drive (AWD) differential housing. The discovery of differential or transmission fluid leakage from the SUV’s front end has been a common occurrence.

Failed seals within the angle gear drive assembly have been identified as the cause, resulting in oil seepage from the gearbox.

In addition to oil leaks, an ominous rattling or fluttering noise from the angle drive or front axle assemblies can signify impending AWD system failure, often attributed to leaking seals.

4. Transmission Failure – 2005 Volvo XC90

While relatively fewer issues plague the 2005 Volvo XC90, some units have encountered significant drivability problems linked to transmission failure. Reports of transmissions malfunctioning, generating peculiar noises, have emerged around the 101,000-mile mark.

More severe cases involved sudden transmission failure while driving on highways, prompting recommendations for transmission replacement. As of now, no official recalls have been issued to mitigate this problem.

5. Audio System Problems – 2004 Volvo XC90

Owners of the 2004 Volvo XC90 have reported prevalent issues with the audio system. Problems encompass malfunctions in the CD player, radio, and premium sound system.

Concerns range from channel loss to challenges with keystroke controls and CD player functionality.

While Volvo has introduced software upgrades addressing some issues, repairs or replacements of damaged components remain necessary for problems unrelated to software glitches.

6. Premature Tire Wear – 2003 Volvo XC90

In the realm of issues faced by the 2003 Volvo XC90, premature tire wear has been a recurring problem.

Many owners have encountered uneven tire wear at around 12,000 miles, leading to decreased gas mileage and potential safety risks. Addressing this concern involves the timely replacement of worn-out tires to ensure optimal vehicle performance and safety.

Recognizing these prevalent problems among different model years of the Volvo XC90 allows owners to take proactive steps toward maintenance and, when needed, seek appropriate remedies.

Seeking assistance from certified Volvo technicians or mechanics familiar with XC90s can provide accurate diagnoses and effective solutions.

Read Also: Which Volvo XC90 to Avoid

Is the Volvo XC90 a reliable car?

Yes, the Volvo XC90 is recognized for its reliability, backed by accolades such as being an IIHS Top-Safety Pick + winner. Proper care and maintenance can extend its lifespan up to 200,000 miles or more.

RepairPal rates it 3.5 out of 5.0, ranking it 8th among 14 midsize luxury SUVs, while J.D. Power rated the 2021 Volvo XC90 a solid 75 out of 100, positioning it among the top ten midsize luxury SUVs for that year.

What are the drawbacks of the Volvo XC90?

The Volvo XC90 faces issues with its infotainment system, seat fabric staining, supercharger, fuel economy, transmission, suspension, and overall performance.

Is XC90 the safest car in the world?

The Volvo XC90 has received the prestigious 2023 TOP SAFETY PICK+ award from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), reinforcing its safety features.

What is the Volvo XC90 known for?

The XC90 is renowned for its innovative City Safety feature, pioneering automatic braking in intersections to prevent collisions.

Is the Volvo XC90 worth the money?

Despite some downsides such as a cramped third row and certain issues, the XC90 impresses with its enduring design, high-quality interior, and versatile features.

Is the Volvo XC90 high maintenance?

Owning a Volvo XC90 may cost around $12,359 for maintenance and repairs over its first decade of service, outperforming the industry average for luxury SUVs by $3,355.

Are Volvo XC90 expensive to insure?

Insurance rates for the Volvo XC90 can fluctuate based on multiple factors like location, driving history, age, and the vehicle’s model year. For instance, the 2023 model might cost $2,625 annually, whereas the 2022 model could cost $1,791 per year.


The Volvo XC90 emerges as a commendable choice in the realm of midsize luxury SUVs, celebrated for its reliability and safety features. With accolades like the IIHS Top-Safety Pick + award and commendable ratings from RepairPal and J.D. Power, the XC90 demonstrates above-average reliability and durability.

However, it’s essential to acknowledge reported issues like infotainment system glitches, seat fabric staining, supercharger concerns, fuel economy fluctuations, transmission problems, suspension issues, and overall performance drawbacks.

Despite these challenges, the XC90 remains a standout for its innovative City Safety technology and enduring appeal.

The Volvo XC90 showcases reliability and safety features, potential buyers should be mindful of reported issues and consider the associated costs and variations in insurance rates before making a decision. Understanding and addressing these Volvo XC90 problems is essential for informed ownership and a satisfying driving experience.

See More About Problems Facing Volvo Vehicles: