By on July 15, 2014

Volvo XC90

Monday, the last first-gen Volvo XC90 rolled off the assembly line in Gothenburg, Sweden, where it was then driven to its final resting place as an exhibit in the Volvo Museum next door.

Autoblog reports 636,143 units of the seven-passenger SUV rolled off the assembly line between 2002 and 2014, with Volvo expecting to sell 50,000 annually. Instead, 85,000 left the showroom between 2004 and 2007 before dropping off to 11,000 units by the end of production.

Though the SUV is now a museum piece, the tooling will continue be used in China, where the XC90 will become the China-only XC Classic, joining other long-lived vehicles like the Volkswagen Santana Vista and the Beijing Auto Works Knight S12 (a.k.a., Jeep Cherokee XJ). Meanwhile, the workers in Torslanda will now prepare for the new XC90, set to make its global debut in August prior to production in 2015.

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26 Comments on “Last First-Gen Volvo XC90 Rolls Out Of Torslanda...”


  • avatar

    Still one of the better looking SUVs out there, it’s too bad the powertrains never seemed quite right for the thing (why no T6?).

    I often consider that I could still be taken in by a late model R-Design with the V8.

    But mostly, I just respect this model because it played a big role in keeping Volvo afloat. Hopefully the new one will sell as well (or far better).

    • 0 avatar
      zamoti

      What are you talking about, there was a T6: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Volvo_XC90

      • 0 avatar

        Well, yes and no.

        The T6 was available with the early models but was mated to a bad transmission. By the time they fixed all of the teething issues on these models (2006/2007), the T6 was long gone. I consider this a great shame because the 3.2 never seemed powerful enough to motivate it and the V8 was cool, but unreliable and not at all efficient. The T6 is a good engine (see review’s of it in the XC60/70 on this site) and would have had the ideal output for this car.

        • 0 avatar
          ItsMeMartin

          The 3.2 never seemed powerful enough? That’s strange that everybody seems to hold that opinion. Forums, reviews, magazines – everybody seems to think so. Sure, the 3.2 in XC60 somehow seems to be much more responsive and a bit faster all around than the same engine in the XC90, but too weak? I never noticed that but rather was pleasantly surprised by its power when comparing the ’04 T6 to the new ’10 3.2. Pampered snobs, the bunch of you! :)

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            I didn’t see any complaints of the 3.2 when used in the XC70, either. I’ve always liked the ’70, especially in right colors (two-tone, and browns). I sort of considered one before I purchased my last car, but for two things:

            -Could not find one with all the options I wanted.
            -At 27, I felt too young to be purchasing such a vehicle.

            And a third, smaller concern:

            -Overall reliability.

          • 0 avatar

            @CoreyDL: I’m glad to hear I’m not the only young person with a crush on the XC70. Perhaps the Outback background, but I really like the current gen. Styling that has aged well, good size, nice powertrain (T6). But I agree, it is really hard to find one with the right options. I would want a fully-loaded T6 and man, they are few and far between. Plus, like you, I have difficulty explaining why a single 25-year-old male would drive around a ’70.

            As far as reliability goes, it has been my understanding that these cars have been very good. Not Japanese, but much better than the Volvos of the early-to-mid 2000s.

            @ItsMeMartin: Perhaps you are right. Its a powerplant that is fine, but just not especially fast. The same complaint is lodged against the XC70 with the 3.2, although I found it fine in the S80.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            Yes yes! Fully loaded T6, with non-black leather, heated seats, nav. They are blocky and solid, and look like they would get through any type of road condition you could throw at them.

            But I’m single and don’t even have any pets to put in the back.

          • 0 avatar

            My ideal is the T6 in either the bronze or blue with brown leather. I like that they just seem appropriate in any setting, be it in some urban neighbourhood or out in the wilds of my hometown (i.e., rural farming community, where every higher-end car except for Volvo and Buick is seen as disgustingly ostentatious). I even have preferred rims (these beauties: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/1/13/Volvo_XC70_(II)_%E2%80%93_Frontansicht,_25._August_2013,_D%C3%BCsseldorf.jpg).

            I’ve decided that if I actually bought one I’d get a pet just to have something to put in it.

    • 0 avatar
      CoreyDL

      Except for that one shipment that sunk the cargo ship!

      Ha.

    • 0 avatar
      Dave M.

