Volvo XC90 Review and How it Fits Two Car Seats

Volvo XC90 Review

Hello and welcome to my first and only car review. I should probably lead with the obvious: I am not a car expert and know pretty much nothing about the mechanics of motorized vehicles. I’m also not a car person. As someone who knows nothing about the cars but also someone who needed a car that would comfortably hold two rear-facing child seats and all the stuff that comes with having a baby and toddler, and feel somewhat qualified to share why I chose the Volvo XC90. Here’s my review of the Volvo XC90 and how it fits two car seats.

Volvo XC90 Review and How it Fits Two Car Seats

I shared some video of the car’s features in my instagram stories

A review for the Volvo XC90

My old car lease was up almost one year ago, but we weren’t exactly going anywhere since 2020 was a bit of a mess, so we decided to save money and hold off until we needed a second car. Almost one year later, with Conor going on more showings for work (he’s a realtor here in Chicago), having a second car made sense for our family.

A friend had the XC60 and it drove so well, and is a beautiful car. I previously owned the Q5 but it would have been too small, and I didn’t consider the Audi Q7 since it’s more expensive than the XC90. After driving in it a few times, I loved the features and the smaller footprint, so my plan was to get one of those when the time was right. Another friend urged me to look at both the XC60 and 90 and even though my heart was set on the smaller car, it was clear that the larger of the two made more sense for us. Long-term, I wanted the option to carpool or drive the girls and their friends around, and the XC60 would only allow one additional person to ride with us.

Comparing the Volvo XC60 to the Volvo XC90

I called the dealership and asked if they could pull the XC60 and XC90 side-by-side out front for me to look at on my own. Bring your specific car seats and strollers, and play around with configurations. Here’s a terrible photo I took of the XC60 with our Bugaboo Bee in the back. This is our smaller city stroller, and it barely fit. When thinking of road trips and day-to-day use, we’ll have the third row down most of the time which gives us a huge trunk to work with. The rear seats are a bonus and would be great for older children. Note that you cannot install a car seat in a rear seat.  

Volvo XC90 Review

Had I not loved the XC90 as much as I did, I would have looked at the VW Atlas, but it was just so beautiful and such a smooth ride. I drive an average of 3-4,000 miles a year, so I did not purchase a hybrid but if I drove 10k plus miles a year, would have considered it. Our garage is on the smaller side and I don’t know that I could even fit this car inside, so a charging station would have been an issue, too.

I decided on black on blonde interior which was harder to find but a beautiful combo, and the momentum package because the package was $5000 more and didn’t have anything I needed. Today, I’m  going to answer some of your questions and talk about why I love this car as much as I do. 


Volvo XC90 Lease Vs. Buying

I’ve always leased cars, but because this car will be perfect for life with our two girls, I decided to purchase it and hope to drive it for 8-10 years – basically until I have to get a new one. Since I’m keeping it for such a long time, purchasing made sense this time around. I bought it fat Napleton Volvo (Conor’s uncle’s dealership) and they were wonderful to work with. Since I knew what I wanted, we told them the color combination and features, they found the car and delivered it to our house. So easy. 


Volvo XC90 Review and How it Fits Two Car Seats

Favorite Features

great design: the interior and exterior are beautiful. The touchscreen is big, beautiful, and easy to use. 

360 camera: As a mom, it feels so good knowing I can see everything around me while the girls play outside. The camera shows you an aerial view of everything around your car – it’s amazing! 

integrated child seat: This is something we won’t use for years and years, but it’s nice to know that there’s an integrated booster seat built into the car.

safety: Automated emergency brakes, blind spot monitoring, lane departure warning. 

it’s smart: I don’t know what cars offer this, but my phone alerts me if my car is parked an unlocked, and I am able to lock, unlock, or turn it on from my phone. 

it’s comfortable: The second row has plenty of room. When I sit with the girls, I’m always behind the driver’s seat and at 5’5″ feel very comfortable. There’s climate control, so I can have the air on in the back to keep the girls cool. 

