Is the Volvo XC90 the perfect family car?

Volvo XC90

As a teenager my dream car was a VW Beetle and I was lucky enough to have one as my first car.

Fast forward a few years, my dream car has morphed and changed into something infinitely more practical for family travel and for the last ten years or so I have been dreaming of owning a Volvo XC90, even more so after getting inside one at Carfest last summer.

Why an XC90?

There are lots of reasons but one of the initial ones was that it answers one of the holy grails of 7 seater cars – it has boot space with all seven seats up!!

My wish came true, albeit briefly, on our visit to Scotland, as we got to test out the new XC90 D5 for a week and I was not disappointed.

Volvo XC90

There is no denying the fact that this car is huge. My previous car was a Citroen Grand Picasso and I currently drive a VW Touran which are both 7 seaters, but the XC90 towers over both.

Volvo XC90

The first thing I had to do was park it, which filled me with fear, but thankfully a rear view camera and a video motor with guide lines on the dashboard made it a piece of cake. Then it was time to play car jenga and load it up with all our stuff for the week.

Volvo XC90

My one, and only, disappointment with the XC90 is that you cannot fit 3 car seats along the rear seats as the middle seat is 3/4 size, which meant one of the kids had to take up one of the seats in the boot. This turned into a blessing for the 9 hour drive as it meant they could not bicker and fight and there was still enough boot space for three suitcases, wellies, bags and two toy boxes.

Volvo XC90

The Volvo XC90 is, without doubt, the most comfortable car I have ever had the pleasure to drive. It is packed full of gadgets that James Bond would be proud of, with a cockpit akin to the Starship Enterprise and useful inclusions that included an actual plug in the rear so the kids could charge their iPads. I think we found a new gadget every day of our 7 day holiday!

Volvo XC90

Driving the XC90 took some getting used to at first as it is packed full of safety features which took centre stage on the motorways. The car monitors the white lines on the road and will centre you if it thinks you are wavering, however you can override it if changing lanes.

Volvo XC90

It also senses the distance to the car in front and four orange lights will appear in the drivers eye view if you are too close to the car in front or if a car is approaching from behind an orange light will appear in the wing mirrors to warn you. It can even drive itself with pilot assist technology, which is the most bizarre experience but great if you are in heavy traffic.

Volvo XC90

The 9″ touch screen computer panel in the middle of the dashboard enabled us to control the radio, both DAB and FM, heated seats, heated steering wheel, air conditioning and was the satnav and parking camera too.

Volvo XC90

The satnav map also appeared on the dashboard directly in the drivers eyeline, along with the speed limit of the road, which we found particularly handy.

Volvo XC90

The XC90 performed brilliantly on the motorways but we were also keen to see how it behaved in more challenging conditions.


There are four drive settings; comfort, eco, off-road and dynamic and we tried them all.

Volvo XC90

The Off Road came in very handy, especially when we encountered some challenging country roads and snow and made the drive stable, smooth and comfortable.

Volvo XC90

Other gadgets we loved included a heated front windscreen that defrosts in less than 30 seconds, a boot that opens and closes with the push of a button and that you can even connect your phone and have your messages read out.

Volvo XC90

If you want the gory details about how good, or bad, your driving is, it can even tell you that too.

Volvo XC90

Fuel consumption wise it did really well and did around 550 miles per tank of diesel. We had to fill up 3 times (it arrived with a full tank of fuel) and we did just over 2000 miles during our week, costing around £80 each time.

Volvo XC90

The Volvo XC90 costs from £47,350 which is about average for a car of this class.

Volvo XC90

With its array of safety features, the roominess inside (even my 6ft teen can stretch his legs), this remains at the very top of my dream car list and for me, is the perfect family car.

Disclaimer: We were lent the Volvo XC90 D5 for the purpose of a review. All thoughts and opinions are our own.

24 thoughts on “Is the Volvo XC90 the perfect family car?

  1. anna nuttall says:

    Hi Kara, how are you? It look like a very nice car – your kids seem to like it. Is quite heavy to drive? Like does it feel like a big car to drive, does that make sense?
    anna nuttall recently posted…House of Fraser Spring Summer 2017 CollectionsMy Profile

    • Chelseamamma says:

      Hi Anna, no not at all. It was really light. In fact I felt like I was driving a tank when I got into my Touran as it was so heavy (I even checked I didn’t have a flat tyre)

  2. Natalia says:

    wow! I love Volvo cars. I think they are really smart and this one looks very cool with so many features. I’m glad you are enjoying it 😀 x

  3. Kerry norris says:

    Looks like a great family car with plenty of boot space which is what we’d need
    Kerry norris recently posted…Our weekly meal plan – 6th march 2017My Profile

  4. This car looks great for a family. Love the size and touch screen panel.

  5. Moderate Mum says:

    Ooh it’s like a studio apartment 🙂 I love the fancy sat nav, as a permanent passenger I’m sick of drivers asking me to fiddle about with it.

