Why the Volvo XC90 Keeps Winning Awards

2015 was a big year for the Volvo XC90. The luxury vehicle won 38 major awards for the 2015 model year, including being named ‘Ride of the Year’ by Yahoo, ‘SUV of the Year’ by Motor Trend, ‘Best Premium SUV’ by Car and Driver, and an ‘Automotive Best Buy’ by Consumer Guide. No other vehicle can boast these types of accolades, putting the Volvo on a level of its own.

That trend will likely continue into 2016, as the vehicle has already won multiple awards for next year’s model. The 2016 XC90 has already been named the 2016 Motor Trend SUV of the Year award, and it’s also been named a finalist for 2016 North American Car and Truck of the Year (Mihnea Radu of AutoEvolution.com believes the XC90 is a “shoo-in” for the award). Volvo Cars of America president and CEO Lex Kerssemakers has presumably been happy with all of the recognition, which he talked about when addressing his vehicle’s nomination.

“The all-new XC90 represents the future of Volvo,” he told Radu. “We are grateful that NACTOY judges recognize how significant it is for consumers, the industry, and for us.”

There isn’t one particular reason why the XC90 keeps collecting all of these awards and accolades… there are several. Using Motor Trend’s criteria, we examined the specific reasons why the XC90 has been (and will continue to) win major awards. Check out the reasons before you head out to a Volvo dealer in New Jersey. We may convince you of which car to pursue…

‘Advancement in Design’


“When you buy a luxury product, the difference between that and an ordinary product is the amount of craftsmanship that has gone into creating it,” Robin Page, the XC90’s interior designer, explained.

She couldn’t be more right, as the Volvo’s interior is as luxurious as you can possibly get. In fact, the engineers borrowed styling ideas from Scandinavian designers. Every inch of the interior is impressive, including the soft leather, flame birchwood, diamond-cut buttons, crystal gearshift lever… the list goes on and on.

“Swedish design is about honesty—using only the most exceptional natural materials,” Anders Gunnarson, the vehicle’s exterior design, said.

There are a variety of other amenities included in the interior. The ‘Swedish air’ CleanZone climate-control system uses carbon filters to provide the occupants with purified air. The front seats are both ventilated, and they also include massaging capabilities and four-way electric lumbar support. Meanwhile, the back seats can be reclined and folded to offer maximum cargo space.

Of course, we also have to mention the Sensus infotainment system. The radio and navigation applications are supplemented by a sound system inspired by the Gothenburg Concert Hall, as 800 individual measurements were taken to assure the purest sound. Besides accessing the system’s various features via the touchscreen, driver’s can also use the steering-wheel-mounted controls or, if they choose, their own voice. This results in one of the easiest-to-use systems in the class, and drivers will never have to take their eyes off of the road to access any of the features.

The vehicle will also hook up with your phone, allowing you to make calls and send texts while you’re operating your vehicle. Furthermore, the Volvo On Call application will allow you to manipulate your vehicle from a remote location. You’d be able to start your engine, warm or cool the cabin, ask for roadside assistance, or lock and unlock the doors.

When it comes down to it, is there anything the XC90 doesn’t offer? We’d say the answer is a clear ‘no.’



The XC90’s MSRP is beyond reasonable at $49,800, a price that would rank in the middle of the pack among luxury vehicles. If a customer wanted to opt for the T8 Twin Engine Plug-In Hybrid, they’d have to dish out $68,100, which still isn’t a ridiculous price.

The T6 AWD R-Design trim costs an extra $4,000 to add to your car, or you could opt for the T6 AWD Inscription for an additional $5,600. Furthermore, there are a variety of available packages, including Momentum Plus, the Bowers & Wilkins Premium Sound System, the Climate Package, the Convenience Package, the Vision Package, and Dark Flame Birch Inlays.



The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety awarded the XC90 the highest possible safety rating available. As the car’s website explains, the vehicle offers both “protective” and “preventive” capabilities, and those factors could be attributed to the vehicle’s design. Using “a combination of an ultra-high-strength steel safety cage, advanced restraints and an advanced auto-braking system,” Volvo’s newest vehicle could perhaps be considered one of the safest sedans on the road. Of course, the XC90 will have to compete with the brand’s other vehicles for that title, as Volvo’s cars have consistently earned top marks from the IIHS.

Of course, the engineers also included several technological safety features to further protect the driver and passengers. The City Safety collision avoidance technology will help anticipate a potential collision and adjust your vehicle’s speed accordingly. This system includes the innovative Braking in Intersection capabilities, which will automatically apply the brakes to prevent the XC90 from colliding with an oncoming car in an intersection.

There’s also the IntelliSafe technologies, which include such functions like Road Sign Information (helps driver recall any previous signs), Lane Departure Warning (alerts driver via audible or visual signals if another drive may prevent them from switching lanes) and Electronic Stability Control (assists in preventing swaying, keeping the luxury car on it’s route).

‘Engineering Excellence’/’Performance of Intended Function’/’Efficiency’


We grouped these three categories together, all so we could better focus on one of the vehicle’s most impressive aspects: the engine.

The standard In-line 4-Cylinder, Supercharged and Turbocharged 2.0-liter Engine is quite the impressive unit for a luxury car, as it’s capable of pumping out 316 horsepower and 295 pounds-feet of torque. It can also deliver a solid 25 highway/20 city mile per gallon fuel efficiency. The system is connected to an all-wheel-drive drivetrain which, when coupled with the engine, can offer a maximum towing capacity of 5000 pounds.

Of course, we should also mention some of the vehicle’s other specs, particularly the dimensions and weight. The vehicle is 194.8-inches long, including an 117.5-inch wheelbase. With a height of 69.9 inches and a width of 84.3 inches, the driver and passenger can anticipate quite the roomy interior. Front passengers will receive 38.9-inches of head room, 57.7-inches of shoulder room, and 40.9-inches of leg room, while passengers in the rear will get 38.5-inches of head room, 56.5-inches of shoulder room, and 37-inches of leg room. The vehicle weighs a surprising 4,393 pounds, an impressive weight for an SUV.


As you can see, there are a variety of reasons why the Volvo XC90 continues to rack in awards. The vehicle is widely regarded as one of the best SUVs on the market, but if 2015’s awards are any indication, the vehicle is in the running for one of the best vehicles, period! 2016 will feature much of the same in regards to accolades, and we can only expect this trend to continue for the nameplate.

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