Gas mileage is an important issue with any car. As an XC90 owner it takes on even greater importance as this car is big and enjoys its share of gasoline – and then some (or so it seems). As such, owners of 2004 XC90s tend to pay close attention to their fuel mileage indicator located in the bottom-left corner of the instrument cluster to see how fast their SUV is drinking gas.
Your 2004 Volvo XC90 is more than happy to tell you the kind of gas mileage you’re getting. There’s a display screen (Volvo calls it the “text window”) that will tell you the average MPG and your instantaneous MPG. If you didn’t know it was there, turn the wheel on your turn signal indicator until you see the information appear in the window. That’s where you’ll find info like how many miles you can drive until empty, real-time fuel consumption and your average miles per gallon. You can also turn the wheel to display nothing if it’s a distraction.
As for what your XC90 will say for an average consumption – it depends. But keep in mind that this reading is not a lifetime reading. It’s the average since the last time the calculation was reset, so it has to be taken with a grain of salt. My XC90, right now, says its average fuel consumption is 18.7MPG. It has been up as high as 22MPG on a recent long trip to New England. It’s also been as low as 17MPG while we were doing a lot of city driving.
So if you’re getting somewhere between 17MPG and 22MPG, I’d say you’re in-range. Keep in mind this is not a light vehicle. Throw in some third-row seating, an extra-large battery (I have a bigger battery to power the rear air conditioning) and an extra passenger or two (or a trip to Costco) and you’re looking at some serious additional weight in this SUV.
If you want to increase the gas mileage in your 2004 XC90, or at least keep it as optimal as possible, may advice is this:
Perform maintenance on your XC90. Don’t be late on oil+filter changes, inspect and change your air filter as suggested (or earlier if needed) by Volvo. Change your spark plugs and use the right ones. Keep your tires properly inflated. Also inspect all your vacuum hoses, PCV system and turbo hoses for any wear or needed repairs.
Drive slower. Trust me, you’re not going to win any races from a stoplight in your 2.5T XC90. If you’re on the highway and you need some boost to get out of a dangerous situation then, yes, step on the gas and you’ll get the power you need. But in general this car is meant to be looked at – not raced.
If my gas mileage changes dramatically (Up or down 1MPG over the course of a week is dramatic in my book) think about where and how you’ve been driving and try to be aware of how you’re accelerating and your speed in the city vs. on the highway.