The Volvo XC90 Has a Wide Range of Common and Inconvenient Problems

The majority of Volvo models are very safe and dependable vehicles. These luxury cars are known for getting great gas mileage, having luxe interiors, and featuring an abundance of driver assistance technology. While they would never be the fastest cars on the track, some Volvo models are also quite speedy.

Compared to other luxury cars, Volvos have a relatively low number of reported problems. The model with the most issues, according to, is the XC90 SUV. While reviews for the XC90 are generally positive, it does have a reputation for loud engine noise in the cabin. Here are some other annoying issues that XC90 drivers have experienced.

The Volvo XC90 has auto braking issues

Overall, the 2016 Volvo XC90 received the highest number of complaints. This was the first year of the latest redesign of the car. Along with a new interior, the XC90 also received a new generation of four-cylinder engines. Both the T5 and T6 are turbocharged, and there’s a twin-turbo combined with two electric motors in the hybrid version.

The new engines functioned normally, but some drivers had problems with the XC90’s auto braking system. The automatic emergency brakes would engage by themselves as the car was in motion, often at highway speeds. This problem usually occurs when the car has 12,000 miles on the odometer. However, one driver reported that the emergency brakes became an issue at just 900 miles.

Drivers said that this issue occurred multiple times, but no serious injuries were reported. Despite others experiencing the same issue, none have been able to find a permanent fix. Just a few weeks ago, a recall was issued for the automatic emergency brakes on certain Volvo cars. 

The XC90 was included. According to the recall, the problem was a missing software code that needs to be fixed with a computer update. Drivers experiencing this issue can have their vehicles serviced beginning in May.

Transmission failure in the Volvo XC90

While the 2005 Volvo XC90 is regarded as a good family SUV, it could also have some potentially hazardous problems. At around 101,000 miles, some drivers reported that the car’s transmission started to fail. Most reported hearing strange noises from the transmission before it would completely stop working.

Even worse, the failure occurred as some drivers were on the highway or trying to crest a steep hill. Most dealers recommended replacing the transmission, which cost an average of $3,500. One unlucky driver also had to have the driveshaft replaced, bringing the total repair cost to $8,000. Some drivers also had to have the car’s transmission replaced multiple times. So far, no recalls have been issued regarding this problem.

Premature tire wear

The Volvo XC90 from 2003 has the most severe repair problems. The most troubling issue was the loss of power. A few drivers reported a loud clunking noise before all the car’s lights would go out and the windows failed to work. Interestingly, the engine itself would still run.

The problem could be resolved by turning off the engine and then restarting it. One user reported that it was fixed by having the XC90’s computer updated. They experienced the issue once the vehicle reached the 155,000-mile mark.

The worst and most annoying problem reported by 2003 XC90 owners is premature tire wear. Uneven tire tread can lead to decreased gas mileage as well as a potentially dangerous incident like a blown tire. Drivers experienced two or more completely deflated tires at around 12,000 miles.

Because the XC90 is a luxury SUV, its tires are more expensive to replace. The average cost for a set is $1,700. To avoid this, you might want to shop for a later model year with fewer problems.