Volvo XC90 a Realistic Car for a Family?

lmgkeyslmgkeys Member Posts: 20
edited March 2014 in Volvo
We are a family of 2 adults and four children ages 10, 8, 7 and 4. Due to increasing gas prices and the need for a AWD/4WD we are looking to downsize from a Ford Excursion to a XC90 but are concerned with the realistic room of the third row for long trips with 4 kids. Can anyone give their input on the realistic size of the third row for hauling four kids? Obviously, we would need to pull a trailer for cargo but that would be necessary for any vehicle in order for us to downsize. Thanks for you input.


  • shieattshieatt Member Posts: 75
    We are also a family of 6, just a little behind (ages 8, 6, 4 and 2). I would love an XC90, but can't justify losing that much space. We drive an 03 Suburban (which we love), but like you, the gas prices have us down. The surprising thing is that the EPA estimates on the XC90 V8 (15 City/21 Highway) are virtually identical to that of the 07 Suburban 1500 4x4 (15 City/20 Highway). Also, the pricing is very similar - with the Suburban being slightly less with slightly more upscale equipment available (e.g., a back up camera). The new Suburbans are absolutely gorgeous - do yourself a favor and check them out. I love Volvos, but for a big family on the go, I don't think it makes sense to cram the fam into an XC90 at $50K plus and 15 MPG.
  • lmgkeyslmgkeys Member Posts: 20
    Thank you for your help. I have to say thought that the actual ratings from people who own the 2007 Suburban are far less than the EPA estimates and that concerns me. Where we live it is mostly highway driving and we were hoping to get closer to the 21 that most people with XC90 are claiming to be getting. We are having a hard time finding something that is even a compromise to giving us close to what we need.
  • guyfguyf Member Posts: 456
    My wife 5'3" and my mother 5'2" took a couple of 2 hours trip in the 3rd row of our XC90 and they claimed to be very comfortable. You can slide the 2nd row up a bit to give more room back there, not all SUV's give you this possibility. Also, the Volvo has the only third row seat that I would consider safe in a rear end accident.

    I get an average of 22 mpg US with my 2.5T XC90.

    Hope this helps! :)
  • lmgkeyslmgkeys Member Posts: 20
    Thanks! It does help. That's how I feel about the 3rd row and safety of a Volvo. I know it's going to be crammed compared to what I have now, a gas guzzling tank, but I can't compromise the safety issue when it comes to my family! Thank you.
  • shieattshieatt Member Posts: 75
    I haven't heard any real world stories on the 07 Suburban mileage. Our 03 will get 18 on the highway cruising at 65-70 mph, so I have to think that the 07 would do at least 19 mpg with its new displacement-on-demand system. Even if the 07 only can get 18, and the XC90 actually will get 21, you are only talking about a difference of 8 gallons or so a month difference (assuming 1000 miles/month)... for an extra $20 or so a month in gas, you get a LOT more utility than the Volvo. For someone who will use the third seat regularly, getting second row captains chairs (as you can in the Suburban) would be a major daily convenience, so as not to have to slide a seat forward every time you load the kids. In terms of the safety of the third row seat, there is no way the Suburban is less safe given that you have easily 2 full feet more between the seat and the tailgate than you do in the XC90. Also, the 07 Suburban now has stability control, front, side and canopy airbags. Any safety innovations the Volvo has that the Suburban does not are probabably offset by the Suburban's greater size.

    Don't get me wrong, I LOVE the XC90 - in fact, we're looking at leasing one for our other car. My wife drives our Suburban, and I drive an 01 V70 (which I love), but we were thinking it would be nice if both of our cars could accomodate all of the kids.

    The only problem with the XC90 is that, like all SUVs, excepting the Suburban and the Excursion, they just aren't that good for carrying more than 5 people.

    Frankly, you would be better off in a Honda Odyssey or a Toyota Sienna than in an XC90 in terms of utility and space - I guarantee both of these minivans have more space by just about every measure (especially cargo space), cost about $10K less than an XC90 even loaded with navigation and rear DVD, are far more reliable and have extremely high safety ratings. They just aren't as fun to drive or look at as a Volvo.
  • erobertseroberts Member Posts: 2
    I've had a Saab 9-3 for 4 years. I love the car but it's been a little unreliable lately. My husband and I are expecting our first baby in March and so he's really insisting that I trade in my Saab for a "family car." He means a minivan! But aren't there other options for moms? I was looking at the Volvo V70. He wants the Honda Oddessey. Any other thoughts on good, safe, kid-friendly cars that aren't minivans? I'm a professional and have to drive quite a bit; I don't like big cars - no SUVs; I need something with reasonable gas mileage and easy to drive and park - we live in the city. Thanks for your help!
  • lmgkeyslmgkeys Member Posts: 20
    Well,...I must say, bad news is, I conceded. I have four kids ages 4,7,8 and 10. I had a Volvo with my first and when my second came got a minivan then got an Excursion with my 4th. Now, with rising gas prices and tired of lugging a truck around I went back to a minivan. We looked for many months at the XC90, the MDX and any other possible alternatives because I really am not a minivan mom but I took a look at the Honda and was wowed by the interior and the kids loved it. The gas mileage is much better than the other vehicles we looked at and the leather interior and the options are better than the others too. As for parking and driving I must say, it drives like a very nice car. The kids are very comfortable and for getting a baby in and out of it will be perfect. Believe me, I know you don't want to hear this, I didn't!!! But take a look at it and think about it, I realized that when my kids are grown that I'll get the car I want. I got the Odyssey with NAV, DVD and leather and I love it. The power doors and back up camera are great and the Navigation system is awesome to have. The power doors will make a big difference with a baby in your arms. But it will take a mind set change to convince you to get a minivan!! Good luck!
  • jtlajtla Member Posts: 386
    Congratulations on getting the fully loaded Odyssey. I just saw this thread today. When I read post #1, I was thinking you should get a minivan, either Odyssey or Sienna as shieatt suggested. Although XC90 has 7 seatings and its 3rd row seats are among the most useful and comfortable, it will not be practical for a family of 6. I am happy to see the happy ending at post #8.

    However, I think it is a different situation for eroberts since she and her husband is just expecting the first child. Besides, she mentioned that she is a professional. Driving a minivan doesn't quite fit the image. IMHO, any 4-door can be considered as "family car", whether it be sedan, wagon, or SUV. You really got lots of choices.

    For us, we have 2 kids, age 9 and 6. When the second child was born, we thought we needed a large vehicle so we bought a Sienna. The 3rd row was rarely used, and my wife never got used to that "soccer mom" feeling. We traded the minivan for XC90 at end of 2004. The seating arrangement is very versatile. Occasionally, we would utilize the 3rd row to carry additional passengers. All seats (except driver's) can lay flat if cargo space is needed. It is perfect for us, or any family of 3 to 5 for that matter. For a family of 6, I would consider either minivan or full-size SUV.
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