Which Volvo XC90 To Avoid (Best & Worst)

Which Volvo XC90 to Avoid – Welcome to our informative guide on the Volvo XC90, where we’ll help you navigate the choices and steer clear of the models that may not meet your expectations. If you’re considering purchasing a Volvo XC90, it’s important to be aware of certain model years that have had reliability or performance issues.

In this article, we’ll explore the topic of which Volvo XC90 to avoid, highlighting the worst years and providing insights to assist you in making a well-informed decision.

Which Volvo XC90 to Avoid

The Volvo XC90 has gained a reputation as a luxurious and reliable SUV, but like any vehicle, certain model years have experienced problems that can be best avoided.

When it comes to the question of which Volvo XC90 to avoid, a few specific years have stood out for their issues in terms of reliability, safety, or performance.

While these years have had their challenges, it’s essential to remember that the Volvo XC90 is a popular and well-regarded SUV.

Volvo XC90 Years to Avoid

When it comes to the Volvo XC90, understanding which model years to avoid can save you from potential headaches down the road.

While the overall reputation of the XC90 remains positive, being aware of the worst years can help you make an informed decision and select a model that meets your needs for reliability and performance.

Which Volvo XC90 to Avoid

By considering the information provided in this guide and conducting thorough inspections, you can confidently navigate your way to finding a Volvo XC90 that will provide you with many years of enjoyable ownership.

2004 Volvo XC90

The 2004 model marked a decline in the XC90’s performance. Owners reported frequent engine and transmission issues, with numerous cases of complete transmission failure.

It’s disconcerting that transmission problems emerged at relatively low mileage, causing rough shifting and jerky movements.

Additionally, some drivers encountered faulty check engine lights, oil leaks from the AWD housing system, and malfunctions in the audio and climate control systems.

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2005 Volvo XC90

Building upon the problems of its predecessor, the 2005 XC90 suffered from similar transmission issues, including hard shifting and jerky response.

Instances of complete transmission failure were not uncommon, particularly during gear changes.

The 2005 model also shared audio and climate control system malfunctions with the previous year.

Moreover, engine failure became a new concern, leading to expensive repairs, with average costs totaling around $5,000.

2006 Volvo XC90

The 2006 XC90 brought some advancements, but underlying issues persisted. Engine problems continued to trouble owners, necessitating costly engine replacements.

Some drivers also reported gearbox problems at low mileage, around 30,000 miles, and electrical issues, particularly battery drainage, leading to difficulties starting the vehicle.

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2007 Volvo XC90

Although the 2007 model saw improvements in transmission reliability, with fewer reports of complete failures, issues such as jerky performance and unsatisfactory ride comfort still persisted.

Another concern was the potential for a damaged power steering hose due to a faulty engine cooling fan. It’s important to verify that this component has been replaced during the inspection process.

2016 Volvo XC90

After a decade of positive reviews, the 2016 XC90 fell short of expectations. It encountered various problems, making it one of the worst mid-sized SUVs of that year.

One prominent issue was the faulty auto-braking system, triggering unexpected stops. Leaks were another problem, including water leakage from the poorly designed sunroof housing and fluid leaks from the air conditioning system.

Electronic component malfunctions, such as inconsistent audio and battery charging issues, were also reported.

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By avoiding these specific years, you can mitigate the risk of encountering significant problems and ensure a better ownership experience with a Volvo XC90.

Best Year for Volvo XC90

The Volvo XC90, a renowned mid-size SUV, has garnered a strong reputation over the years.

If you’re in the market for a Volvo XC90 and seeking the best years to consider, we’ve compiled a detailed guide to help you make an informed decision.

Best Year for Volvo XC90

From impressive safety features to reliable performance, these top model years have received accolades from both critics and owners.

2012 Volvo XC90: A Solid Choice

Best Year for Volvo XC90

The 2012 Volvo XC90 offers ample seating for seven people, making it an excellent choice for families. With a fuel economy of up to 23 mpg, it strikes a good balance between efficiency and power, producing up to 240 HP.

While it may not boast the utmost luxury, it delivers spacious seating and affordability, making it a solid option for those seeking practicality and decent gas mileage.

2014 Volvo XC90: A Reliable Contender

The 2014 model marks the end of the XC90’s first generation. Although its design may not be the most modern, Volvo perfected its production, resulting in zero recalls and minimal driver complaints.

Praised for its comfortable and upscale interior, the 2014 XC90 achieved excellent safety scores from the IIHS.

While it may lack the latest tech and updated safety features, its impressive track record for reliability makes it a strong contender among the best XC90 years.

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2009 Volvo XC90: Safety and Comfort

The 2009 XC90 stands out as one of the strongest years among the early XC90 models.

With only six NHTSA complaints and positive reviews from critics, it shines in terms of safety features and comfortable seating for both front and rear passengers.

While the third-row seats are more suitable for children, the 2009 model delivers a safe and upscale ride, making it a noteworthy option for buyers.

2015 Volvo XC90: Impressive Interior and Handling

The 2015 Volvo XC90 receives high praise from users due to its high-quality materials and comfortable interior. With 451 liters of cargo space, it offers ample room for transporting belongings.

The SUV exhibits excellent handling and a stable body, enabling confident driving and sharp turns.

