Don’t Waste Your Time With the 2016 Volvo XC90

Buying used luxury vehicles is often a way to get a great vehicle for a more affordable price. You get to skip out on the pesky and stressful depreciation of buying one brand new and drowning in the financial loss down the road when it comes time to sell, and maybe even afford something that you couldn’t if it were still at that brand-new price point. So it makes sense that the 2016 Volvo XC90 would land on many people’s radars. A seemingly great option for a family vehicle that offers just as much luxury as it does versatility, there might be a few reasons why it might be worth skipping over.

Is the Volvo XC90 reliable?

While I would love to brag about the Volvo reliability, the 2016 Volvo XC90 doesn’t quite hit the mark. In fact, directly from the owners, there are more than a handful of concerning reviews. Leaking during rain storms into the cabin, the need for constant maintenance and repair, and some even more serious problems related to the several recalls leave us feeling a bit uneasy. For an SUV marketed as a luxurious family option, we aren’t too thrilled with seeing so many negative reviews from current or previous owners, especially in regards to reliability.

View of The All-New XC90 at Volvo Cars and Avicii Feeling Good About The Future
The 2016 Volvo XC90 | Michael Kovac/Getty Images, Volvo Cars of North America

A seemingly good options

There are a lot of reasons why buying a used 2016 Volvo XC90 might end up on your list of things to test drive. It’s sporty appearance borders between luxury and sport, mixing sleek lines with fine details. However, for being a few years old, they are still pretty high in price, finding them at around $27,000 to as much as $35,000 depending on condition and mileage — a price range that can get you in a much newer car.

If you’re running through the pros of why consumers have enjoyed owning this car, of course, there are more than a few. The availability of seating with third-row options combined with a surprising amount of space packaged into a seemingly much smaller luxury SUV gives the XC90 the ‘Mary Poppins’ effect. However, we can’t get over the abysmal downsides noted by Consumer Reports, but for the right consumer, this Volvo XC90 is worth the compromises.

A Volvo XC90 technical drawing is seen during the Geneva Motor Show | Harold Cunningham, Getty Images

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More than a few recalls

The 2016 Volvo XC90 has more than a few recalls. One or two for a car this age is reasonable, but…six? That seems like cause for concern. Of course, there are plenty of things to remember when it comes to recalls, like that they are covered financially by the manufacturer, but that doesn’t make it any less stressful or frustrating. But how bad are the recalls anyway?

The severity of recalls can change depending on the part that’s failing. You might not be concerned if a small piece of plastic was known to break during an accident, but the Volvo XC90 is a bit more severe. Coolant leaks that could cause the engine to catch on fire sound intimidating, and followed up by failing seatbelt mechanisms don’t reinforce us by much.

7 seater Volvo XC90 Inscription near Chep Lap Kok on Lantau Island | Jonathan Wong/South China Morning Post, Getty Images

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For some potential buyers, the hassle of having an SUV with questionable reliability is well worth it for all of the positives that the 2016 Volvo XC90 has. While it isn’t on the cheaper end of affordable, the lowering in price does make it more attainable, especially for a family-oriented SUV with third-row seating.