By on December 14, 2017

2017 Volvo XC90 Excellence - Image: Volvo

It wasn’t the elegant S90 sedan or oddly seductive V90 wagon that heralded Volvo’s return to the top of its game — it was the earlier XC90 SUV, specifically the upright and self-assured second-generation model.

Now that it’s no longer the newest vehicle in the stable (thanks to a product surge fueled by Chinese dollars, it’s quickly becoming the oldest), the XC90 enters 2018 with an extra dose of value.

According to CarsDirect, 2018 XC90 buyers won’t have to shell out more cash to get more passengers into their new Volvo. This coming year, the base T5 trim adds a third-row seat for no extra charge. Isn’t that considerate? The aim, obviously, is for more buyers to consider the XC90.

The model’s order guide shows the midsized SUV has quietly added a standard third row while leaving its MSRP remaining unchanged. Previously, you’d have to move up to the T6 variant to squeeze seven members of your family into the SUV’s dignified confines. Volvo claims the third row, like in its higher-trim models, can be folded into the floor when not needed, thus maintaining cargo volume.

By adding a standard third row, Volvo has made the SUV a contender for larger families shopping in the near-premium class. A base XC90 Momentum T5 FWD retails for $47,895 after delivery. A Momentum T6, which comes with all-wheel drive and a higher-output turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder (315 hp vs 250 hp), carries an entry price of $55,045.

It looked like XC90 sales were cooling off earlier this year, but the latter part of 2017 saw the SUV’s popularity climb back to healthier levels. Leaving a dismal winter in the past, the model has now enjoyed four consecutive months of U.S. year-over-year sales gains, with November’s tally up 25.1 percent. Over the first 11 months of 2017, XC90 sales are down 10.2 percent.

[Image: Volvo Cars]

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11 Comments on “2018 Volvo XC90: More Volvo Passengers, Same Volvo Price...”

  • avatar


    Volvo has perfected giving you a smaller engine for more money than competitors.

  • avatar

    Color me shocked that it wasn’t standard already.

    I know in 2nd generation Highlander’s the 3rd row was optional but rarely have I seen one equipped as a two row.

    I’ve never understood making it optional on models where available. I have to imagine it does more damage to resale value than whatever the initial outlay is to choose the 3rd row.

  • avatar

    I just had a T5 AWD as a rental in Canada, third row included. Car was fine, powertrain was underwhelming. Infotainment UX looked pretty, but was a mess usability wise. I never figured out how to disable the passenger side individual climate control and lock it to my side. Perhaps even more strange, Bluetooth audio streaming didn’t seem to be available (XM/FM/iPod, but no streaming option). The faux brushed metal plastic trim bits looked and felt cheap and way out of place.

  • avatar

    I bought my mother a T6 Inscription (2016) XC90 which was the inspiration to buy my own S90 Inscription. The car is awesome, the linear wood is a refreshing break from the high gloss stuff we’ve been used to. Pilot Assist 2 makes long journeys a breeze, and sensus is really quite nice.

    Compared the T6 to the refreshed Q7 at the time and it just felt amazingly better. Obviously much better than the X5 it replaced. Best features? the seats. wow they’re great and the third row is actually usable for adults.

    Really felt like Volvo knocked it out of the park with the 90 series.

  • avatar

    I’m not sure I’ve ever seen a T5. These things are all over the place around here. The vast majority are T6s and the rest are T8s.

  • avatar

    Then, this move probably create hard time Volvo’s own XC60 and steal some sales there.

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