Volvo XC90 Interior

Just look at that front seat. It’s beautiful, isn’t it? I chose the blond leather, and got the momentum package (the more affordable option). The XC90 is a luxury SUV that feels comfortable and sleek. It’s nice but approachable. 

Volvo XC90 Bench vs. Captain’s Chairs

When trying to figure out what I needed in a car, I turned to The Car Seat Lady and came across this article on a 2nd row bench vs. captain’s chairs and went with a bench cushion. The bench offers three seats that operate separately and each can hold a car seat, and each of the 2nd row seats have top tether anchors and lower anchors for use when forward facing. Ultimately, I felt that the bench was a better, safer, and more practical option with rear-facing car seats.

Knowing that most of the time and that the 3rd row would be down for us, having a third seat in the second row made the most sense. My younger daughter was in an infant seat (the Nuna Pipa) for the first year. Once she was old enough, I added a second Foonf to our car. 

And here’s the third row. It’s small, but still comfortable. I wouldn’t plan on using this every single day, but since we have 2 kids, it will be down most of the time for optimal trunk space, but there if and when we need it. With the back seats up, there’s enough space for a few grocery bags, but not enough storage for a stroller. 

Nuna vs. Clek Foonf in the Volvo XC90

We had been using the Nuna RAVA since Margot turned one and it’s a great car seat. Knowing that I’d need two more seats since the plan was to leave a seat in Conor’s car, I decided to go back to researching the two to make sure I chose the best ones for our XC90. In the end, I decided on the Clek Foonf because it’s more narrow than the RAVA, and we can put them side-by-side in the XC90. If the girls get along well while driving and this option works, I put the car seats behind the middle and front passenger seat. This leaves more room for behind the driver’s seat and gives us access to the third row of seats. 

I used a seat belt for our rear facing Foonf. The car has isofix mounts (latch system) in the second row, but I prefer how tight the install is with a seat belt. 

The Foonf offers more legroom and since I plan on having the girls ride rear-facing seat until they max out on weight or height, this seemed like the best option. Bonus: if you have three kids or are planning on a third, you can fit three Clek Foonf across in the XC90. 

Here’s the car with the third row down (above) and with the third row up (below).

It’s still big enough for groceries or our Bugaboo Bee, so when I’m driving the girls and their friends in the years to come, it will be fine. With the third row down, I’m able to fit both the Bugaboo Bee and Valco Snap Duo Trend double stroller in the trunk. There’s so much trunk space! 

Volvo XC90 Trunk Space

The trunk is pretty small when the third row is up, but since we only have two kids, the third row will be down day-to-day, and it’s easy to put up or down when needed. The only time we’d really need a huge trunk would be a road trip, running errands for larger items, or long day out with the girls, and we’d have the third row down so really, not an issue. 


Volvo XC90 Review: Your Questions, Answered


Would you want it if you didn’t have kids? 

It’s a beautiful car, drives so well, and I love the features so yes. But, I probably would have chosen the XC60 if I didn’t have kids.


Would you want it if you had three kids? Why/why not? 

If my oldest was out of a car seat, yes. It’s great for two small children, but you can’t put a car seat in the third row  so you’d have to have all three across the second which wouldn’t be ideal. I can’t imagine driving a larger car than this one, so I’m still going to say yes. 


How many car seats will fit? 

The second row bench is made up of three separate seats and it can fit three Clek Foonf car seats. That sounds kind of annoying (how is someone getting buckled into the middle seat?). We have two kids so it feels great for us. Older kids can sit in the third row, but a child in a booster or car seat cannot. 


How does the interior feel with two kids? 

It feels great to me. Right now, we have Margot in the Clek Foonf behind the driver’s seat and Kate in the Nuna PIPA Lite behind the passenger seat, so the only way to sit with them is to climb into the back. 


Are the seats comfortable? Does it drive smoothly? 

Yes and yes. The seats are so comfortable and I think the interior is beautiful. I had the Audi Q5 and thought that was smooth, but love this so much more. 


What’s your least favorite thing about this car? 

I guess how small the trunk would be with the third row up, but that doesn’t bother me.