Volvo XC90 Review (2004)

Volvo XC90 T6 SE

Volvo XC90 Review

Volvo XC90 ReviewVolvo XC90 Review  | Part TwoVolvo XC90 Review  | Part ThreeVolvo XC90 Review  | Part FourVolvo XC90 Road Test

The interior styling continues the Volvo ethos and we loved the contemporary aluminium trim and black interior that was fitted to our car.

How It Looks - Interior

The interior styling continues the Volvo ethos and we loved the contemporary aluminium trim and black interior that was fitted to our car. The switchgear is visually minimal but perfectly functional.

We have awarded the interior 5 stars as again we could find absolutely nothing wrong with it.


Our car was fitted with two rather expensive options:

The Communications Pack (£2,600)

This option comprised of a Dual Band GSM telephone with a handset and RTI navigation system with a European DVD map. Clearly not a cheap option, especially considering that some manufacturers have either made DVD navigation standard or incentify you with a free system.

However, the Volvo system is superb, the colour navigation screen slides up and down from the centre of the dashboard and is operated either by a remote control or from the steering wheel. It takes sometime to get used to the steering wheel controls but at least you do not have to take your hands away from the wheel. Although touch screen systems such as those fitted to Jaguar and Ford vehicles are possibly easier to use the Volvo system out trumps them with the positioning of the screen as it can be seen without taking your eyes off the road.

Is the communications pack option worth it? This would depend on how you were going to use your XC90, if you spend the whole working day behind the wheel, in unfamiliar territory then yes it would be invaluable guiding you direct to the door of your destination. It is especially useful on those continental trips, with confusing place names and road numbers. You can plot a route direct from your starting address to most places in Europe, without ever needing to resort to a map. In addition, if your route is interrupted by a wrong turn or a diversion, the system will put you back on track. If you only ever run the kids to school and take a couple holidays a year it could prove an expensive option. I doubt when coming to sell your car that you would see much of a return on your initial outlay, but it will make your XC90 more desirable and it is an option that we would look for on a second hand car.

The Premium Sound Pack (part of the premium pack £2,100)

In our car, it was part of the Premium Pack which also includes electric seats, luxury floor mats, Bi-Xenon headlights with headlight cleaning system and the Sound Pack with subwoofer, mini disc player and CD changer. Not cheap but definitely worth the price.

The Premium Sound pack fitted to our car comprised of 12 speakers with an active sub-woofer, powered by 4x70w amplifiers. The system features a Dolby Pro Logic II Digital Surround Sound processor, which benefits from a centre speaker (1x25w). This is backed up by a 6 disc changer, active subwoofer in the boot, 4 rear seat headset sockets and a mini disc player.

Obviously subjective, but what did it sound like? Unless you move into custom in-car entertainment systems, you are not going to get much better at this position in the market. Is it worth it? Yes if you can afford the option, as it is sounds fantastic. Is it necessary? then the answer is no, as the standard Volvo fitted system is highly rated. You may also have to consider re-sale figures, but this option will certainly make you car more desirable to potential purchasers.

There is also the option of a DVD player fitted in the front centre armrest with 2 x 7-inch wide screens which can be fitted in the roof and seen by passengers in seat rows two and three. The design is extremely compact and the screen is lowered on powered hinges. The functions are remote-controlled and wireless headphones can be used to avoid disturbing other passengers in the car. The DVD player can also play ordinary CD's as well. This option costs £1850 and will keep your passengers amused and entertained.

I am going to give the options five stars, as they certainly top the XC90 experience and they are superbly implemented and engineered.

Volvo XC90 ReviewVolvo XC90 Review  | Part TwoVolvo XC90 Review  | Part ThreeVolvo XC90 Review  | Part FourVolvo XC90 Road Test
Volvo XC90 Road Test Data
Model ReviewedVolvo XC90 T6 SE
Body Type4x4
ColourSilver Metallic
Performance (manufacturers data) 
0 - 62 mph9.3 Seconds
Top Speed 130 mph
Transmission4-Speed Geartronic
Fuel TypeUnleaded Petrol
CO2 Emissions (NEDC Figures) g/km
Economy (NEDC Figures) 
Urban15.3 mpg
Extra Urban29.4 mpg
Combined21.9 mpg
Insurance Group16
Euro NCAP Rating5
Warranty3-year/60,000 mile warranty
(whichever comes first)
3-year unlimited warranty on the paintwork
8-year warranty against rust perforation
Price (when tested on the 02/10/04)£ 36,860 without options

The information contained within this Volvo XC90 review may have changed since publication on the 2 October 2004. The actual model road tested may feature options and functionality specific to that model, which may not be available as on option or be fitted to other models in the range. Options may not be available on UK specification cars. You may wish to check with your local Volvo dealer, before making a purchasing decision. E.&.O.E. You may NOT reproduce this car review in full or part, in any format without our written permission. © 2019