  6. Sophie says:

    This looks like a lovely family car! My husband has a Volvo and rates it 🙂
    Sophie recently posted…5 REASONS YOU SHOULD BOOK A MASSAGE THIS WEEKMy Profile

  7. Shame about the three seat scenario but the other assets like video monitor seems to make up for that xx
    Ana De- Jesus recently posted…Faded Spring Moves House (Again!)My Profile

  8. Haha! At the bickering being reduced. I like Volvos as they are so reliable but it would never pull our 7.9 metre caravan. Although they can tow

  9. Sarah Ebner says:

    Honestly, this sounds like an amazing car, especially fitting that much in and having so many other functions. We used to have a Volvo when I was growing up, and I always felt very safe in them, but they weren’t this snazzy back then!
    Sarah Ebner recently posted…Four days in Vienna with kids (by Robert)My Profile

  10. Nikki Thomas says:

    That sounds like an awesome car. We have downsized with our car and I really miss our seven seater, it definitely made life a lot easier and gave everyone enough space. The special features of this car sound amazing too, all designed to be the perfect family car.
    Nikki Thomas recently posted…Unsubscribing. My new therapyMy Profile

  11. This looks like the perfect car for a big family. Full of great added extras!! Oh how i wish i coul drive!!

  12. Emma says:

    I’m not normally a fan of seven seaters, but this looks fab! It’s good that there is a rear view camera and guidelines on the dashboard. I would struggle parking a bigger car without gadgets like that.
    Emma recently posted…Relationship problems after having childrenMy Profile

  13. Lindsey says:

    How snazzy is this car, you can fit everything in but the kitchen sink. I love the design of it also.
    Lindsey recently posted…Spring Clean Ready With MINTDMy Profile

  14. I’d love a heated windscreen! That’s my least favourite job in the winter.

  15. Alina says:

    What an awesome, spacious and family friendly car. I don’t have children but if I did it’ll definitely be one I’d look at to get.
    Alina recently posted…Competition: Win £75 to Spend on Inspired WallpaperMy Profile

  16. Jo says:

    We wouldn’t need a car this big but it looks great for bigger families. I love all the gadgets, cars have come such a long way!
    Jo recently posted…5 Ways To Celebrate International Women’s DayMy Profile

  17. This looks great although it would be no good for us as we need three car seats across the back. We have a ford s-max but this has way more mod cons!
    five little doves recently posted…The things we didn’t expect when we were expecting!My Profile

  18. I love this car! It looks so comfortable and has everything you need for a long journey. I am pleasantly shocked at how good it is on fuel as well. Quality is definitely associated with volvo and you can see now corners have been cut making this car. Bet you loved the journey! x
    Louise Edwards recently posted…Young Driver – Part One @youngdriver #firefly #driving #safety#youngdriverMy Profile

  19. I have only ever owned a Toyota car. when there was us the two of us I had a yaris then upgraded to an Auris when we had my son. Now we are a family of four we are struggling when it comes to boot space as there isn’t enough, especially for holidays in the UK. Will definitely be looking in to a bigger car soon, this does look appealing
    Michelle Murray recently posted…The Gruffalo Orienteering Trail – Delamere ForestMy Profile

  20. Talya says:

    There is something that just shouts quality when it comes to Volvo. We just bought a new family car…sadly this car was out of budget for us but maybe one day as we really love it!
    Talya recently posted…Win £300 for your child this Spring to put in an Orbis Access Junior ISAMy Profile

  21. Jon says:

    Can’t believe the size of that boot! Look ideal for family holidays!
    Jon recently posted…DON’T MISS OUT on making £1000 RISK FREE during the Cheltenham Festival!My Profile

  22. Sabina Green says:

    The Volvo XC90 has always been on our dream car list too. Sadly we can’t afford a brand new one and we came so close to buying a used one just over a year ago. We test-drove one, loved it and got back to the garage to be told someone had taken a deposit whilst we were out. We were gutted!! I WILL have one eventually. This is a brilliant review of a fabulous family car x
    Sabina Green recently posted…Nintendo reveals new partnerships and first indie games coming to Nintendo SwitchMy Profile

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