Heritage - Volvo XC90

Volvo XC90, generation I (2002 – 2014)

Volvo XC90, generation I (2002 – 2014)

The story of the Volvo XC90  began on 7 January 2002, when Volvo Car Corporation launched an eagerly awaited new model at the Detroit Motor Show. It was a car that dealers and customers principally in America had been yearning for – an SUV from Volvo.

A car that would be awarded more than 100 international distinctions, including "SUV of the Year" as early as 2003, and that was named Sweden's most valuable export product, with an annual export value of more than SEK 40 billion in the peak years. Before sales started in 2003, Volvo's dealers had already received 15,000 orders.


Many critics felt that Volvo Car Corporation was entering the SUV segment too late in 2002. However, the XC90 came to be a shot in the arm for the entire segment by resolving many of the problems experienced in earlier SUVs.


In the XC90 Volvo were going to show innovative solutions for the drawbacks for which the SUVs of the time were known.


These solutions included:

  • The potential to create a flat cargo floor behind the front seats;
  • Driving properties equivalent to those of a regular car;
  • Leading fuel economy within the segment.


The Volvo XC90 also presented five global innovations:

  • RSC (Roll Stability Control), a system that uses a gyro sensor to detect and counter the risk of overturning, and ROPS (Roll Over Protection System) to optimise the protection for everyone in the car in the event that, despite everything, it should still overturn.
  • Inflatable side curtains for all three rows of seats.
  • An integrated, adjustable booster cushion for children in the second row.
  • Seat belts with "tensioners" for all seats.
  • A lower crossbeam at the front, which had the task of activating the car's safety systems in the event of a collision.


The Volvo XC90 was launched with a range of five and six-cylinder engines. All were transversely mounted in accordance with Volvo's powertrain concept. In 2004, the range was extended with a powerful, transversely mounted V8 engine made of aluminium, which was combined with a six speed automatic gearbox.


After 636,143 XC90 produced, a legend of the car world left the factory in Torslanda on 11 July 2014 to make room for the next generation of the XC90. The last XC90 made in Gothenburg was driven directly to the Volvo Museum, also located in Gothenburg.


Model Specifications

Produced: 636,143

Body: 5-door SUV

Engines: 5- and 6-cylinder inline petrol and diesel engines, 2.5 – 3.2 litres, 163 – 272 hp. V8 petrol engine, 4.4 litres, 315 hp.

Dimensions: wheelbase 286 cm, length 480 cm, width 190 cm, height 179 cm

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