The seven-seater XC90’s cabin is comfortable, spacious and looks fantastic, but adults will feel cramped in the rearmost seats
You get heated, electrically adjustable front seats as standard in the Volvo XC90, and they’re among the most comfortable seats you’ll find in any car. They have lumbar support to reduce backache on long drives, and the driver’s seat comes with a handy memory function – especially useful if you regularly lend your car to someone else.
The XC90’s seats have a slim design to maximise knee and legroom for the people sitting behind you. As a result, your passengers will have plenty of space to stretch out in the middle row and there’s ample headroom for six-footers, even with the optional £1,295 panoramic glass roof fitted.
Carrying three abreast is a little tighter than in a Land Rover Discovery but the Volvo XC90 can hardly be called cramped. There’s a slight lump in the floor that cuts into foot space for your middle passenger but all three in the middle row can slide and recline independently.
Predictably, space in the third row of seats is a little less generous. Climbing in isn’t too difficult – the middle seats fold forward and slide easily – but you’ll struggle for knee, head and legroom if you’re taller than 5’11”. Thankfully, the seats themselves are raised slightly so your legs won’t be forced up around your ears and you can slide the middle row forwards to gain a little extra legroom.
A neat central booster seat is offered as a £220 optional extra that folds out of the central middle seat. It’s a helpful feature and means you can comfortably mount two Isofix child seats either side. Fitting these is fairly easy thanks to the wide door openings and clearly marked anchor points, but it’s still a little more fiddly than in an Audi Q7.
There are lots of spacious cubby holes dotted around the XC90’s interior, from a small slot beside the steering wheel that’s perfect for a smartphone to the vast door bins that’ll each hold a 1.5-litre bottle with room to spare.
Under the central armrest there’s plenty of room to tuck away a few phones and a pair of useful USB ports to charge them. The glovebox is just as spacious as anything you’ll find in an Audi Q7 or Land Rover Discovery and the central cupholders are big enough to hold even the biggest bladder-busting cup of service-station coffee.
The rear door bins are very nearly as big as those up front and there’s a central armrest with two further cupholders. Even the rearmost seats are treated to a cupholder and small phone-sized pocket each while a recessed central tray will stop any extra bits and bobs disappearing under the seats in front.
The XC90 feels like a premium product that’s both practical and comes with loads of family focused features
The Volvo XC90’s boot can carry an impressive 314 litres of luggage even with all seven seats in place. That’s bigger than the 258 litres offered by the Land Rover Discovery and about the same size as a Ford Focus, which can only carry five people. With the XC90’s rear seats in place you’ll be able to fit a stroller and a few soft bags or a set of golf clubs with room to spare.
Fold the rearmost seats down using levers beside the headrests and you can carry 967 litres – in contrast, the Audi Q7 can only swallow 770 litres. This’ll be more than big enough to carry five people’s luggage but it’s still slightly too small to carry a bike without removing its wheels.
If you need to carry even more, you’ll have to fold the middle row down, turning the Volvo XC90 into a vast van-like two seater with a 1,868-litre load bay. Unfortunately, there aren’t any handy latches in the boot to fold the seats down – you’ll have to open the back doors to reach the catches beside the headrests – but the resulting boot floor is completely flat and there’s no awkward load lip or step up behind the seats.
The boot floor lifts up to become a handy divider and there’s a generous amount of underfloor storage, too. With seven seats in place there’s nowhere to neatly store the load cover, however, so you’ll have to let it rattle around in the back or leave it at home.
There’s a 12V socket in the boot so rear-seat passengers can charge their phones and there’s a number of handy shopping hooks to help stop your groceries from breaking free and rolling around.