      I agree – even after 10+ years on the market the XC 90 is still a looker to me. Nice, simple lines.

  • avatar
    Athos Nobile

    That old girl still looks good while carting moms and kids around.

  • avatar
    snabster

    Yeah, I’m looking at a late model v8. The tramsmissions issue sound scary though.

    If I had kids, they would make fun of me for the lack of a touchscreen but honestly I don’t care.

  • avatar
    hachee

    Still looks good, even after so many years. This would have been a great vehicle for my family, and I looked at one several times, but I was just never pleased with the way it drove. Good looks, nice interior, reasonable size and price, but just so unsatisfying to drive.

    Hopefully, the new one will be a lot better. I’ve driven the current S60 several times, and really liked it, much more than its predecessor.

  • avatar
    Arthur Dailey

    According to his own statements, the XC90 was the daily driver of choice in Jeremy Clarkson’s household. Not a bad endorsement.

  • avatar
    ItsMeMartin

    So that day has, sadly, come. In today’s world of Vorsprung durch Marketing even the best, most efficient designs must make way for the ALL-NEW! and AMAZING! And, at least in my opinion, a great design that XC90 surely was. I’ve sat in ML-classes, X-fives and sixes, Infinities etc. and time and time again I struggled to see any meaningful improvements over the Swede. Sure, I sure as hell am biased, but the XC90 was the car that pretty much made us a one-make family. It had its faults – the abysmal leather quality and horrible GM-sourced 4-speed gearbox paired to the T6 engines are prime examples – but it took abuse that a lesser car wouldn’t be able to take, and kept going strong regardless.
    In my opinion, the second gen has big shoes to fill, and I’m curious how it will do. Since my father would probably buy the second-gen next year, I will luckily have a chance to see that. I predict that it will be a significant improvement over the old one for the average buyer whose primary concerns are fuel economy, luxury and equipment. But what interests me more is: how good of a workhorse it will be, as that’s how that one would be used. Right now, it doesn’t look too good since the engines would probably be limited to turbocharged 4-bangers; hybrid or not. That’s unfortunate since the 3.2 I6 from the first gen is a great engine, and not an old one at that, so it probably wouldn’t be too costly to keep offering it and eventually make it compliant with any emission standards that will come into force in the near future.

    • 0 avatar
      Chicago Dude

      What exactly are you scared about with the new engines? Volvo has been boosting engines since just about the beginning of time. The transmissions have been in the more expensive Lexus cars for years (they are the same Aisin units). The combination of the two will have been on sale for two years or so by the time the next XC90 is on sale. And as for the hybrid, it’s a battery and electric motor that is not attached to the gasoline engine. A dozen or so companies have proved that batteries and electric motors are plenty reliable in cars, trucks, buses, trains, etc.

      • 0 avatar
        zamoti

        I love the crazy idea of a boosted 4cyl + hybrid with no intention of increasing fuel economy. I’m sure it’ll probably be a huge pain in the ass for many owners, but I don’t care because I won’t buy a new one being the cheap bastard that I am. At least it’s something interesting and makes up for Volvo’s lame “4-cyl only” policy.

      • 0 avatar
        ItsMeMartin

        Like I said, the new XC90 – if bought – would be used as a workhorse. For about 70% of its life it will be hauling bearings and timing belts and whatnot, all together definitely weighing above its nominal payload. That would produce a lot of strain for the low-displacement turbo four that the new XC90 is supposed to be powered by. The 3.2 in the ’10 XC90 that my father currently drives don’t care nuthin if there is just him, or him and a truckload of iron on board. Now imagine the wear on the turbocharger, or pretty much anything else mechanical, if he did that on that new 2.0 turbo. And apart from that, he isn’t the kind of a person who treats a car lightly, and the new turbocharged, downsized engines usually don’t take to kindly to such treatment whereas the high-displacement (by European standards) Volvo mills of yesteryear don’t seem to mind.
        And by the way: nopes, he does not want a diesel or a hybrid.

        I don’t know about the gearboxes, I personally don’t mind them Aisins (I have one in my S40 and it seems decent), I’m just worried about the fragility, and possible repair costs of the 8-speed units. I’m sure it can’t be worse than the GM 4-speed I mentioned earlier though, so it’s the lesser of the problems anyway.

