Lifted Volvo XC90 Goes Off Road on 32 inch Falken Wildpeak AT3 Tires

Lifted Volvo XC90 Goes Off Road on 32 inch Falken Wildpeak AT3 Tires

When it comes to off-roading, the 2nd gen Volvo XC90 is hardly the first vehicle that comes to mind. However, that didn’t stop Gabe from Rival Machine from using it to explore local trails. Being a car guy with strong roots in the street scene, he knew that some mods wouldn’t hurt and outfitted his 2018 XC90 R design with stylish ENKEI RS TC5 rims, wrapped in oversized all-terrain tires to take full advantage of its off-road potential.

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Lifted Volvo XC90 on All terrain off-road tires
Off-roading in 2nd gen 2018 Volvo XC90

It’s no secret that many premium crossovers on the market today are capable of handling pretty serious off-road terrain, despite their “road-only” image. Lifted Range Rovers, Cayennes and Touaregs outfitted with oversized A/T tires and overland style gear are no longer a rare sight on Instagram and pages of car magazines.

With their all-wheel drive (AWD) systems and smart electronic assistants, these vehicles are more than equipped to take on anything you can encounter on medium trails. Add in a factory air suspension that can lift the vehicle 2″ with the touch of a button, and you’ve got yourself a pretty solid weekend off-roader.

Lifted Volvo XC90 on 32 inch off-road wheels

The Volvo XC90 is no exception, as it has everything you need to go for a fun ride off the beaten path. Here are 3 main benefits:

All-Wheel Drive (AWD) System
All-wheel drive is a must when it comes to off-roading. You never know when you might encounter a slippery surface or loose gravel, so it’s always better to be safe than sorry. The Volvo XC90 comes standard with an AWD system that will keep you moving forward even when the going gets tough. Volvo is not new to off-roading actually, as back in the day their first-gen XC70 made a lot of noize in the AWD wagon segment.

ENKEI RS TC5 18×9.5 +38 wrapped in Falken Wildpeak AT3 265/65/18 (equal to 32”)
Falken Wildpeak AT3 265/65/18 (equal to 32”)

Smart Electronic Assistants
Like many modern crossovers, the Volvo XC90 is equipped with smart electronic assistants that help you navigate even the most difficult situations. These assistants keep an eye on things like your traction and wheel slip, so you can focus on enjoying the ride.

Volvo XC90 leather seats

Factory Air Suspension
As we mentioned before, factory air suspension is a great feature to have in an off-road vehicle. With the touch of a button, you can lift the Volvo XC90 2″ off the ground, giving you more clearance over obstacles. According to, the ground clearance on models equipped with this kind of suspension can range from 8.9 to 10.5”, which is quite impressive for a premium crossover.

“We got this R a design fully loaded with the carbon fiber system and the airride to do this lifted look and it’s also equipped with the HEICO LEVEL SELECT ECU so I can slam it and drive it in the EASY ENTRY MODE that lowers it 2” below stock.” – Gabe

Volvo XC90 stickers

Despite being equipped with all of the modern technological features to assist you on rough terrain, this crossover platform has its limits. To push them a little further, Gabe has outfitted it with oversized 265/65/18 all-terrain tires thatequal to 32″.

Metric Wheel SizeFitmentOff-road Size in Inches

First of all, they improve the traction on an uneven surface; second, they provide the ability to deflate and keep going even when things get more serious. On top of that, they add one extra inch of ground clearance compared to the stock vehicle.

Volvo XC90 Wheel size comparison
Calculations based on fitment data

SPECS – 2018 XC 90 Rdesign

  • Rims: ENKEI RS TC5 18×9.5 +38
  • Tires: Falken Wildpeak AT3 265/65/18 (equal to 32”)
  • Suspension: Factory Air suspension

Falken Wildpeak AT3 All Terrain tires

Lifted Volvo XC90 on off-road tires
It’s not hard to guess that Gabe is coming from the street scene by looking at the set of 18×9.5” ENKEI RS TC5 rims. He is passionate about fast import and European cars, so if you share this interest, you should definitely check out Gabe’s website Rival Machine and give him a follow on Instagram.

It’s fair to say that Volvo XC90 is rarely used for off-roading for a variety of reasons, with one of them being the cost. Yet, it has all the necessary features required to go off the beaten path. With its all-wheel drive system, smart electronic assistants, and factory air suspension, this crossover has got the potential to handle mild and medium trails if fitted with the right tires.

Excploring forest trails in a lifted Volvo XC90 Rdesign

Volvo XC90 crossover offroading

So if you are adventurous to try something different, a Volvo XC90 may be a great candidate for your next off-road project. Know your limits though, as it’s not that bullet-proof and unstoppable as a body-on-frame truck with low range and locking differentials that we usually see on the trails.

The price to fix the damage from difficult trails can be quite costly on these vehicles, but the style, level of comfort, and driving pleasure can easily outweigh the limits of the platform for people who dare to be different. Enjoy wheeling…just stay out of trouble!

Volvo XC90 with a roof rack

Black modified Volvo XC90

See Also
BMW X5 Off Road build: E53 and E70 with overland mods

So whether you’re looking for a perfect combination of a comfortable on-road SUV and a capable adventure vehicle, the Volvo XC90 can be a great option to consider.

Watch the progress and find out more about this Volvo XC90 project by visiting the Instagram profile of the owner: @rival_gabe!

Lifted Volvo XC90 with stock ir suspension

Related Parts & Mods

– Inspired by this Volvo build and looking to prepare your own XC90 for off-road adventures? Our team has put together a list of products and accessories available online that may help you to achieve similar results:


Roof Rack

Roof Top Tent



*Before ordering any part or accessory, it is recommended that you verify its fitment with a qualified professional and/or seller. We are not responsible for fitment or other issues that may arise from using the products featured on our website.

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View Comments (6)
    • Good point! The majority of modern SUVs, especially the premium class, come without lockers, yet outfitted with various electronics that simulates them. It’s hard to believe, but even the Land Cruiser 200 didn’t come with rear lockers. The last triple locked Land Cruiser was the 80-Series.

  • Looks great changes the hole look of the car.
    Did they use spacers to change stud pattern?
    My understanding XC90 has 5×108 stud pattern, I could only find the Enkei’s in 5×114.3.
    Were they custom ordered wheels?
    Thanks in advance

    • Hi there! According to the owner’s information he didn’t change the stud pattern nor used adapters. You’re right, the XC90 has 5×108 bolt pattern, but it’s not very uncommon. For instance, a popular tuner car Ford Focus ST utilizes the same bolt pattern and a detailed search in Google helped me to find a couple of Enkei rims with 5×108 bolt patterns (my query was: Enkei rims 5×108), so I believe the wheels installed on this XC90 weren’t custom ordered. Most likely they were made for the Focus ST or something similar. Since Enkei wheels tend to be forged alloy which is stronger than cast alloy, they should be able to handle the extra weight of the larger XC90 without issues.

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