With the XC90 Volvo are making it very clear that they are a high-end luxury brand. A sign of their magnificent shift of direction is proven in two ways. Firstly, in five years the XC90 will likely be the oldest vehicle in their fleet as they are at the beginning of a massive new model offensive. Secondly, towards the end of 2015 Volvo unveiled their brand new S90 which will prove to be massive competition for BMW, Audi and Mercedes-Benz.
The XC90 weighs-in at two-tonnes and is powered by a range of very capable 2.0 litre engines. The D5 delivers a very credibly 225 bhp. The four-wheel drive system is good for some off-road terrain but the suspension is firm and the car does a lot of bouncing even on minor off-road situations. Getting from 0-100 km/h can be done in 7.8 seconds and we’re told that its top speed is 205 km/h. This engine is mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission that can hold onto lower gears a little bit longer than necessary. The D5 engine offers some very nice mid-range performance that makes over taking a very simple task. While we would recommend this engine there is another option for people who want more power on the road. The T8 petrol version offers 396 bhp and can sprint from 0-100 km/h in just 5.6 seconds.
The XC90 does suffer in terms of body roll if you take corners with too much speed. Apart from that the ride in the XC90 is a very sweet. The steering is well-weighted and accurate. In normal road conditions it soaks ramps up nicely.
The XC90 is remarkably refined for a vehicle of its size. Yes there is a small bit of wind noise from the massive wing mirrors but it’s not much at all. The 2.0 litre engine that we tested did not seem overly loud.
This is probably one of the nicest interior spaces in its segment. It’s made of luxury. The dash in our test vehicle was adorned with wooden panelling and the seats are uber-comfortable. The attention to detail in this interior is exceptional and it’s the nicest we’ve ever seen from Volvo. The iPad-like infotainment system looks amazing too. However, while the infotainment looks great, it is a little bit complicated and takes time and patience to figure out what’s on offer through the touchscreen.
There are few brands that are as innovative as Volvo when it comes to safety and the XC90 is being used an example of their goals for the future. Volvo’s mission for 2020 is that no one should be killed or seriously injured in a new Volvo. It therefore won’t come as a shock to anyone that they received a full five stars in the Euro NCAP. Their scores were very high all round with 97% for adult occupancy, 97% for child occupancy, 72% for pedestrian safety and an incredible 100% for their safety assistance systems.
This is a massive car and there are absolutely no issues when it comes to leg and head room in rows one or two. Our test vehicle also had seats six and seven and even this area could comfortably hold two adults. When seats six and seven are down the boot capacity is 775 litres.