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Volvo has an entire series of SUVs and crossovers to meet the ever-growing demand for these types of vehicles. They are designated as the XC series. The 2019 Volvo XC90 is their mid-sized SUV with four doors and rear hatch for access to the cargo area. It has three different seating configurations to choose from. It can seat from four to seven people depending on which version you select. The XC90 also gives you three different engine choices. You can tell which power train is equipped by the model names which Volvo calls the T5, T6 and T8.
With the 2019 Volvo XC90, you get the choice of four different trim levels. These are called Momentum, R-Design, Inscription and Excellence. While there is plenty of functionality and utility in this vehicle, it's a luxury SUV through and through. At the highest trim level, you can even get a refrigerator installed in this vehicle. The interior is as elegant and luxurious as it is comfortable and accommodating. On the utility side of things, you can get a whopping 85.7 cubic-feet of storage space with the seats properly configured.
The 2019 Vovlo XC90 is 194.9 inches long with a wheelbase of 117.5 inches. The XC90 is 69.9 inches tall and 84.3 inches wide. T5 models weigh in at 4,327 pounds and T6 models have a weight of 4,623 pounds. The heaviest configuration is the Excellence trim package which has a total weight of 5,105 pounds. On the inside of this SUV, you get 38.9 inches of headroom up front and 38.5 inches of headroom in the rear.
Depending on the model you choose, you can get a Volvo XC90 in either front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive. The All-wheel drive versions benefit from better traction on slick pavement or over rough terrain. This makes the XC90 a better performer in all weather conditions. It also means you can go off road out of necessity or just for the fun and adventure. The XC90 can tow between 4,000 to 5,000 pounds. The specific number depends on your model and how it's configured.
There are a lot of choices to make when buying a Volvo XC90. You have to decide on the engine type, the seat configuration and the trim level. You must decide if you want front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive. This can be a daunting task. We will be taking a look at every configuration and major option available. All trim levels will be compared to each other to show what they have to offer. This should make your ultimate decision somewhat easier.
Compare the 2019 Volvo XC90 T5 vs T6. What is the difference?
For the most part, the trim levels just designate which features and options your XC90 comes equipped with. The model name such as T5 and T6 designates the power train and some of the performance features. This will get a bit confusing once we get to the Excellence trim level, but for now we'll take a look at the T5 and T6 differences. If you purchase a T5, you can opt for front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive. All T6 models feature all-wheel drive.
Both models have four-cylinder engines with a 2.0-liter displacement, direct injection and a turbocharger. The T6 adds on an additional supercharger for even more power and torque. While the T5 produces a respectable 250 horsepower, the T6 cranks it way up to 316 horses with 295 pounds-feet of torque at around 5,700 rpm. The T5 has a combined fuel-economy rating of 25 miles-per-gallon while the T6 offers slightly less at 23 miles-per-gallon. Both have a fuel-tank capacity of 18.5 gallons.
Compare the 2019 XC90 Momentum vs R-Design Trims. What is the difference?
The Momentum trim level may be the base trim, but it's still packed full of nice features. The R-Design has some perks and design choices geared towards the performance-car enthusiast. These trims come in T5, T6 and T8 configurations. All-wheel drive models come equipped with an eight-speed Geartronic Automatic Transmission. Both models have drive settings that include Comfort, Eco, Dynamic, Off Road and Individual Mode.
Both trims feature Hill Star Assist and Hill Descent Control. Both offer Start/Stop Technology. On the outside, all models get a rain sensor and automatic windshield wipers. The wipers also have a heated feature to prevent them from getting frozen over. A power-operated moon-roof with power sunshade is standard for both of these trims. The exterior features for these two trims are mostly the same.
On the inside of the XC90, both vehicles get dual-zone climate control. There's a real wooden dashboard panel and leather trim throughout both models. The R-Design adds on a leather-wrapped dashboard and steering wheel. You also get Nappa Leather upholstery by moving up to this trim level. The Momentum gives you an eight-way power-adjustable driver's seat. The R-Design gives you a 12-way adjustable model.
Both trim packages get you a premium audio system by Harman Kardon. You also get a navigation system and a 12.3-inch digital driver's display. Volvo's On Call Smartphone Integration is installed for every trim package. Many of the infotainment features can be accessed via voice command. Keyless entry and a power tailgate are also standard for both trims.
These two trim levels come with some nice safety features and driver assists. A 360-degree camera is installed in both. You also get a rear park-assist camera. There are front and side airbags for the driver and front passenger. Both trims have Volvo's Blind-Spot Info System with Cross-Traffic Alert. You also get Thor's Hammer Daytime Running Lights with automatic high beams.
