The first-generation Volvo XC90 was on the leading edge of innovation when it debuted in 2002, but now more than a decade later, the Scandinavian crossover design icon is showing its age against more modern rivals. An all-new XC90 is about to be revealed, and production on the next-generation vehicle will begin in late January 2015. However, today marks the production of the last first-generation XC90 at Volvo’s plant in Gothenburg, Sweden. The last model will be driven directly off the end of the line and into the Volvo Museum, also in Gothenburg. That said, the current-generation XC90 will live on in China, where it will be built in Daqing in northeast China and sold as the Volvo XC Classic.
The XC90 was one of Volvo’s most popular models in recent history, with a total of more than 636,000 units built. Initial sales goals of 50,000 units per year worldwide were quickly surpassed, with annual global sales averaging 85,000 units between 2004-2007. The United States was always the XC90’s biggest single market, and coincidentally, the winning design proposal for the XC90 was penned in Volvo’s California design studio by Doug Frasher.
The XC90 had a number of advanced features when it was launched, including roll stability control, side-curtain airbags for all three rows, and seatbelt tensioners for all occupants. As a testament to its enduring legacy of safety, the 2014 XC90 received the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s coveted Top Safety Pick+ award, a distinction only given to vehicles that meet the organization’s most stringent standards.