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The best Volvo XC90 alternatives

December 21, 2015 by

The Volvo XC90 is one of our favourite full-size SUVs. The handsome Swede is spacious inside, comfortable on the road, and can claim to feature some of the most advanced safety tech fitted to any new car.

As a result of budget constraints, engine choices or simply personal preference, the XC90 might not be for everyone. We take a look at some of the most capable alternatives.

Not sold on these options? Put the Volvo XC90 in our car configurator to see the potential savings carwow can offer.

Mitsubishi Outlander

After an extensive update to the Mitsubishi Outlander in 2015, it has transformed into a distinctive and comfy seven-seater SUV.

The Outlander’s greatest strength is down to the amount of metal it offers for the money. While it can be argued that the Volvo offers a higher quality, more refined SUV in the shape of the XC90, Mitsubishi counters that with the fact even the priciest diesel Outlander costs £11,000 less than the entry-level XC90.

If you’re willing to forgo the sixth and seventh seats, the plug-in hybrid Outlander PHEV makes for a stern rival to the XC90 T8 Hybrid. It can’t match the Volvo’s performance, but it returns 148mpg in official tests and costs almost half as much to buy.

Pick your ideal Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV in our car configurator to see the deals offered.

Land Rover Discovery Sport

For a capable all-round SUV, the Land Rover Discovery Sport is close to the top of the class. The cabin manages to combine both a sense of ruggedness and luxury, and can cater for seven people if necessary.

On the road the Disco Sport’s handling is surprisingly agile for a car of its type, with strong grip and very little body roll. That tight body control doesn’t appear to come at the expense of ride comfort, though, and wind and road noise are well-suppressed. The only minor negative is a slightly underwhelming 2.0-litre diesel engine. That aside, the Discovery Sport should give serious food for thought to any prospective XC90 buyers.

See the savings offered by speccing up a Land Rover Discovery Sport in our car configurator.

Kia Sorento

The Kia brand has commonly been known for delivering competitive value for money and an industry-leading seven year warranty, but in recent years the it has added many more tempting sprinkles to its cake.

In the case of the Sorento, these are improvements are clear in the way it looks inside and out. A solidly-built, handsome cabin is wrapped in an understated, contemporary exterior. Some may argue that the XC90 feels just a little more well appointed, but it should, considering the huge difference in price between the pair. We’d wager that few Sorento buyers will ever feel short changed with their choice, however.

Put the Kia Sorento in our car configurator to see the savings offered.


The BMW X5 caters perfectly for buyers who like a hint of a sporty flavour from their SUVs. Handling is on a par with many of the handiest sports saloons, yet all remains comfortable in the cabin. There’s even room for seven people, though it may be a little cruel to squeeze adults in the back.

A wide range of engines are offered, the cheapest of which is the rear-wheel drive-only sDrive25d. performance is more than adequate, and an official fuel consumption of 50.2mpg means that trips to the service station shouldn’t be too frequent.

The summit of the X5 engine range is topped by the monstrous 4.4-litre twin-turbocharged V8 in the X5 M. Producing 567hp and 553lb ft of torque, it’s one of the fastest accelerating SUV on sale, covering the benchmark time in just 4.2-seconds.

Audi Q7

The Audi Q7 may have always been big, but this second generation version is clever, too. Thanks to more efficient construction methods and an increase in the quantity of lightweight materials used, the Q7 weighs 240kg less than the previous model – the equivalent of removing three average blokes from the back seats.

As a result, the Q7 is more frugal, faster and sharper handling than ever before. That last point is worth noting, despite the current model’s focus on comfort rather than sportiness. Inside the cabin is the usual Audi fare, that is to say it’s as pleasing to look at as it is to prod all of the high quality materials.

Spec up your perfect Audi Q7 in our car configurator to see the deals offered.

Find out more

Put the Volvo XC90 in our car configurator to see how much carwow could help you save. If you still need help picking you next car, check out our car chooser.