Volvo XC90 on the road

PUBLISHED: 07:22 01 August 2015 | UPDATED: 07:22 01 August 2015

Volvo XC90

Volvo XC90

Archant

The second generation Volvo flagship shows that a big SUV can be versatile, nimble, sensible and safe, which is a pretty impressive feat

Volvo confounded premium rivals in 2002 by launching the XC90 SUV. And carried on doing so throughout that car’s 12-year production life; a long time in the car market and proof that the Swedish premium brand hit the bull’s eye. It’s done it again with a star replacement.

Retaining the seven-seat format that gave the original a flying start, the new Mk2 (from £45,750) is squarer, delivering a genuinely roomy third row of seats catering for adults up to five feet seven.

Folding all five rear seats (fully flat, unlike some SUVs) also creates a capacious load area of 1,899 litres, so the big Swede can be both luxury motor and workhorse.

This versatility is enhanced by thinner seat cushions that still manage to surpass the benchmark comfort of the old car and crown an aura of quality throughout.

No wonder Volvo expects half of UK customers to opt for entry level Momentum trim and its generous standard spec; it’s all the luxury most will need. The rest will go for luxury Inscription trim (20 per cent) or the sporty R-Design look (30) arriving later.

UK versions have futuristic ‘Thor’s Hammerhead’ headlights, setting the tone for clean-cut lines, but the XC90 stands out as much for what’s beneath the bodywork: it pioneers how Volvo wants to build a whole new generation of cars.

Its underpinnings can be scaled up or down for spin-off models and, typically, incorporates the latest safety kit.

The XC90 also has only two-litre, four-cylinder engines, but the different variants offer many options to buyers through turbo and supercharging, while a hybrid is due later.

However, like the choice of trim, most buyers are expected to go for the entry powertrain: the 225bhp diesel has plenty of power for the light yet strong body and, with just 149g/km of CO2 emissions, it’s easy on the conscience and road tax (£145 a year).

Road manners are excellent: I drove the car in the Yorkshire Dales, where it felt nimble and comfortable, with just a hint of lean on the bends; it actually felt like I was piloting a compact SUV rather than a seven-seater.

Interior refinement is also impressive and, as ever with Volvo, the Scandinavian design ensures that everything is simply and well arranged to be close to hand and easy on the eye.

So here’s to another 12 years of XC90 success.

Volvo XC90

Price: from £45,750

Driving appeal: ****

Image: *****

Space: *****

Value: *****

Running costs: ****

Reliability: *****

How green?: ****

Best rival: BMW X5

News in brief

DS brand takes a bow

Citroën has spun off its DS premium line-up to become a standalone brand: DS.

Its debut model is the former Citroën DS5, rebadged simply as ‘DS5’. More than a classy cosmetic makeover, the DS5 also has a revised suspension and now rides with a fine balance of sportiness and comfort closer to that of the original DS, launched 60 years ago.

Sparkling deal on Mazda star

Although one of the most eagerly awaited car launches of 2015, the all-new Mazda MX-5 arrives this month with a tempting finance deal anyway. Kent-based Mazda UK is offering the stunning fourth generation model, priced from £18,495, with zero per cent finance after a 50 per cent deposit, just the pitch to attract existing sports car owners to make the change.

Into Infiniti and beyond…

All carmakers want to recruit new buyers and keep them, but Infiniti hasn’t had a smaller car to sign them up to – until now.

But Nissan’s premium arm is about to launch the all-new Q30 hatchback, rival to cars like the Audi A3 and designed to create a new army of Infiniti buyers who might later trade up to bigger Infinitis.

w

More from Motoring

Thursday, June 18, 2020

Kenway Miller Solicitors saw a marked increase in the number of people accused of speeding and those arrested on suspicion of more serious driving offences such as dangerous driving and drug driving.

Read more
Monday, June 15, 2020

Powered by a 2.9-litre twin turbo V6, the Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio offers a unique blend of style and performance

Read more
Friday, May 29, 2020

The Morgan Plus Six is a glorious salute to the past, but it’s also the most technologically advanced car in the company’s 110-year history

Read more
Wednesday, March 18, 2020

It turns out there’s a lot you can do in van business. We talk to those who have pushed the boundaries when it comes to working on the road.

Read more
Monday, March 16, 2020

Jet Wheel Tyre offers some invaluable advice on tyres and ensuring your car remains road worthy

Read more
Friday, March 6, 2020

Ray Chapman Motors officially unveiled their new York dealership, at York Business Park, Poppleton.

Read more
Friday, February 28, 2020

One of the best ways to experience the raw beauty of Surrey is by car: roof down, picnic hamper on the back seat, taking a leisurely drive through the undulating countryside. Here, drivers from The Supercar Event give us a run-down of the very best Surrey has to offer

Read more

A Ribble Valley company’s leather booster seats are ensuring young passengers can travel in luxurious style

Read more
Wednesday, February 5, 2020

It can be hard to imagine your little one growing up, but it won’t be long until they’re asking to borrow your car keys. Sue Waterfield from Young Driver, the UK’s largest driving school for 10–17-year-olds, explains how early driving tuition can set the foundations for a safer, more confident next generation.

Read more
Friday, January 24, 2020

In built-up places like Brighton, there is very little advantage to purchasing a brand new car. With so few uncongested roads in the south of England – and many other parts of the British Isles, for that matter – a brand new car won’t get you where you are going any faster. Nor will it be any easier to find a car parking space on the road you live on. However, second-hand cars are better in a number of ways. If you are considering buying a car in the near future, why would you opt for a used one rather than a model that has just rolled off the production line?

Read more
Kent Life Food & Drink awards. Open for entries.

Latest Competitions & Offers

Subscribe or buy a mag today


subscription ad


Follow us on Twitter


Like us on Facebook


Local Business Directory

Search For a Car In Your Area

Most Read

Latest from the Kent Life