Overall, the 2015 model combines comfort, style, and practicality, making it a delightful choice for XC90 enthusiasts.

2019 Volvo XC90: Updated and Safe

Best Year for Volvo XC90

The 2019 Volvo XC90 caters to those who desire an SUV similar to the 2015 model but with significant updates. With an elegant exterior design and high-quality interior materials, it exudes luxury.

The 2019 XC90 boasts numerous safety features, ensuring a secure driving experience.

Additionally, plug-in hybrid variants are available, offering excellent fuel economy and an impressive all-electric range of 17 miles. Experience the best of both worlds with this refined and safe SUV.

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2020 Volvo XC90: Reliability and Modernity

The 2020 XC90 represents a more recent model with restored reliability. With only seven official complaints and critical acclaim, it showcases the dedication Volvo has put into improving its vehicles.

The 2020 model features luxurious styling, an array of driver-assist safety features, and increased cargo space compared to earlier iterations.

It keeps pace with modern vehicles in terms of technology, and the plug-in hybrid version further enhances fuel efficiency.

When considering the best years for the Volvo XC90, these models stand out for their reliability, safety features, comfort, and overall driving experience.

Volvo XC90 Problems

The Volvo XC90 is a popular SUV known for its safety features and luxurious design. However, like any vehicle, it is not without its share of common issues.

Volvo XC90 Problems

We will explore some of the most frequent problems reported by Volvo XC90 owners.

By understanding these issues, you can be better prepared to address and resolve them, ensuring a smoother ownership experience.

1. Failure of the Electrical System

One of the most prevalent complaints among Volvo XC90 owners is the failure of the electrical system. This can manifest in various ways, such as issues with the ignition, lights, climate control, power windows, locks, and other electrical accessories.

Faulty wiring, defective relays or fuses, or a faulty battery can contribute to these problems.

To address this issue, it is recommended to seek the assistance of a professional mechanic who can diagnose and repair the underlying cause of the electrical system failure.

Read Also: Volvo XC40 Years to Avoid

2. Excessive Oil Consumption

Excessive oil consumption is another common problem observed in Volvo XC90 models. Owners often find themselves needing to top up the oil more frequently than expected.

This issue can be attributed to the engine’s inability to regulate the rate of oil consumption properly.

Excessive oil consumption can lead to accelerated wear and tear of the engine components. If you notice that your Volvo XC90 is consuming oil at an alarming rate, it is advisable to consult a mechanic to determine the root cause and address the issue promptly.

3. Grinding or Squeaking Noises While Braking

Many Volvo XC90 owners have reported hearing grinding or squeaking noises when applying the brakes. This can be attributed to worn brake pads that have not been replaced as often as necessary.

Brake pads are subject to wear over time and should be inspected regularly.

If you experience unusual noises while braking, it is crucial to have your brakes checked by a qualified mechanic.

They can assess the condition of the brake pads and recommend replacements if required.

Regular maintenance, including routine inspections and servicing, can also help prevent these problems from occurring or escalating.

If you encounter any of these issues, don’t hesitate to consult a qualified mechanic who can diagnose and resolve them efficiently.

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Is the Volvo XC90 reliable?

According to the reliability survey, the Volvo XC90 ranked sixth out of 11 cars in the luxury SUV class. Although Volvo as a brand had an average performance, finishing 17th out of 32 manufacturers, the XC90 still received decent ratings in terms of reliability.

Additionally, the XC90 comes with a three-year, 60,000-mile manufacturer’s warranty, which provides some peace of mind.

Is the Volvo XC90 a good SUV?

The Volvo XC90 is considered a good SUV, but it is important to choose the right model. Recent models of the XC90 have generally been reliable and well-regarded.

It is advisable to opt for a model that has been in production for less than five years, as these tend to have better overall performance and fewer issues.

Are Volvo XC90s expensive to maintain?

The annual car maintenance costs for the Volvo XC90 amount to approximately $851. While this figure may vary depending on various factors such as the model year, mileage, and specific repairs or services needed, the overall maintenance costs for the XC90 are considered reasonable for a luxury SUV.

Do Volvo XC90s hold their value?

After five years of ownership, the average Volvo XC90 retains more than 45% of its original value. This places it slightly above average among midsize luxury SUVs. Holding its value well means that you can expect a relatively lower depreciation rate compared to other vehicles in its class.

It indicates that you won’t experience a significant loss when reselling the XC90 after five years of ownership.


When considering the Volvo XC90, it is crucial to be informed about the specific model years to avoid it. While the XC90 is generally a reliable and well-regarded SUV, certain years have exhibited common issues that may impact your ownership experience.

It’s worth noting that Volvo has also produced some excellent years for the XC90.

The 2009, 2014, and 2020 models, among others, have demonstrated improved reliability, safety features, and overall satisfaction.

Remember, making an educated choice is crucial when purchasing a vehicle, and knowing which Volvo XC90 to avoid is a key aspect of that process.

By considering the information provided in this article, you can navigate your way to finding a Volvo XC90 that provides a safe, reliable, and enjoyable driving experience.

So, if you’re asking yourself “Which Volvo XC90 to avoid?” take into account the model years highlighted in this article to ensure a more satisfying ownership journey.

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