Volvo XC90 T8 Recharge Plug-In Hybrid ・ Photo by Brady Holt
In 2016, the redesigned Volvo XC90 mid-size luxury SUV redefined and reinvigorated the Scandinavian automaker’s style and technology. And even eight years later, the 2024 XC90 has aged gracefully. It still looks stunning inside and out. It still earns the highest safety ratings. It still seats up to seven passengers more comfortably than many SUVs. It still delivers a welcome balance of peppy acceleration yet reasonable fuel economy of 23 to 24 mpg in mixed city/highway driving. And the XC90 T8 Recharge plug-in hybrid now travels up to 32 miles using only electricity (nearly triple its 2016 range) before averaging 27 mpg with its gas engine.
However, the XC90 (priced from $56,000 for a gas model and $71,900 for the hybrid) also has many strong rivals. Whether you see it as an opulent family car or a posh luxury ride, we’ve rounded up 10 XC90 competitors to consider — including several models that offer incredible luxury and utility at a much lower price. Keep reading to find out which one is best for you.
Lexus invented the luxury crossover SUV in 1999, four years before the first XC90 hit the market. But it took a quarter of a century for Lexus to come up with an answer to the three-row family-friendly Volvo. That’s the all-new 2024 Lexus TX.
The TX is sold in a choice of gasoline (TX 350), hybrid (TX 500h), and plug-in hybrid (TX 550h+) variants. The former two get 23 mpg and 27 mpg in mixed driving, respectively. The PHEV edges out the XC90 Recharge with 33 miles of electric range followed by 29 mpg on its gas engine. All three versions have roomier interiors than the Volvo, too. Prices start at $53,700 for the TX 350, $68,000 for the TX 500h, and likely around $75,000 for the TX 550h+. Note that the XC90 has the more richly finished interior and, even though it’s much older than the TX, slightly better safety scores.
2024 Lexus TX 350 ・ Photo by Lexus
The big, roomy Lexus TX is a tempting XC90 alternative if you’re looking for maximum interior space. But if luxury is your bigger priority, we recommend the 2024 BMW X5.
The X5 has historically offered an optional third-row seat for emergencies, but it’s not a true three-row SUV like the XC90. As we write, a third row is no longer available as an option. If that isn’t a factor for you, we think you’ll love the X5. It offers exquisite performance, technology, and comfort for up to five passengers and a fair amount of cargo. Its standard turbocharged 375-horsepower six-cylinder engine makes an excellent 25 mpg in mixed driving, while its plug-in hybrid variant goes up to 39 miles per charge. The X5’s base price is steep at $65,200, but that’s not much more money than the XC90 with its much less powerful upgraded engine option: the 295-hp B6 (versus the base B5’s 247 hp). If you love driving, we think you’ll love the X5.
2024 BMW X5 PHEV ・ Photo by BMW
The 2024 Mercedes-Benz GLE is Germany’s closest rival to the BMW X5, and it’s a tempting alternative. It lacks the X5’s exquisite performance, but it has a warmer, more welcoming interior and more room to spread out (across two rows). There’s also still a tiny third-row option.
The GLE is available with a wide range of powerful yet fuel-efficient engines, or some absurdly powerful V8s with no nod toward economy. There’s also a plug-in hybrid with a projected range of around 40 miles per charge, which will help more folks cut gasoline out of their commutes. The GLE doesn’t have the BMW X5’s athleticism, but nor does the XC90. If you don’t miss it in the Volvo, you might also appreciate the GLE’s available six- or eight-cylinder engines, its roomier second-row seat, its longer PHEV range — or its more prestigious nameplate.
2024 Mercedes-Benz GLE 450 ・ Photo by Brady Holt
The 2024 Audi Q7 is the third member of the German luxury trio to compete with the Volvo XC90. It’s a crisp-handling SUV with standard third-row seating and an immaculately finished cabin. On the road, the Q7 has unflappable manners — steadier and more agile than the XC90. It’s priced from $59,500.
There are some downsides. Some of its touchscreen-based controls demand more concentration than we’d like. Gas mileage is below average at an EPA-estimated 21 mpg in mixed driving, with no hybrid or plug-in hybrid available. And the XC90 has the more usable third-row seat and a warmer, more inviting dashboard design. But overall, the Q7 splits the difference between the family-friendliness of the Volvo XC90 and the dynamic excellence of the BMW X5.