Volvo installs its own proprietary system called WHIPS in all vehicles. This comprehensive system helps to mitigate whiplash should an accident occur. Volvo's Side Impact Protection System uses a mix of high-strength steel and softer metals to give added protection in the event of a side collision. A Tire-Pressure Monitor makes sure your tires are inflated to a safe level.
Compare the XC90 R-Design vs Inscription - What is the difference?
Moving up to the Inscription trim gets you some nice interior perks. The audio system is upgraded to a 20-speaker system from Bowers and Wilkins. You now get a Sensus Navigation System and Remote Engine Start too. The lift gate now has a foot switch to open it from inside of the XC90. You get a refrigerated box right inside of the console. The seats and steering wheel can now have a heating feature added on. The upholstery gets upgraded to fine-leather trim. The exterior mirrors now have a memory feature so you can always get them back to the same spot.
It's important to note that in addition to the new interior perks, the Inscription trim gives you everything else that the R-Design has to offer. There isn't a lot of difference on the outside of these two models. The Inscription has a unique grille design with some chrome accents. All of the safety and security features are identical for the R-Design and Inscription trim levels.
Compare the XC90 Inscription vs Excellence Trims. What is the difference?
The Excellence trim level is an oddity. Up to this point, you would select the model between T5, T6 and T8, then you could have any of them in one of the three previously mentioned trim levels. The model designated which engine you received and the trim was just about the comfort, convenience and safety features. The Excellence trim, however, comes with the same hybrid power plant as the T8.
You get the 400 horsepower combination engine. You also get an upgraded air-suspension system and a Four-C Active Chassis. On the outside, you'll see most of the same features as the Inscription with the addition of illumination for the door handles. You also get some upgraded, 21-inch alloy wheels with a 10-spoke design. On the inside, you get every nice feature offered in the Inscription trim except where some upgrades have been made.
The duel-zone climate control gets replaced with a four-zone version of the system. The seats are now heated with seat-cushion extensions and even more adjustment options than before. The interior illumination gets upgraded as well. The interior of the Excellence screams luxury with plenty of wood, leather and chrome trim throughout. You get the absolute best materials on everything, and the fit and finish here is flawless.
The Excellence gets you the top-tier audio system and infotainment center offered by Volvo. You get the largest touchscreen and the navigation system too. The upholstery is made of the finest leather yet, and you get a massage feature for the driver. The steering wheel is now heated. You even get the refrigeration compartment as a standard feature on this model. The safety features and driver-assist systems are once again all the same.
The Polestar Engineered Package. What is it?
One last choice you get when configuring a Volvo XC90 is an added performance package. The Polestar Engineered package gives you some performance upgrades to take the XC90 driving experience to the next level. No matter which engine you have, this upgrade will fine tune things to increase your horsepower and torque. Adjustments are made to the throttle to increase acceleration and give you a better pedal response. The transmission system and gears get some attention too so that the vehicle shifts smoother and more accurately than ever before.
2019 Volvo XC90 T8 Plug-in Hybrid. How is it different?
Volvo is offering many of their SUVs and crossovers in a plug-in hybrid configuration. The T8 Hybrid uses a direct injection, 4.0-liter engine paired with an electric motor. This is the same turbocharged and supercharged gasoline engine used in the T6 models. You'll get similar fuel efficiency to the T6 while only relying on traditional gasoline. You can get around 19 miles of range on an electric charge. This is a powerful engine that provides quick acceleration. It produces 400 horsepower and 472 pounds-feet of torque at 6,000 rpm.
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Which One Should You Choose?
There are a ton of options here to select from. Your first choice is to select the model and power train. The best here for most drivers will be the T6 model. You get the vastly improved engine performance and don't lose much when it comes to the fuel-economy rating. There isn't too much of a cost increase here either. Selecting a T6 also ensures that you get an all-wheel drive model of the Volvo XC90. This means better traction and improved performance while on slick pavement or during off-road excursions.
The T8 Plug-in Hybrid may be a viable selection for those who want to go green, but it does come at a significant cost increase. For most consumers, the Momentum trim level will represent the best value. You already get the same performance as other trim levels with a gasoline engine as long as you select the T6 model. You also get the same safety features. Fortunately, Volvo stuffs their base model with a ton of nice standard features. Most of what the R-Design and Inscription offers are just luxury appointments that you probably won't even miss.
It's also worth noting that while the Momentum trim package is reasonably priced and comparable to the competition in this class, the Excellence trim is extremely expensive. There is a serious cost difference between the lowest and highest trim levels. The T6 Momentum is your best bet for performance, luxury and value.