2012 Volvo XC90

MSRP $38,400 - $46,300

Ranked #9 in Suv

7.7

Overall Rating

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2012 Volvo XC90 Price, Review, Ratings and Pictures

Updated on: August 10, 2021

Nathan Dyer's image
Nathan Dyer 

Senior Editor


The Volvo XC90 offers a perfect balance between premium appeal and affordability without compromising on any aspect of a full-size SUV. Although the new XC60 might have taken some limelight away from the XC90 by being a more convenient crossover, the 2012 XC90 still stands out in the segment with a very stylish and sturdy built cabin with abundant features on offer and comfortable seating and ride quality that isn’t too soft or stiff as some of its rivals.

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Pros

Stylish and premium cabin

Supportive and comfortable front seats

Pliant and smooth ride quality

Cons

Third row seat eats into second row legroom

Low engine output

Ageing navigation system

What's New?

No V8 engine on offer

Reshuffled trim lineup

R-Design also gets adaptive xenon headlights


Features

vehicle bio

base price

$38400

bodystyle

4dr SUV

passenger capacity

7

top speed

130 mph

drivetrain

front wheel drive

engine type

displacement

195 cu.in.

horsepower

240 hp @ 6200 rpm

torque

236 lb.-ft. @ 3200 rpm

transmission

6 speed automatic w/OD and auto manual

chassis

suspension front

Independent front strut suspension w/anti-roll bar

suspension rear

Independent rear multi-link suspension w/anti-roll bar

dimensions

wheelbase

112.6 in.

length

189.3 in.

width

76.2 in.

height

70.2 in.

curb weight

4667 lbs.

ground clearance

8.6 in.

capacity

passenger volume

100.9 cu ft.

cargo volume

85.1 cu ft.

towing capacity

3970 lbs.

payload capacity

1248 lbs.

performance

zero to 60 mph

5.5 sec.

standing 1/4-mile

15 sec.

fuel economy

city/combined/highway

16/19/23 mpg

highway range

485.3 mi.

warranty

basic warranty

4 yr./ 50000 mi.

drivetrain warranty

4 yr./ 50000 mi.

powertrain warranty

4 yr./ 50,000 mi.

corrosion warranty

9 yr./ unlimited mi.

roadside assistance

Yes


Pictures & Videos


Trims

Base$38,400 onwards

Premier Plus$39,600 onwards

R-Design$41,200 onwards

R-Design Premier Plus$41,600 onwards

Platinum$42,300 onwards

R-Design Platinum$44,300 onwards

Colors and Styles

2012 Volvo XC90 in Black Sapphire Metallic color
Black Sapphire Metallic

Vehicle images are guides only and may not reflect the model's exact specifications/features– exact specifications/features should be confirmed with the seller.

Ratings

Pricing and Feature

6.0

Features

8.0

Engine and Performance

9.0

Fuel Economy

6.0

Interior

6.0

Exterior

8.0

Safety

9.0

Competition

8.0

7.7

OVERALL RATING

Expert Review, Pricing Analysis and Buying Guide

7.7

Overall Rating


The 2012 model year sees only minor changes that include omission of the V8 engine, adaptive xenon headlights for the R-Design trim and reshuffling of features across the trims with Bluetooth now being offered as standard across the range. The MSRP for the 2012 XC90 begins at $39,275 which stands right between the affordable Buick Enclave and the more premium SUVs like the Acura MDX, Audi Q7, BMW X5 and Mercedes GL-Class. 


8.0/10
Features

9.0/10
Engine and Performance

6.0/10
Fuel Economy

6.0/10
Interior

8.0/10
Exterior

9.0/10
Safety


2012 Volvo XC90 Features

8.0/10

The 2012 Volvo XC90 is offered in two trims, 3.2 and R-Design which are further segmented into three sub-trims, base, Premier Plus and Platinum. The base 3.2 itself comes pretty much loaded with plenty of features to justify the high asking price, while stepping on the sub-trim levels adds more premium elements like the xenon headlights, wood interior trims, rear-view camera, navigation and real-time traffic. 

The R-Design trim is a sportier version of the XC90 and hence also gets a few additional premium features for that added appeal. The features include self-leveling rear suspension, sport-tuned suspension and steering, unique leather upholstery and gauges, sporty exterior styling cues and interior design elements. There are a few optional packages available as well while the blind spot warning system and a rear-seat video entertainment system can be opted as stand-alone options. 

Trims

3.2

R-Design

MSRP (FWD)

$39,275

$42,075

MSRP (AWD)

$41,275

$44,075

Key Features

Front, Rear And Third Row Head Airbags

Xenon High Intensity Discharge Headlamps

 

Daytime Running Lights & Front Fog/Driving Lights

Alloy Interior Trim

 

8-speaker 160W audio system

12V Rear And 12V Cargo Area Power Outlets

 

6 Months Of Satellite Radio Service

20-inch Alloy Wheels

 

Rear Parking Sensors

 
 

Tilt And Telescopic Leather Steering Wheel

 
 

Wood Interior Trim

 
 

Dual Zone Front Climate Control w/Rear Ventilation Ducts

 
 

8-Way Power Front Seats w/Leather Upholstery

 
 

18-inch Alloy Wheels

 

We Recommend

The Volvo XC90 isn’t a sporty SUV in any sense and opting for the R-Design trim does not make sense for a family luxury SUV. Therefore it is better to go with the base 3.2 trim and select amongst any of the sub-trims and opt for the optional blind-spot monitor and yet keep its prices in check. 

