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Volvo XC90 Ground Clearance: What To Know

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Volvo XC90 by Albin Olsson — CC BY-SA 4.0

For the average-sized person purchasing an average-sized vehicle, ground clearance probably won’t be a huge issue. But ground clearance could be an issue for you if your everyday activities aren’t ordinary, your weekend adventures are crazy, you’re extremely tall or short, or something else in your life doesn’t call for an average-sized vehicle. With that being said, let’s take a look at the Volvo XC90 ground clearance: what to know before purchasing.

What is Ground Clearance and How Much Does the Volvo XC90 Have?

 Ground clearance is the measurement from the ground to the lowest point of a vehicle’s chassis or body. Some vehicles have ground effects or front fascias that are lower than the chassis - then the measuring would start there. If the chassis is the lowest point, which on some bigger cars, crossovers, SUVs, and trucks, it will be, the ground clearance measuring would start with the chassis and on to the ground.

 The Volvo XC90 has a ground clearance of 9.2-inches for all trims models. That is a very versatile number for an SUV. Not too high that it makes it difficult to get in and out of, but not too close to the ground where you will experience ground clearance problems. That can be important for entering steep driveways or parking lots and avoiding one thing that people love to hit, the all-important parking concrete parking block.


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How Does the Volvo XC90 Ride Height Compare to its Competitor

 With 9.2-inches of ground clearance, the 2021 Volvo XC90 is higher from the ground than most of its competition in its class. The BMW X5 and X7 both have ride heights of 8.7-inches, the Land Rover comes in 8.7 as well, and the Mazda CX-9 comes closest with an 8.8-inch ride height.

 Through the years it has held that 9.2-inch stance with a slight decrease in ride height down to 9.0-inches for 2019 XC90 models and older. Even with the slight decrease, the Volvo still held strong at the top of the list against its competitors.

Important Facts About Ride Height to Remember

Ride height is not going to make a huge concern for you in your daily commute and maybe not even in your extracurricular activities, but there are some factors that should be taken into account before shopping for a crossover or an SUV.

Volvo XC90 Ground Clearance: What to Know and Things to Remember

Comfort and Convenience: Having a vehicle that sits higher off the ground does give you a lot of advantages, but it will come with certain disadvantages. A vehicle that is higher from the ground can become difficult for shorter people, elderly people, and kids to get in and out of.

You may also feel that it is inconvenient to lift groceries, cargo, and other items into the vehicle. And how about lifting your kids into a car seat and buckling them up? That could get bad for the back after a while.

This could go for lower vehicles as well, the lower a vehicle gets down to the ground, the harder it becomes to get daily activities done without a feeling of strain on your back, shoulders, legs, etc. Just because you can get out of a vehicle once or twice at the dealership doesn’t mean you can or want to do it every day.   


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Better Vantage Point: For crossovers and smaller SUVs, dealership stats show that it’s smaller people and women who are more inclined to buy these types of vehicles. That’s because for vehicles like the Volvo XC90, they’re almost at the perfect height for being slightly above traffic, given the driver a great vantage point, but yet lower enough to the ground where everyday use of the vehicle is easy for people of all sizes and ages.

Underbelly Damage: The higher your vehicle is from the ground, the more it will be protected from the ground and obstructions that can cause damage to the underbelly of your vehicle. Underneath your vehicle is where very important parts of your vehicle’s drivetrain are open to damage and could cause you a big hassle if something happens to them.

Potential Rollover Damage: The lower a vehicle sets to the ground the better center of gravity the vehicle will have. This better center of gravity will give a particular vehicle better handling characteristics and less chance of rolling over during an accident.

The higher a vehicle is from the ground causes it to lose some of its center of gravity. This can make a vehicle lose traction or control easier and possible rollover in these instances.

Changing the Volvo XC90 Ground Clearance: What to Know

It’s entirely possible you have a Volvo XC90 and you want to change the ride height. There could be many reasons for this and many ways you can get the desired ride height your looking for. If you’re looking to raise your Volvo just a little, a bigger sized tire might be the most affordable and cost-effective way to accomplish your ride height goals.

If you don’t like the stance of your Volvo XC90, there are plenty of leveling kits and lowering kits that can help you achieve the look you are after. You would be amazed at how just a slight change in the ground clearance can change the look for the better on a vehicle.

If you’re in search of adventures like off-roading and camping, then lift kits might be right up your alley. Lift kits can give you the ground clearance you need to conquer off-road trails that can take you safely to your destination. 

Before you take on any of these major changes, it’s always best to consult a professional for professional advice. Changing the ride height of your vehicle can be a lot of money wasted if you find out you don’t like the way it sits, drives, or performs for you. Also, changing it back to the way it was could cost just as much money.


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Shopping for a Vehicle with the Correct Ground Clearance

Probably the most important thing about shopping for a vehicle is knowing what you plan on doing with it. If you plan on purchases a vehicle that will only be taken out on trips that will most likely require a high ground clearance, by all means, buy one that fits that criteria.

If you’re looking for a vehicle that will fit with your everyday activities and driving conditions, then you need to search for something with a ground clearance more suitable for that. We like the ground clearance on the Volvo XC90.

It is high enough to give the driver a great vantage point of the road, but at the same time, you can easily get out of the Volvo without leaping to your death. Moving cargo and other things in and out is easy, and people of most sizes should have no problem getting in and out of the Volvo.

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