Rate It: The Volvo XC90 Excellence Was the $100,000 SUV That You Were Not Meant To Drive

By Colin Wood
Dec 1, 2020 | Volvo, xc90, Rate It, Excellence

We know what you might be thinking: "'Not meant to drive,' like an autonomous vehicle?” Not quite.

What we mean is that this is the sort of SUV designed for chauffeuring that special someone. 

Built for markets in which being chauffeured and having ample rear legroom is a status symbol—such as China—the 2017 XC90 Excellence’s starting price of a little more than $100,000 was virtually double the price of the $60,000 range-topping Inscription trim.

So what did all that extra cost get you? Heated and cooled rear seats, heated and cooled cup holders, matching crystal, a fridge for said Champagne and a sound-insulated partition that separates the passenger compartment from the cargo area—just to name a few upgrades.

Mechanically, the Excellence is powered by the same T8 “Twin Engine” hybrid powertrain that combines a twin-charged, four-cylinder engine with an electric powerplant that Is said to be capable, in total, of over 400 horsepower.

Were the many ultra-luxury features found in the Volvo XC90 Excellence worth the steep price of entry, or would you rather buy two XC90s for the same price of one Excellence?

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View comments on the GRM forums
Duke MegaDork
12/1/20 8:50 a.m.

Wow, for all that, there's really not that much back seat legroom, is there?


Vigo (Forum Supporter)
Vigo (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
12/1/20 10:25 a.m.

A stretch S90 would be cooler to me, but it may just be that any super-lux ride where your body moves downward instead of upward when you get into it is now plebeian.

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
12/1/20 10:29 a.m.

Check out the driver's headrest. 

Shaun Dork
12/1/20 11:38 a.m.

I spent 3 weeks in mainland China in the Pearl River delta area and 2 weeks in HK last year and the trade deficit the west runs with Southeast Asia is wildly apparent in both places.  It  is mind boggling.  100K cars are everywhere-  this XC 90 would not qualify as a status car- more corporate taxi level.  IMHO what Volvo is trying to do is compete with the luxo  'mini vans' that dominate the upscale urban areas point to point corporate and global pirate transportation.  They make perfect sense as egress into the dense mayhem of the street life and return is so much better with huge sliding doors and the interior volume can hold several people who are working phones and sloshing money around.  They slip in out of the vans without looking away from their phones in one continuous meeting.   Big Mercs BMWs Audis Maybacks Rollers and Bentleys are the status cars for the ultra rich that dont do their egress on the street.  Volvo cant compete with either, so of the two I'd say Greely needs a luxo van.  

dyintorace (Forum Supporter)
dyintorace (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
12/1/20 5:45 p.m.
David S. Wallens said:

Check out the driver's headrest. 

"Driver - Put up the partition please."

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