        And about the fact that Volvo has always been known for turbocharging their engines – true, only the turbos they used were mostly (although not exclusively) low-pressure units, used to smooth out the delivery of power or to improve the low-end performance, whereas in the new ones they seem to be going for all-out power.

        So, Chicago Dude, I’m not blasting on the new XC90 for being a shitty car before having seen it. Since it’s a major money maker for Volvo, it’s obvious screwing it up that bad is not an option for them. I’m sure it will prove to be a great car for the majority of original owners. I’m just saying that judging by what I know now, it doesn’t look like it will be as suited to heavy service as the first gen proved to be.

  • avatar
    Mandalorian

    When I was SUV shopping back in late 2011, I considered an XC90. It checked almost all of my boxes. However, the year I bought 2012, the V8 option was dropped. I didn’t particularly care for the stupid split tailgate as well, is it really that hard to make a liftgate?

    Ended up with a Q7.

  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    Oh FINALLY they kill this design. It has aged well used, but has not been a good purchase-as-new option since about 2006, when it started looking aged outside and in.

    They’re hard to find [used] in a decent color with the right options. Especially hard to get one with nav. And then it’s scary if it hasn’t been really well maintained, or if it has the Yamaha V8.

    • 0 avatar
      ItsMeMartin

      In a decent color? Isn’t it the same for almost all of its competitors? Every car nowadays seems to be found almost exclusively in: 1. White 2. Silver 3. Grey 4. Black; and the more expensive it was as new, the stronger it holds true. I, for example, have just once seen a Q7 in any color other than those 4 – it was dark blue.

      And about the nav – I think it has to do with the fact that it didn’t seem to be a particularly good system. I personally have never read a review that would praise it or compare it favorably to another nav system. That might be the case.
      And just out of curiosity, what color and options were you specifically looking for?

      • 0 avatar
        CoreyDL

        I wanted that bronze metallic color, or navy blue. A shade or two of graphite would also have been acceptable. I wanted one with the nav, I didn’t particularly care if it was brilliant or not. I don’t like black Volvo leather as it ages poorly, and I didn’t want the base 3.2 or one with aluminum trim vs. the wood.

  • avatar
    ItsMeMartin

    Corey, EVERY leather in a Volvo developed before the XC60 (except the RWD models maybe, I don’t know) ages poorly. There was this one particular XC90 with about 270K miles on it that I had to literally sit on the sponge with leather on the center hanging on just two lines of stitches and the left side torn completely. Another XC90 seems to be going the same way, with the stitches starting to let loose and wrinkling present since around the 50K mile mark. The first gen ’99 V70XC didn’t fare much better. At least the XC60 has significantly better seats. Luckily, my S40 has cloth, even though it’s in that non-color that this generation generally seems to love – grey. Although having seen many Volvo seats throughout the years I agree with you, black seems to be the worst.
    It seems to me that when it comes to interior choices I have similar tastes to yours. Non-black and with wood. Even though I’m cheap (it’s base models all day, every day for me) I would pay a lot to have wood accents and a beige/red interior on it. And about the exterior colors – now I know why you couldn’t find the car you were looking for. In Europe, brown was relatively popular but it doesn’t seem to be the case stateside. Navy blue – now that’s rare I believe. I have personally seen just one.

    • 0 avatar
      CoreyDL

      Yep, I have seen just a couple of copper ones and a couple navy ones. Most are black or silver it seems. The white looks odd with the black trim, and takes it downmarket a bit IMO.

      The car I settled on has some stone leather and Brazilian rosewood.

      http://static.cargurus.com/images/site/2009/01/18/15/20/2009_infiniti_m35-pic-14990.jpeg

      • 0 avatar
        ItsMeMartin

        Mostly black and silver over here too, sadly.

        And yes, if you care about that sort of stuff then white does really look downmarket on the XC70, but in my opinion so does the black interior – but that can be said about the majority of cars. White on black or silver on black do really look like rentals.

        Even though I am not in the market for the XC70 and will probably never be (if I could afford it, I would still prefer the regular V70), I wish they would keep doing what they did in the second gen – have the XC70 available with brown or dark blue trim depending on the color choice, instead of that generic black. It would look much more interesting that way.

        And about your Infiniti, I think that’s a nice color combo you’ve got there. Definitely much better than the black interiors the Infinities that I saw had.


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