The Volvo XC90 is one of Volvo’s greatest hits for a few distinct reasons. It first came out back in 2002 when the world of mid-size luxury SUVs was still in its infant years, but as the market grew, so did the appeal of the XC90. Nowadays, mid-size premium SUVs are some of the most popular cars on the market, and Volvo’s XC90 is at the forefront of that group.
However, not all Volvo XC90 models are equal which is why the topic of today’s article is centered around which Volvo XC90 years to avoid. We are going to list the three worst Volvo XC90 years and will tell you why you should be extra careful when buying these. Also, it’s important to add that you should not specifically avoid these years, but rather be a bit more vigilant.
The worst Volvo XC90 year is likely the 2004 XC90 which was/still is plagued with a whole load of trouble. The 2004 model is the worst model year for the 1st gen XC90 while the 2007 model isn’t any better. The worst 2nd generation model year for the XC90 is the 2016 model which seems to be the most problematic of them all.
All in all, the XC90 is a tremendously appealing mid-size SUV because it is sleek, modern, very safe, very comfortable, and practical, and it holds its value very well when it comes time to sell it. If you want to know more about which Volvo XC90 years to avoid, stick around and find out!
2004 Volvo XC90
The most significant problem reported by owners is related to the transmission. Many experienced transmission failures and expensive repairs, leading to power loss and difficulty shifting gears, posing potential safety risks. A brand-new XC90 transmission is really expensive, so it’s best to be vigilant when buying a 2004 Volvo XC90.
Electrical system issues also plague the 2004 XC90, with owners complaining about faulty wiring, malfunctioning lights, and problems with the central control module. Furthermore, engine problems have been reported, including oil leaks that can cause engine damage if left unaddressed, resulting in huge repairs or replacement costs.
Last, but certainly not least, the XC90 is widely known to suffer from suspension-related issues as well. Issues such as worn-out bushings, strut issues, and excessive noise while driving over speedbumps have been reported to a great extent.
2007 Volvo XC90
The 2007 Volvo XC90 follows up on pretty much the same group of issues as with the 2004 XC90. The fact of the matter is that many 2003-2007 XC90 models are relatively inferior, but the 2007 seems to be experiencing issues to an even more serious degree.
For example, we talked about how the 2004 XC90 suffers from engine oil leaks which can result in a severely damaged engine but we also need to talk about mysterious engine failures as well. There are numerous reports out there about the XC90 engine failing beyond repair which can often cost you more than what the 2007 XC90 is worth.
In addition to that, the transmission can also fail equally as bad which makes some 2007 X90 examples a ticking time bomb. Be that as it may, there are still decently well-maintained 2007 examples out there, but be sure to go for one with a substantial service record history.
2016 Volvo XC90
The infotainment system on the 2016 Volvo XC90 is likely the most complained-about aspect of it. Many owners have reported issues with the Sensus system, including freezing, crashes, lots of bugs, glitches, and unresponsive touchscreens, so much so that it can happen multiple times during a single driving session.
Moreover, customers have experienced electrical problems with the 2016 XC90. These issues range from faulty wiring to malfunctioning sensors, resulting in various electrical malfunctions and inconveniences. Another area of relatively grave concern in the 2016 XC90 is the powertrain. Owners have also complained about transmission issues, such as rough shifting, delayed engagement, and even complete transmission failure.
Engine problems, including oil leaks and premature wear, have also been reported as icing on the cake. Lastly, the 2016 XC90 has had complaints about the overall build quality and reliability. Some owners have faced issues with interior components, such as loose trim or rattling noises which is not something you want to experience when you are paying premium mid-size SUV money.
What are the Best Volvo XC90 Years?
With its 20-year-long lifespan, the XC90 has quite a few downs, but it also has quite a few ups. For example, the 2017-2021 Volvo XC90 has proven to be the best overall model of the XC90 featuring Volvo’s Scalable Product Architecture (SPA) platform, which has proven to be quite reliable overall.
With advanced safety technologies and a range of efficient powertrain options, including hybrid variants, these model years have garnered positive feedback for their dependability. The 2013-2014 XC90 is also often praised for its build quality and construction while the 2008-2012 XC90 isn’t too far behind. Overall, the best model years for the XC90 are the 2021 XC90, the 2014 XC90, and the 2012 XC90.
Should I Skip Buying the 2004, 2007, and 2016 Volvo XC90?
It depends on the specifics of every individual car. Even though some of these model years do seem to be a bit more problematic than most, they can still be very good buys if you know what to look for. A few tips would always be to prioritize a car that has been maintained and was not abused.
Look for clean and frequent service history records, examples that weren’t modified, and examples that have always relied on OEM spare parts.
When is the New Volvo XC90 Coming Out?
You can expect the brand-new, 3rd generation of the XC90 to reach markets by the end of Q4 of 2023 or in Q1 of 2024. Volvo has already showcased the new XC90 to the public and it features a much more futuristic look that is going to turn heads, something the current XC90 struggled to do in the company of something like a Mercedes GLE, a BMW X5, or a Porsche Cayenne.
Used Volvo xc90 things to check
When buying a used Volvo XC90, there are many things to check to ensure it is the right car for you. First, make sure you take a thorough look at the exterior and interior of the car. Check for any rust, dings or scratches, as well as wear and tear on the upholstery. Additionally, take a look under the hood to inspect all engine components and check to make sure there are no signs of oil or coolant leaks.
Next, take the car for a test drive and make sure all systems are running smoothly. Check that the brakes, steering, suspension, and transmission all feel good. Also, pay attention to any strange noises or vibrations that may indicate a problem with the engine or other components. Finally, always get a vehicle history report to make sure the car has a clean title and that it hasn’t been in any accidents.
What are common problems with the Volvo XC90?
A common issue reported with the Volvo XC90 is electrical issues. This can range from faulty wiring to malfunctioning sensors, resulting in various electrical malfunctions and inconveniences. Additionally, powertrain issues such as rough shifting, delayed engagement, and even complete transmission failure have also been reported. Other common problems include engine problems such as oil leaks and premature wear, as well as complaints about overall build quality and reliability.
Does Volvo XC90 have good fuel efficiency?
The Volvo XC90 has good fuel efficiency and can get up to 25 mpg in the city and 28 mpg on the highway. The optional turbocharged engines offer more power but come at the cost of slightly lower fuel economy. The hybrid variant of the XC90 is even more efficient, with city/highway ratings of 45/50 mpg respectively. All in all, the XC90 is a great choice for those looking for a good balance between performance and fuel efficiency.