2012 Volvo XC90 Engine and Performance

9.0/10

The 2012 XC90 is powered by a 3.2-liter six-cylinder engine that is rated to produce a humble 240 hp and 236 lb-ft of torque. The six-speed automatic transmission is standard with no options available while front-wheel drive is standard and all-wheel drive is optional. Since it lacks power as compared to its competitors, the acceleration test timings aren’t too impressive as it takes about 8.7 seconds for the 0-60 mph sprint. 

The quarter mile too takes a bit of time and is covered in under 17 seconds, while the maximum towing capacity when specced appropriately is under 5,000 lbs. The lack of V8 engine is clearly missed here both in terms of acceleration and tugging prowess and a turbocharged unit could have also done the job rather well. The ride quality is pretty comfortable with the standard suspension setup and opting for R-Design trim stiffens it up a bit for a more confident handling. 

Model

Volvo XC90 Base

Acura MDX Base

Audi Q7 3.0T Premium

Buick Enclave CX

MSRP

$39,275

$43,925

$47,125

$36,675

Engine

3.2L, Naturally Aspirated Inline-6

3.7L, Naturally Aspirated V6

3.0L, Supercharged V6

3.6L, Naturally Aspirated V6

Drivetrain

FWD

AWD

AWD

FWD

Transmission

6-speed automatic

6-speed automatic

8-speed automatic

6-speed automatic

Power

240 hp @ 6,200 rpm

300 hp @ 6,300 rpm

280 hp @ 4,920 rpm

288 hp @ 6,300 rpm

Torque

236 lb-ft @ 3,200 rpm

270 lb-ft @ 4,500 rpm

295 lb-ft @ 2,250 rpm

270 lb-ft @ 3,400 rpm

0-60 mph (sec)

8.7

7.0

7.6

8.4

Quarter Mile (sec)

16.8

15.4

15.7

16.5

Top Speed (mph)

119

135

136

124

Towing Capacity (lbs)

4,960

5,000

6,600

4,500

The more affordable Buick Enclave also offers higher power and torque output and hence is quicker than the XC90 in the straight line acceleration tests. Acura MDX has the highest engine output in this comparison and yet doesn’t cost way too much over the XC90 and is also the quickest of the line. The Audi Q7 on the other hand is extremely expensive but can tow the maximum with its supercharged V6 engine under its hood. 

2012 Volvo XC90 Fuel Economy

6.0/10

The smaller capacity engine under its hood means the 2012 XC90 is marginally better than its peers in terms of frugality and that can be seen in its EPA ratings as well. The XC90 has been rated for 19 mpg of combined city and highway driving which together with a sizable 21.1 gallon fuel tank return a driving range of about 400 miles on a single tank of gas. 

Model

Volvo XC90

Acura MDX

Audi Q7 3.0T 

Buick Enclave

MPG (City)

16

16

16

17

MPG (Highway)

23

21

22

24

MPG (Combined)

19

18

18

19

Fuel Tank Capacity (gal)

21.1

21.0

26.4

22.0

Range (City / Highway / Combined) (miles)

338 / 485 / 401

336 / 441 / 378

422 / 581 / 475

374 / 528 / 418

The Acura MDX has a similarly sized gas tank but consumes a bit more fuel than the Volvo, while the Audi Q7 has a fuel efficiency similar to the Acura but employs a massive gas tank which aids in offering one of the best driving ranges in the segment. The Buick Enclave too has fuel economy rating similar to XC90 and also has a larger fuel tank capacity. 

2012 Volvo XC90 Interior

6.0/10

The cabin of the 2012 XC90 is stylish in design, comfortable for all its occupants and has pretty solid cabin insulation, offering a plush experience overall. Everything is very well laid out and smartly designed for comfort and safety, for example the child booster seat slides forward to bring the kid within easy reach of its parents. And although the gauges and controls are well within reach as well, they look and feel old even as compared to the other Volvos. 

There is plenty of space for the front row occupants as there is no shortage of headroom or legroom at all. The second row though is tighter than its rivals as the third row gets a bit more legroom than its peers which translates to compromised legroom for the second row passengers. The 8.8 cu-ft of trunk volume is also not very useful and one will have to fold down the third row to open up 43.3 cu-ft of luggage space which can be extended to a maximum of 85.1 cu-ft of cargo space by folding the second row of seats. 

