Home » fresh cars 2017 » Volvo XC90 Review, Auto Express

Volvo XC90 Review, Auto Express

Volvo XC90 review

Possessor reviews

More on this model

The Volvo XC90 is a luxury SUV that rivals models such as the Audi Q7, Porsche Cayenne and Range Rover Sport. Volvo has created a refreshing SUV by using Scandinavian design influences, and it feels like a premium product that supplies design-led looks and a raft of advanced safety kit.

The XC90 boasts a distinctive exterior and slew of equipment, and produces a far more upmarket package than its practical but ageing predecessor. Add the advanced fuel efficiency and safety technologies, and you have a class-leading SUV on your forearms.

The XC90 is a excellent performer on the road, and with seven decent seats as standard plus a big boot, it’s a strong candidate for family car buyers. Underpinning the Volvo XC90’s fresh-thinking treatment is a bold strategy to suggest only Two.0-litre four-cylinder engines, a compromise that will inspire some drivers, but may deter the those attracted to the lazy grunt of a traditional six or eight-cylinder SUV.

Not us tho’. We love the Volvo XC90’s unique blend of technology, efficiency, style and safety – that’s why we named it Auto Express Car of the Year in 2015. It lost its title to the Jaguar F-Pace a year later, but we still crowned it two thousand sixteen Large SUV of the Year.

The Volvo XC90 is a family-friendly luxury SUV with a modern twist, thanks to its special use of down-sized Two.0-litre four cylinder engines, including in the high-performance Volvo XC90 hybrid version.

Dealers suggested the previous generation Volvo XC90 for sale for a lengthy twelve years, so when the current seven-seater model arrived in two thousand fifteen it made a refreshing alternative to other established 4×4 models like the BMW X5, Mercedes GLE and Audi Q7. The Lexus RX 450h, Land Rover Discovery and Range Rover Sport are also potential alternatives for XC90 buyers.

With a choice of diesel, petrol or petrol-electric hybrid power, the Volvo XC90 shares much of its engineering under the skin with the S90 saloon and V90 estate. There are three trim levels called Monentum, Inscription and R-Design, and none are what you’d call Spartan.

The Momentum model is the cheapest at just under £50k, and has luxury features that include leather-faced upholstery, power driver’s seat adjustment, climate control, Sensus navigation with a 9-inch touchscreen, plus 19-inch alloy wheels, a powered tailgate, rear park assist and LED active ‘bending’ headlamps. The Inscription adds more luxury with a Nappa leather interior and more prominent front grille, while the R-Design goes for a sportier feel with sports seats, special alloys and a model-specific grille amongst its highlights.

All models have a comprehensive safety roster, including City Safety with pedestrian and cyclist detection, front collision warning with auto braking, lane departure warning and road sign display. Queue Assist low-speed self-driving and an automatic parking system are available too.

All XC90s share the same five-door bod, and all come with an eight-speed automatic gearbox – there’s no manual option.

Engines, spectacle and drive

The XC90 has a 4×4 system, but it’s more luxury SUV than rugged off-roader. Its road-biased set-up means a comfy rail in all models and slew of grip, albeit we’d steer clear of the flashy 21-inch wheels if you want a slick rail.

There is a fair amount of assets roll if you take corners quickly (albeit most owners won’t) while the steering errs on the side of lightness rather than sporty reaction. We preferred delving into the manual drive settings to opt for a convenient rail and relaxed gear switches, but a bit more steering weight.

Refinement is very good, there’s a vague hint of wind noise around the mirrors (sited well back on the front doors to improve forward visibility) but it’s only noticeable due to the general quiet and peaceful in the cabin.

The XC90 has permanent ‘on demand’ four-wheel-drive that puts most of the power down through the front wheels. It can, however, send torque to the rear when conditions request. The T8 Twin Engine hybrid version has a different 4×4 system, as it uses its electrical motor to drive the rear axle.

On the road, the XC90 strikes a neat balance inbetween convenience and agility, with good bod control and a rounded edge to the standard steel suspension’s damping. It means you can shove the car fairly hard and guide it down narrow country lanes while still retaining that composed rail.

An air-suspension system is optionally available that substitutes the front coils and transverse rear springs. This produces even smoother progress than the standard set-up.


Power comes from a trio of Two.0-litre four-cylinder engines; the D5 has a 232bhp twin-turbodiesel, the T6 gets a 316bhp turbocharged and supercharged petrol unit, while the T8 boasts the range-topping hybrid Twin Engine option. This adds an electrical motor to the standard T6 petrol unit, and gives the driver over 395bhp to play with ‘on demand’.

The engines provide decent if not shocking spectacle, but they’re all reasonable when it comes to CO2 and mpg, especially the T8 which is claimed to travel around twenty five miles on electrified power alone. The T8 runs in Hybrid as standard, and this automatically manages energy flow inbetween the engine, battery and the road.

You can save the battery charge for later use, or recharge on the stir using the petrol engine as a generator. However, doing this sees fuel economy plummet, and it will only add around thirty per cent charge to the battery, too.

At the other end of the spectrum, Power mode combines petrol and electrical power for maximum spectacle, but while Volvo claims a 0-62mph time of Five.Trio seconds, the XC90 doesn’t feel that quick.

Still, response is instant when you accelerate. And aside from the silent electrical drive, the T8 performs exactly like any other XC90, so it’s plush and refined – geared towards comfy driving rather than sporty treating.

Volvo’s four-cylinder-only engine policy means a slightly higher-pitched engine note than you might expect in the petrol cars, but the diesel sounds cultured rather than rattly. Generally speaking, refinement is incredible regardless of which unit you choose.

There’s strong mid-range spectacle in the diesel for relaxed cruising, but it is found lacking if you drive more quickly and doesn’t feel as swift at the figures suggest. On the budge, the downsized unit is adequate, with enough grunt to keep up with fast-moving traffic.

However, you do have to shove the accelerator a long way to get a decent hit of spectacle, and the gearbox holds on to revs before switching up. This adds to the noise levels and the XC90 is better at a sustained cruise with the eight-speed automatic gearbox producing sleek shifts.

Related movie:


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *