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Volvo XC90

Volvo’s first SUV is starting to show its age.

Volvo’s largest crossover soldiers on into 2013 almost unchanged; an all-new model is due for 2014. Although not as spacious as some large SUVs, the XC90 comes standard with seating for seven — including a second-row booster seat — and plenty of space for cargo. Either front- or all-wheel drive can be specified. The 3.2 R-Design gets a sport-tuned suspension, speed-sensitive steering, and twenty-inch aluminum wheels, but there’s no sign of the 3.0-liter turbo six found in the R-Design S60 and XC60. Although the XC90 is a relative bargain when compared with most of its competitors, it suffers from outdated technology and poor fuel economy. The six-cylinder is rated at only 16 mpg around town and 23 mpg on the highway — not that much worse than some of its competitors — but it doesn’t offer a diesel or hybrid option for buyers who put a high priority on fuel efficiency. Volvo has piled on the safety features, including blind-spot monitoring and roll stability control, but due to the XC90’s age, it misses out on the collision-sensing City Safety system.

COMPETITORS

Acura MDX

Buick Enclave

Lexus GX460

Mercedes-Benz GL-class

new for 2013

The exterior is now painted in full body color, there are LED running lights, revised taillights with LED pipes, and matte silver mirror caps. Automatic windshield wipers, headlight washers, and silver aluminum cabin trim are all standard. And there are two new exterior colors: flamenco red and twilight bronze.

SAFETY EQUIPMENT

Front, side, and side curtain air bags; ABS; traction and stability control; roll stability control; and tire-pressure monitoring are standard. A blind-spot monitoring system is optional.

MPG

CITY 16

HWY 23

PRO

Standard seating for seven

Priced below competitors

CON

Mediocre fuel economy

Fast falling behind its competitors

Base Price Range: $40,395–$46,295

SPECIFICATIONS

DRIVE: Front-wheel, 4-wheel

TRIM LEVELS: 3.2, 3.2 Premier, 3.2 Premier Plus, 3.2 Platinum, 3.2 R-Design, 3.2 R-Design Premier Plus, 3.2 R-Design Platinum

BODY STYLE: SUV/crossover, 7-passenger

ENGINE: 3.2L I-6, 240 hp, 236 lb-ft

TRANSMISSION: 6-speed automatic

PASSENGER VOLUME: 102.4 cu ft

CAPACITIES: Towing 3300 lb; cargo (behind third/middle/front seats) 8.8/43.3/85.1 cu ft

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