Today is a day we have been looking forward to for quiet some time. The new Volvo XC90 replaces a model that had been on sale for 12 years and believe it or not it’s the first vehicle I ever reviewed for a publication. Back then; this dependable 4×4 was popular with purchasers for its mix of style, practicality and safety. It went down very well with urban and rural dwellers alike but in the last few years, it was beginning to look and feel dated. This all new XC90 has been awhile in the making but my goodness was it worth the wait. We collected the keys of this stunning D5 AWD Momentum model recently and immediately fell in love. It looks sublime from every angle and inside it’s a sea of luxury from the dash to the boot with amber leather faced upholstery. Our test vehicle was the 7-seater 225hp 2.0 litre diesel which starts off at €70,950 but with extras fitted, it becomes €75,530. It featured LED active bending headlights with active high beam along with the headlight cleaning system, front LED fog lights with cornering function, adaptive brake lights and twin exhaust pipes with chrome sleeves to match the chrome door handle deco strip and window surround. It oozes class and to drive it felt just as good.
The silent diesel engine is mated to an 8-speed geartronic transmission with sport mode and manual change function. The changes are seamless and it always seems to find the right gear no matter what roads you find yourself on. Although these SUV’s don’t usually see much off road action, purchasers will be happy to know the new XC90 is capable with a clever electronic all wheel drive system with instant TractionTM. Sadly we never got the chance to go off road in the XC90 but hopefully in a future test we will. Our four-day test drive was spent enjoying the super smooth daily commute and learning the 8-inch Active TFT crystal driver’s information display, which essentially operates like an iPad in the centre of the dash. It’s clever and intuitive and feels so good to use. The sound system transports you to your favourite theatre, nightclub or concert depending on your music taste and the electronic drivers seat with lumbar support makes you feel as comfortable as you can be.
People that buy Volvo’s tend to be somewhat safety conscious and the good news is that the XC90 has been awarded five stars and achieved top ratings in its 2015 Euro NCAP tests. The XC90 with standard City Safety technology set a new bench mark by becoming the first machine to score full points in Euro NCAP Autonomous Emergency Braking Car to Car rear-end tests (AEB City & AEB Interurban). The XC90 scored one hundred per cent in the Safety Assist category and it is also became the first model to score the maximum in the two Autonomous Emergency Braking tests AEB City & AEB Interurban. The XC90 also features advanced pedestrian protection functionality that independent safety regulators have yet to include in their testing protocols. All this once again goes to prove the Swedish carmaker continues to dominate and innovate in the safety sector. Since our test drive, Volvo Ireland has announced a front-wheel drive variant, powered by the D4 diesel engine, which is also mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission. This SUV delivers 190hp and 400Nm of torque with a combined fuel consumption of 5.0L/100km and pricing will be from €62,950 with first deliveries due in the next few weeks.
For us, the one we really want to test will be the T8 Twin Engine Plug In Hybrid. By paring a 60kw electric and 2.0-litre combustion engine this 407hp XC90 produces just 49 g/km CO2, and consumes 2.1-l/100 km or returns 104mpg in old money. There is 43 km of pure electric range and it can do the 0-100 km/h sprint in just 5.6 seconds. The car has five different driving modes that deliver a range of performance and efficiency-enhancing characteristics and it is priced from €86,200. So far Volvo have received over 57,000 orders for the new XC90, outselling forecast sales for this year of 50,000. The company is running three shifts at its plant in Torslanda, Sweden, to meet demand and 2016 looks set to be a record year at home with order books filling up fast. Purchasers of the new XC90 will no doubt be also considering the Audi Q7, Mercedes GL and the BMW X5 but what we would urge you to do is simply take a test drive. We have driven a few rivals to the new XC90 but it’s hard to quantify where any are better. Right now Volvo has hit the nail on the head with the XC90 and we wish them every success. It’s a cracking SUV to drive.
Engine Size – 2.0 litre D5
Fuel Type – Diesel
Power – 225hp
Torque – 470Nm Combined
Acceleration (0-100km/h) – 7.8 seconds
Top Speed – 220 km/h
Consumption (Combined) – 5.7L/100km
CO2 Emissions – 149 g/km
Road Tax – Band C €390
Base Price – €62,950
Price As Tested – €75,530