2017 Volvo XC90: A Trim Comparison

Volvo is known for luxury, and the XC90 certainly delivers – without being overly flashy. The minivan is also fairly eco-friendly. It’s made to be 85% recyclable and 95% recoverable. It offers four trims levels, and each comes with two or three engine choices. We’ll look at all of them to help you decide what’s right for you.


The Momentum is the basic XC90 trim, and it’s available with two engine choices. Of course, since it is Volvo we’re talking about, even the basic trim is going to cost a fair amount, and come loaded with a solid array of features. The momentum comes with the T5 or T6 engine.

T5 Momentum

The T5 has a 2.0-liter I-4 engine installed, which is capable of 250 horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque. It’s capable of up to 22 mpg in the city and 26 mpg on the highway. That’s not bad mileage, for a vehicle this size. The T5 has two options: front-wheel drive for $45,750 and all-wheel drive for $47,750.

It comes standard with a sunroof made of laminated glass. It also has SiriusXM radio, two first row LCD monitors, driver and passenger lumbar support, a navigation system, and leatherette seat trim.

The exterior of the T5 Momentum is decked out with heated mirrors, Remote keyless entry on all doors, and rain-sensing windshield wipers. Finally, it comes with rear parking sensors so you can protect your SUV from dings and nicks while parking.

T6 Momentum

The T6 Momentum starts at $52,250. This trim comes with an extra boost of power in the form of a turbo- and supercharged 4-cylinder engine. It gets 316 horsepower and 295 lb-ft of torque. However, the fuel economy drops slightly to an estimated 20 mpg in the city and 25 mpg on the highway.
There are a few differences from the T5 beyond just the engine. Added features include rear air conditioning with separate controls, front-row heated seats, leather seat trim, and bucket third-row seating. It’s easy to see why customers would choose this trim. If you’re shelling out for a Volvo anyway, the better engine and excellent features make the choice easy.


The R-Design has three engine choices – the T5, T6, and a T8 hybrid. This model is all about an incremental increase in convenience and luxury, and a sportier look to go with them.

T5 R-Design

The T5 R-Design is the least expensive of the 3 engine choices and comes in a front-wheel-drive option for $51,150 or an all-wheel-drive for $53,150. There aren’t many changes with the T5 R-Design, but the changes they DO make are significant.

It’s all about leather from here on out, and the T5 R-Design uses perforated Nappa leather to make a statement. This trim also includes Apple CarPlay, a 12-inch Driver Display, and full LED headlights with active bending. It also has a unique steering wheel and gear knob that’s wrapped in leather, with a distinctive three-spoke design.

The R-Design looks different on the outside, as well. Volvo added chrome tailpipes, aluminum interior accents, and a sporty body to set it apart from the Momentum and Inscription trims. However, the T5 R-Design is equipped with the same engine as the T5 Momentum.

T6 R-Design

If you want more power, the T6 R-Design is here to deliver. It has the same 316-horsepower engine as the T6 Momentum and the beautiful body style of the T5 R-Design. You might think you couldn’t want anything more for your $56,520. And yet, there is more.

The T6 R-Design allows for a maximum of seven passengers, up from the T5’s seating for five. Whether the in-laws are in town, or you just wind up carting your kids’ friends around a lot (or have a lot of kids?), the T6 R-Design is here for you. Additional features including heated seating, and the addition of paddle shifters.

T8 Hybrid R-Design

There’s also an R-Design hybrid for $67,800 that (naturally) gets better fuel economy than the other R-Designs. With the hybrid option, the fuel economy increases to 24 mpg in the city and 27 mpg on the highway, which is pretty great for an SUV of this size. But that isn’t the only upgrade. You also get more power – 400hp and 472 lb-ft of torque.

There are even more upgrades on this trim, including a contoured sport leather interior, power front seating, and a special leather gear shift knob.


The Inscription is the next step up from the R-Design. It returns to the original body, but is well-appointed with leather and cushy accoutrements. There are two engine options here, the T6 and the T8 Hybrid.

T6 Inscription

The T6 Inscription starts at $57,350. As the name suggests, this vehicle includes the T6’s 316-horsepower engine, and all-wheel drive is standard. But the Inscription raises the bar for comfort and style.

This trim has contoured leather seating for quality side support throughout the cabin. The leather is also upgraded to amber or charcoal perforated Nappa leather, which are well-complemented by linear walnut wood inlays. Overall, the T6 Inscription is all about luxury.

T8 Hybrid Inscription

Of course, for someone who wants a beautiful SUV with eco-friendly attributes, the T8 Hybrid Inscription is perfect. It’s very similar to the T8 Hybrid R-Design, but it has all the features of the Inscription. The price tag is pretty high, at $68,900. But you get a stronger engine, better mileage, and the knowledge that if you have to drive an SUV, at least you’re driving a relatively eco-friendly one.


The ultimate Volvo XC90 trim is the Excellence, and it’s a fitting name for this vehicle. It starts at $104,900 and focuses on elegance, from dark tinted windows on the outside to the charcoal or blonde fine Nappa perforated leather on the inside.
The Excellence also has a host of amazing interior features, including a heated/cooled cup and bottle holder, an air-ventilated subwoofer, and front and rear seats with ventilation and massage functions. The safety features improve significantly thanks to the park assist pilot, 360-degree surround view camera, Blind Spot Information System, and semi-autonomous drive system with adaptive cruise control and lane assist. That said, there are some manufacturers who include those kinds of safety features on the base model, and don’t charge six figures for them.

(Most info via Volvo. Image via Volvo’s Facebook.)