What Changed With the 2023 Volvo XC90?
The Volvo XC90 was introduced for the 2003 model year as Volvo’s first foray into the SUV market. The first generation XC90 was sold from 2003 until 2015. The 2023 model year hails from the second generation, which started with the 2016 model year. Volvo recently made some updates for the 2023 model year, which may be essential to know if you’re in the market for Volvo’s most well-known SUV.
What stays the same for the 2023 model year
Although Volvo has made some significant changes for 2023, much of the XC90’s core identity has remained unchanged. No changes have been made to the exterior, but that isn’t bad news, as the XC90 remains modern and attractive despite getting on in age. The seats remain as comfortable as ever, and the interior quality is absolutely top-notch.
Unfortunately, no updates have been made to the infotainment system either. The XC90 comes standard with a 9-inch Tesla-like infotainment screen. Though the screen is quite responsive, it has no hard buttons, making it rather difficult to operate while on the move. Thankfully, the voice controls work quite well as a substitute.
All new trim and powertrains for the 2023 Volvo XC90
Volvo has used T5 and T6 designations since the late 1990s for the XC90 model. A T5 badge meant you’d find a turbocharged five-cylinder under the hood, while a T6 badge meant a turbocharged six-cylinder. Since 2017, Volvo has ditched all engines with more than four cylinders, so such nomenclature no longer holds any meaning. In place of T5 and T6 are the B5 and B6. While the T5 and T6 were gas-only powertrains, the B5 and B6 feature a 48v mild hybrid setup.
All Volvo XC90 powertrain options use a 2.0L turbocharged four-cylinder as a foundation. The B5 is simply that turbo-four all by its lonesome. The 2.0L engine in turbo-only guise makes 247 horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque, according to MotorTrend. It’s enough power to make the XC90 feel unencumbered, but you may want to look elsewhere if you’re looking for outright speed. The B6 will get you closer to your speed needs by adding a supercharger. The B6 employs the same 2.0L turbocharged engine, but the added supercharger makes it good for 295 hp and 310 lb-ft of torque.
If you aren’t satisfied unless your three-row SUV can hit 60 mph in under 5 seconds, the T8 Recharge will be the one for you. The XC90 Recharge combines the turbocharged and supercharged four-cylinder with an 18.8 kWh battery, producing an astonishing 455 hp and 523 lb-ft of torque. If you opt for the Recharge for 2023, Volvo has now introduced one-pedal driving.
Not only did Volvo introduce new drivetrains, but the automaker also introduced all-new trim designations. Gone are the Momentum and Inscription. For the 2023 model year, they have been replaced by the new Core, Plus, and Ultimate trims. All XC90s now include AWD as standard equipment, and the transmission has been reprogrammed for sharper and smoother shifting. Volvo has even replaced the USB-A ports with USB-C, placing its three-row SUV firmly in the modern age. The only disappointing change is the removal of wireless charging capabilities.
What other SUVs does Volvo offer?
Volvo offers two other gas-powered SUVs and the company’s first electric-only crossover, the C40. The C40 and XC40 are both subcompact luxury crossovers. Interestingly, the C40 and the XC40 Recharge share the same 75 kWh battery pack, good for 402 hp and 226 miles of range, reports Car and Driver. The XC40 starts at $54,645, while the C40 is a bit more expensive, starting at $56,395. The gas-powered XC40 begins at a much cheaper $37,445, but you’ll have to make do with the 194 hp B4 powertrain or the 247 hp B5.
If you want something smaller than the XC90 but bigger than the XC40, the XC60 is Volvo’s entry into the compact luxury crossover SUV segment. The XC60 starts at $44,545 and shares the same powertrain lineup as the XC90. Despite the problematic infotainment and complicated drivetrain options, Volvo does make some of the safest and most comfortable vehicles on the market.