SWEDISH carmaker Volvo took 12 years to launch the second generation XC90 luxury SUV but the long wait was worthwhile for the award winning new car is now a genuine contender in this exclusive premium market sector where rivals include the BMW X5 and Range Rover writes Bryan Longworth.
The imposing XC90 is a deceptively large car that is a genuine seven seater unlike some so called seven seaters with the third row of seats being suitable for average adult passengers and with them folded as they are likely to be for much of the time the load area is really cavernous.
XC90 which has permanent four wheel drive has a very distinctive Volvo front with solid conservative styling at the side and rear that overall provides the car with an elegant appearance which is more car-like than some of its rivals that adds to its street appeal.
On test was the entry level XC90 D5 AWD Momentum costing £45,750 on the road and while it had numerous options on board taking the price to £51,715 there was nothing basic about the standard equipment which included leather seats and brilliant LED bending headlights that made night driving much more relaxing and the best I have come across.
There was also a very useful power operated hands free opening tailgate plus a pedestrian and cyclist detection system and front collision warning with auto brake plus run off road protection.
Optional kit included the winter pack with heated front seats steering wheel and windscreen, queue assist, parking camera, park assist and a 12.3 inch active TFT crystal driver’s information display.
My car which had eight speed automatic transmission was powered by the very smooth and responsive new 2.0-litre four cylinder diesel engine that produced a top speed of 137mph zero to 60mph time of 7.4 seconds and a combined fuel consumption of 49.6mpg with CO2 emissions of 149g/km.
There is that aura of luxury associated with five star hotels as soon as you enter the cabin which provides the driver and passengers with an immediate feeling of wellbeing and as soon as the car moves off you can tell the XC90 is something very special.
The steering has a very precise feel about it and the handling and roadholding qualities combine to provide a superb ride for all those on board with the new Volvo Drive-E 225hp diesel engine providing plenty of power in all driving situations especially rapid acceleration.
Virtually all the controls are on the large central screen which may be alright in theory but I would have preferred some of them such as those for things like temperature and audio to have been manually operated for looking at the screen whilst driving was a tad distracting.
Otherwise the new high tech XC90 is a wonderful solid and safe luxury SUV that is a tribute to the Scandanavian company now under Chinese ownership and for those considering such a vehicle they will not be disappointed for it is an ideal motorcar to have in your garage especially with winter approaching.
There is no doubt that the new big XC90 takes Volvo to a new level and now provides a really tempting alternative to those aforementioned rivals in particular from the UK and Germany plus others and interest in the car indicates that it is set to be a huge success for the company.
Model: Volvo XC90 DS AWD Momentum.
Engine: 2.0-litre four cylinder diesel.
Transmission: Eight speed automatic.
Top speed: 137mph.
Acceleration: 0 to 60mph 7.4 seconds.
Fuel consumption: 49.6mpg combined.
C02 emissions: 149g/km.
Price: £45,750 on the road.