Last First-Gen Volvo XC90 Rolls Out Of Torslanda

Cameron Aubernon
by Cameron Aubernon
last first gen volvo xc90 rolls out of torslanda

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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  • Marcin Laszuk Marcin Laszuk on Jul 15, 2014

    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.

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    • Marcin Laszuk Marcin Laszuk on Jul 15, 2014

      @Chicago Dude 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.

  • Mandalorian Mandalorian on Jul 15, 2014

    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.

  • Corey Lewis Corey Lewis on Jul 15, 2014

    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.

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    • Corey Lewis Corey Lewis on Jul 15, 2014

      @Marcin Laszuk 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.

  • Marcin Laszuk Marcin Laszuk on Jul 15, 2014

    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.

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    • Marcin Laszuk Marcin Laszuk on Jul 15, 2014

      @Corey Lewis 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.