Volvo XC60 vs. XC90: Is the 7-Passenger One Worth $10,000 More?

Volvo mildly revamped its top-selling XC60 and XC90 crossovers for 2023 with new engines and, notably, plug-in hybrid power. The XC60 and XC90 are very similar to each other with Swedish chic interiors, punchy motors, and style. The big difference in the interior space, but is it worth more than $10,000 for two extra seats in the XC90?

What SUVs does Volvo make?

2023 Volvo XC90 Recharge in blue on a highway.
XC90 Recharge T8 AWD, Denim Blue | Volvo

Today Volvo makes several SUVs and crossovers. The C40 and XC40 are the smallest, the XC60 is midsized, while the XC90 or electric EX90 are the largest. They come in several versions with gas, hybrid, electric, or plug-in hybrid powertrains. The 40-series and 60-series seat five comfortably, but the 90-series SUVs seat seven. The XC60 and XC90, however, are very similar, with the same engines, similar interiors, and options.

Unlike others who refuse to make wagons, Volvo proudly still makes three, the V60, the V60 Cross Country and the V90 Cross Country.

The interiors of the XC60 and XC90 are Swedish minimalist chic

Volvo’s interiors have taken a giant leap forward with their new cabins in the last few years. When the XC60 was launched in 2016, it had a version of Volvo’s floating center stack and funky gauges that seemed dated even then. Today’s XC60 has a modern interior that’s plain, but not boring. The seats are nicely sculpted, the large center screen is easy to see, and those funky gauges are gone and replaced by a digital gauge cluster that’s configurable. Car and Driver calls the interior “a masterpiece.”

From the front seats it would be hard to tell the difference between the XC90 and XC60.  Well, until you get in the back. The XC90 is about 11 inches longer, and that’s enough to add a third row. Unfortunately, second-row passengers are punished with one-inch less of legroom in the  XC90 than the XC60. The third row is wide for two people, but it’s reserved for smaller adults with just 32 inches of legroom. Though the XC90 is bigger, it only holds two cubic feet more of luggage than the XC60, with a total of 65 cubic feet of space when the seats are folded.

Which Volvo XC60 or XC90 engine is best?

The two SUVs have the same powerplants, in base B5 mid-level B6, and plug-in hybrid T8 trims. The B5 is a 2.0-liter four-cylinder with a 48-volt mild hybrid that makes 247 horsepower. The B6 gets the same engine as the B5, but Volvo added a supercharger to add extra power and it makes 295 horesepower. The plug-in hybrid version is called the T8, and again uses the same 2.0-liter engine, but adds electric boost to 455 horsepower.

Both come in PHEV Recharge versions

2023 Volvo Recharge interioor
XC90 Recharge interior | Volvo

The PHEV versions look the same as the regular XC60 and XC90, except they both have a battery than can be charged to add electric range. The range of the XC60 Recharge is 35 miles, and it achieves 63 MPGe, or miles per gallon equivalents, with the battery. The XC90 is also 35 miles and it achieves 66 MPGe. Both have the same combined horsepower figure of 455. All Recharge versions of the cars also offer one-pedal driving.

How much are the XC60 and XC90?

A Volvo X60 Recharge T8 AWD.
Volvo XC60 Recharge T8 AWD | Volvo Car Corporation

The XC60 starts at $43,450. The XC90 starts at $56,000. The extra space is nice, and carrying seven people is sometimes a necessity. If you’re set on new electric versions, check out Volvo’s Polestar corporate brother for its hot SUVs. But, if you don’t need the extra seats, and tiny bit more cargo room, the XC60 gets our vote.