The Volvo XC90 is a mid-size luxury family SUV that was first introduced back in 2002 and is now in its second generation. The XC90 is the flagship Volvo SUV which means that it should be an incredibly luxurious car, and thankfully it is. This means that the XC90 rivals the likes of the BMW X5 and the Mercedes GLE, and it even manages to beat them in many regards.
The XC90 seems to be a relatively reliable car as a whole, but it does suffer from some issues that do hamper that image quite a bit. The XC90 suffers from automatic braking issues, issues with the transmission, premature tire wear, air suspension issues, and AWD system oil leaks.
Some of these like the transmission and air suspension issues tend to be quite costly to fix while others like the automatic braking issue can be solved a bit more easily. All in all, the XC90 is not necessarily known to experience all that many issues, but the ones that do happen can be a bit of a headache.
Even so, the XC90 seems to offer better reliability results than some of its German rivals. Large luxury family SUVs such as these cost a lot of money to maintain which is indeed something worth mentioning.
Volvo XC90 – Automatic braking issues
The 2014 Volvo XC90 is the one that is most commonly being associated with automatic braking-related issues. More specifically, the car comes to a complete stop all by itself without any warning or need to do so. Issues such as these happen on brand new, used, high mileage, and low mileage examples which is indeed worrisome.
For a long time, this issue has gone unfixed, but Volvo has issued a recall eventually which also included the XC90. Some reports state that the issue was being caused by a missing software code. All in all, this is something that can easily be solved and most XC90 models on the road have had this issue fixed.
Volvo XC90 – Transmission issues
Both the first and the second generation of the XC90 are known to suffer from transmission-related issues. However, the 1st gen XC90 is a lot worse than the 2nd generation because these tend to happen on a larger scale. Some reports suggest that 1st gen Volvo XC90 problems tend to occur at around 100,000 miles and they keep getting worse from there.
If you experience any strange noises coming from your XC90, stop the car right away and try to diagnose the issue as soon as possible. If you keep on driving the car, you might even need to replace the entire transmission system and potentially even the driveshaft which increases the repair costs to almost $8,000.
Volvo XC90 – Premature tire wear
The earlier XC90 models are also known to suffer from peculiar issues that made the tires last only 10,000-12,000 miles. The premature tire wear is likely associated with the wheel toe and camber which need to be adjusted often. Issues such as these can even cause accidents as the tires are unable to maintain traction as well as they should.
The issue here is that the XC90 is a luxury SUV which means that XC90 tires easily cost between $1,500 and $3,000 for a whole set.
Volvo XC90 – Air suspension issues
The second generation of the Volvo XC90 is available with a sophisticated air suspension system that makes the car glide over uneven surfaces. Even though the air suspension system makes the car feel a lot more luxurious, it also makes the car more problematic.
Many online sources state that the air compressor is known to fail which can cause your XC90 to completely lose its ride height. Replacing an air compressor costs a lot of money, but is something you should do if you don’t want the car experiencing ever more severe air suspension issues.
Volvo XC90 – AWD system oil leaks
There is somewhat of a running joke that all expensive European cars like oil from somewhere. In the case of the Volvo XC90, it is likely the driveshaft. These tend to occur due to worn-out seals and hoses that become brittle and crack over time.
Thankfully, most of these issues can be resolved without any major overhauls.
Is the Volvo XC90 worth it?
The Volvo XC90 is worth it if you are after a mid-size luxury family SUV. The XC90 is one of the best mid-size luxury SUVs on the current market, especially compared to the previous generation of the XC90 which was not up to par with the Germans. Even though the current XC90 is getting on a bit now, it is still a wonderful luxury car.
The best XC90 models to buy are likely hybrids as they are able to save you money in the long run. Furthermore, XC90 hybrids are also the most powerful models you can get. The XC90 is not a dynamic SUV, but the reality is that hardly any mid-size SUV is.
How much does it cost to maintain a Volvo XC90?
Most sources state that the XC90 costs about $800 each year in maintenance costs. However, the true costs of ownership are mostly down to how well you take care of your car. That being said, some owners even doubled the aforementioned amount while others managed to pay a lot less.
Either way, many factors go into how expensive a car truly ends up being which means that you should always maintain it sooner, rather than later when those costs tend to be higher.
Is the Volvo XC90 expensive to repair?
It depends on what needs mending. If the issues are associated with the engine, the hybrid system, the headlights, the costs tend to ramp up fast. On the other hand, if the repairs that need doing are part of regular wear and tear, the XC90 should not hurt your bank account any more than a premium hatchback.
The key takeaway is that it is difficult to say how much a car is going to cost to own before you actually start living with it.