2022 Audi Q7 ・ Photo by Brady Holt
The 2016 XC90 dazzled for its quietly classy yet distinctive styling as much as for its engineering and interior room. Another winner on that front is the 2024 Genesis GV80. This mid-size SUV stands upright and purposeful, with a mix of boxy and curvy design cues to keep it from looking like a utilitarian box. Its impeccable interior provides a relaxing minimalism, with smooth curves and empty spaces. And it comes loaded with standard features at $57,450.
The XC90 is the only one of the two luxury SUVs with a usefully roomy and widely available third-row seat. It gets better gas mileage even if you skip the hybrid model (which Genesis lacks an answer to). And we find the Volvo’s controls easier to use. If you’re interested in a beautiful luxury SUV and care more about stunning design than sporty handling or the roomiest interior, the GV80 deserves your attention.
2021 Genesis GV80 ・ Photo by Brady Holt
While many of the XC90’s competitors are luxury cars first and family cars second, the 2024 Acura MDX is engineered for family-friendly comfort and utility. It has three usable rows of seats, including a clever removable center position in the second row. It has lots of cargo room, and it’s easy to quickly fold and unfold the seats. But unlike the XC90 or the Lexus TX, it’s also great fun to drive, with crisp handling and a choice of two powerful V6 engines. And prices start at a comparatively modest $49,850.
The MDX doesn’t have the forged-from-granite steady ride or extra-opulent interior materials of a top luxury vehicle. Its touchpad-based controls are fussy to operate. And there’s no fuel-saving hybrid or even four-cylinder model. But it’s a fun, functional, and decently affordable three-row luxury SUV.
Acura ・ Photo by Brady Holt
Acura is considered a luxury brand, and Mazda is considered a mainstream brand. But you wouldn’t know that from the all-new 2024 Mazda CX-90. It delivers the solidity and opulence that the Acura lacks, without overlooking its spirited handling and zippy six-cylinder acceleration. It even gets an excellent 25 mpg in mixed driving despite its generous size and power. Yet it starts at an even more affordable $39,595.
The CX-90’s infotainment system lacks the dazzle and simplicity of the best luxury cars (or even the best mainstream ones). The available plug-in hybrid trails the XC90’s range and efficiency with 25 miles of electric range followed by 25 mpg on gasoline. And its firm steering will feel unnecessarily heavy for some buyers, especially at lower speeds. Just don’t spend a lot extra on the XC90 or another luxury-branded SUV before checking it out.
2024 Mazda CX-90 ・ Photo by Brady Holt
The 2024 Hyundai Palisade is another luxurious mid-size crossover SUV from a mainstream brand. Hyundai invested heavily in high-quality interior materials; a smooth, serene ride; and a long list of high-end features that the Volvo lacks, such as ventilated second-row seats, heated third-row seats, an in-car intercom, and a rearview camera mirror. But it’s also a winning everyday family ride with a roomier interior than the Volvo, with three comfortable rows of seating that fit up to eight passengers. Cabin storage is also much better in the Hyundai. All of this starts at just $36,400, and even a fully loaded Palisade costs less than a base XC90.
Now, to some extent, you do get what you pay for. The Palisade’s naturally aspirated gas-only V6 gets an EPA-estimated 22 mpg in mixed driving, with no option for a more economical choice. And while the Hyundai’s interior quality is excellent for its low price, the Volvo’s is excellent by the standards of a higher price.
2023 Hyundai Palisade ・ Photo by Brady Holt
The 2024 Kia Telluride is a mechanical cousin to the Palisade. It has a similar list of pros and cons to the Hyundai that we just covered, but it wraps them in a boxier body. Its dashboard is also more squared-off than the gracefully flowing Palisade’s.
Overall, if you want your mild-mannered premium family SUV to look more like a truck, the Telluride delivers. It’s another worthwhile XC90 competitor to consider. The Telluride is priced from $35,990.
2023 Kia Telluride ・ Photo by Brady Holt
We’ll close our top 10 Volvo XC90 competitors with the 2024 Buick Enclave. It’s one of the roomiest vehicles you’ll find short of a minivan, yet its gentle curves and restrained chrome decoration help it fit into upscale settings.
Under the skin, the Enclave is a simple Chevrolet Traverse. It doesn’t have the exquisite interior details, finely honed ride and handling, or stunning luxury features that you’ll find in most of the other XC90 competitors we’ve mentioned. And it averages just 20 mpg in mixed driving from a modestly powerful V6 engine, the only powertrain on offer. But the Enclave is quiet, comfortable, and well-equipped even at its base price of $43,900, and its controls are easier to use than most of the luxury models on this list. If the XC90 and its ilk are frustrating you with their complexity and cozy cabins, this big Buick might be the right classy family car for you.
2024 Buick Enclave ・ Photo by Buick