Model

Volvo XC90

Acura MDX

Audi Q7 3.0T 

Buick Enclave

Seating Capacity

7

7

7

7

Front Row (Head / Shoulder / Leg) (in)

40.1 / 58.3 / 41.0

39.2 / 61.6 / 41.2

39.5 / 38.7 / 41.3

40.4 / 62.0 / 41.3

Second Row (Head / Shoulder / Leg) (in)

39.7 / 57.8 / 36.4

38.6 / 61.5 / 38.7

39.0 / 58.1 / 37.1

39.0 / 61.4 / 36.9

Third Row (Head / Shoulder / Leg) (in)

35.5 / 54.1 / 30.1

35.8 / 57.1 / 28.7

35.4 / 48.6 / 29.2

37.2 / 57.4 / 33.2

Cargo Capacity (cu-ft)

8.8

15.0

10.9

23.3

Maximum Cargo Capacity (cu-ft)

85.1

83.5

72.5

115.0

Both the Buick and Volvo SUVs have very similar front row and second row of seats with pretty identical head and knee room. The only difference being at the rear end where there is more room in the third row and yet the Enclave offers almost three times more luggage space with all seats in use. The Acura MDX and Audi Q7 offer a more balanced cabin space with spacious front two rows and a very tight third row of seats. 

  • 8-way power driver seat w/adjustable lumbar & 3-position memory
  • Flat-folding power front passenger seat
  • Flat-folding 40/20/40 split second row seat w/integrated booster cushion and third row leather seat
  • R-Design leather seating surfaces
  • Tilt/telescopic R-Design steering wheel
  • Dual-zone electronic climate control w/second row vents
  • Third row air conditioning w/separate controls
  • HomeLink universal garage door opener

How intuitive is the 2012 Volvo XC90 SUV’s infotainment unit?

The infotainment system is one aspect where the age of the XC90 can be really felt as it does not get the newer systems available on other Volvo models. The controls of the ancient navigation system too are antiquated which are either awkwardly placed behind the steering wheel or on a remote control, both of which are a hassle to use while driving. The audio system is also just fine and there are only limited levels of connectivity on offer. 

  • Infotainment system w/AM/FM stereo w/CD/MP3 player
  • 8-speaker 160W Volvo premium sound system
  • SIRIUS satellite radio w/6-month subscription
  • Navigation system w/Map Care
  • HD Radio
  • Bluetooth connectivity

2012 Volvo XC90 Exterior

8.0/10

Being the oldest model in its class, the XC90 was first launched all the way back in 2003 and the exterior design clearly shows its age. There have been subtle revisions made to the exterior but they are too subtle to be able to be noticed easily. That being said, there are certain elements like the silver mud flaps, roof rails and footboard that complement the silver matte finished alloy wheels and the chrome window garnish. The Volvo offers a pretty high stance as well but the sleek design makes it look more like a wagon than a full-size SUV.

Model

Volvo XC90

Acura MDX

Audi Q7 3.0T 

Buick Enclave

Curb Weight (lbs)

4,751

4,550

5,291

4,780

Length (in)

189.3

191.6

200.3

201.8

Width (in)

74.7

78.5

78.1

79.0

Height (in)

70.2

68.2

68.4

72.5

Ground Clearance (in)

8.9

8.2

8.1

8.4

Wheelbase (in)

112.6

108.3

118.2

118.9

It is also one of the smaller SUVs in the segment which is why the cabin is pretty tight and there is hardly any luggage space on offer behind the third row of seats. The Acura MDX is marginally longer but quite wider than the XC90, which makes it feel far more spacious on the inside. Both the Audi and Buick SUVs are much longer and wider than the Volvo, but have a lower stance, thereby limiting the ground clearance by a certain extent. 

  • Automatic active bi-xenon headlamps
  • Front and rear fog lights
  • Power heated mirrors w/memory, puddle lights & integrated turn signals
  • Dual-split tailgate
  • Silver roof rails
  • Power glass moonroof w/sliding sunshade & auto-open
  • 20-inch "Cratus" R-Design wheels

2012 Volvo XC90 Safety

9.0/10

Though the NHTSA hasn’t tested the Volvo XC90 for its new age strict crash tests, the Volvo manages to bag the prestigious “Top Safety Pick” accolade from the IIHS for performing extremely well in the safety tests conducted by them for the 2012 model year. There are plenty of active and passive safety features and functions on offer with the XC90, most of which are offered as standard across the trims, a highlight of which is listed below. 

  • Dynamic stability & traction control (DSTC) w/Roll stability control (RSC)
  • Pedestrian protection
  • Roll-over protection system (ROPS)
  • Anti-submarine seats
  • Driver/front passenger dual stage airbags w/occupant weight sensor
  • Side impact protection system (SIPS) w/driver & front passenger side-impact airbags, front & rear side inflatable curtain airbags
  • Rear park assist camera
  • Tire pressure monitoring system

2012 Volvo XC90 Final Verdict

The Volvo XC90 offers a perfect middle ground in the luxury full-size SUV segment as it is not only affordable, it also offers plenty of comfort and luxury to make it a popular offering. That being said, the ageing nature of the car means the design isn’t the greatest both inside and out, there is a lack of technology and creature comforts that are available in more affordable Volvos. What stays is the high safety standards, but it ain’t worth the investment and is always better to look elsewhere for a more rounded package. 

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