12.3" Progressive Driver Display 9" centre console portrait touch screen Adjustable steering wheel force Bluetooth hands free telephone connection Driver alert control with lane keeping aid Driver assistance (pilot assist and adaptive cruise control) Driver awareness - Blind spot information …
The XC90 is the Swedish brand’s largest, seven-seat sport utility vehicle (SUV) and the company’s flagship. This family friendly all-wheel-drive model is available with diesel, petrol and mild-hybrid power options. The latest version also now offers plug-in electric hybrid (PHEV) charging under Volvo’s new ‘Recharge’ banner. The company’s range-topping ‘T8 Twin Engine’ PHEV delivers all the benefits of a high performance, low emission petrol engine combined with an electric motor that delivers very low CO² emissions, more than twenty miles of pure electric range and loads of power.
The XC90 has smart Scandinavian styling with lovely body lines and a handsome LED light signature, styled as ‘Thor’s Hammer’ and featuring automatic high beam. The front grille uses the characteristic design with the diagonal bar making it instantly recognizable as a Volvo. The look of this SUV varies a little depending on the trim. For example, the R-Design trim level looks sporty while the Inscription specification highlights a more luxurious aspect. Some models will also feature an airy panoramic roof.
XC90 customers looking to import from the UK to Kenya, New Zealand and other destinations might appreciate the latest VAT-qualifying mild-hybrid specification which aids fuel consumption efficiency and reduces, they say, emissions by up to fifteen percent.
Like other similar technology, Volvo’s hybrid engines take advantage of a ‘brake-by-wire’ system to incorporate a kinetic energy recovery braking system which helps replenish the battery. Formula 1 technology trickling down to the mainstream.
Volvo offers in all models their own ‘Sensus’ connectivity and infotainment technology that delivers an intuitive touchscreen interface combining car functions, navigation, connected services and in-car entertainment applications such as Spotify. The 9” portrait-oriented touchscreen enables easy and fast access to a host of features. Smartphone integration with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto is also available playing through no less than ten speakers.
All XC90 versions come with electric adjustment for the driver’s seat, including adjustable lumbar support, ensuring a comfortable driving position, also thanks to well-sited foot pedals. This big SUV is noted as being one of the most comfortable cars in its class with fantastic all-round visibility. Step up to R-Design trim and get some fabulous sports seats.
Parking such a big car is more straightforward than might be thought thanks to front and rear parking sensors as standard. There’s also a rear-view camera, and a 360° bird's eye view camera is on the options list for new orders. Fine materials are used throughout with the top-level Inscription trim garnering fine-grade Nappa leather seats.
With seven seats there’s room for everyone including the family dog. Storage abounds and the three seats in the middle row can slide forward and backwards independently of one another to improve rear leg room or to maximise boot (trunk) space. When not in use the third row seats fold flat into the floor. Even when they are up there is still room for luggage or shopping at the back. That’s why this SUV is so very popular; it’s the versatility.
There’s some astonishing safety technology on board, backing up the claim that Volvo cars are among the safest in the world. It’s all there: Adaptive cruise control, lane-keeping, rear collision mitigation and ‘Queue Assist’, which is a low-speed autonomous driving system which uses the adaptive cruise control to stop and go in traffic. Brilliant. This car even knows when it is about to leave the road, tightening the seats belts, just in case.
Driving The Volvo XC90
As the XC (Cross Country) name suggests, this is an all-wheel-drive car with considerable ability on rough terrain. Although not really a true mud-plugger it is still very capable but, more to the point, when road conditions get bad the 4x4 technology is on hand for motoring peace of mind.
This large SUV is all about long haul cruising, aided by the smooth eight-speed automatic transmission. The ride is fine even on the standard fit suspension but move up to air suspension, not an especially low cost item, and the ride gets floaty. Despite the size, even when cornering, the handling inspires confidence; not to any sporting effect of course, it is just that the car feels planted.
Should You Buy One?
New and used, if a seven seat SUV is needed then the answer is unreservedly yes. The very reliable Volvo XC90 is quite a car. Seven seats, a huge boot, a great range of engines and power outputs to suit, especially the T8 version which is hugely fast. MHH International offer a selection of XC90 models with comprehensive feature lists to aid choosing. Ask us about current stock.