Review

Volvo XC90 SUV

Price  £45,750 - £63,705

Volvo XC90 SUV

reviewed by Carbuyer

Pros
  • Very comfortable and quiet inside
  • Luxurious, yet also spacious and practical
  • Advanced safety tech and clever touchscreen
Cons
  • Pretty expensive to buy
  • Petrol engine is noisy and thirsty
  • Hybrid can’t match economy claims

At a glance

The greenest
2.0 T8 AWD R-Design 4wd Auto 5dr £62,855
The cheapest
2.0 D5 AWD Momentum 4wd Auto 5dr £45,750
The fastest
2.0 T8 AWD R-Design 4wd Auto 5dr £62,855
Top of the range
2.0 T8 AWD Inscription 4wd Auto 5dr £63,705

“The new Volvo XC90 is one of the best large SUVs you can buy. It offers quality, space, efficiency, safety and comfort.”

By the time the previous version of the Volvo XC90 came to the end of its production run, it had been on sale for 12 years. While it had inevitably started to look rather old and increasingly basic next to newer rivals like the Audi Q7, Mercedes M-Class and BMW X5, it managed to maintain respect among family buyers thanks to its practicality, safety credentials and dependability.

A second-generation model has finally arrived, and it represents an attempt by Volvo to move the car even more upmarket to compete with the other luxurious cars in this class, offered, in the main, by the usual German manufacturers.

We certainly think the new XC90 looks the part of luxurious SUV from the outside; the styling is imposing without seeming aggressive, handsome but understated. The inside of the car is a little more radical thanks to a dashboard that sports just eight buttons. In place of physical switches, a large touchscreen is used to control the majority of the car's functions and it proves to be a very neat solution, even if it takes a little while to get used to.

The latest XC90 doesn’t just have a new body and interior – there is also a range of brand new engines to add to its appeal. Four cylinder Drive-E petrol and diesel engines are highly efficient and a plug-in hybrid version is available for ultimate economy.

Our favourite is actually the basic D5 diesel. It's more economical than the T6 petrol and is quieter too. What's more, the character of the diesel, with its impressive pulling power, suits the car. The technology developed for the T8 Twin Engine hybrid is impressive but this is reflected in the car's price tag. It's particularly difficult to achieve the claimed economy figures for the T8 when you drive it in the real world too.

Entry-level Volvo XC90 models come in Momentum trim but buyers can also choose between two different higher specification models called R-Design and Inscription. R-Design is aimed at buyers who want to give the car a sportier feel, while Inscription cars are all about extra luxury.

Whichever trim or engine you decide to go for, you are guaranteed to get a spacious car with an upmarket interior, inventive design touches and state-of-the-art-technology if you buy an XC90. The new car maintains and enhances Volvo's reputation for excellent safety, with clever driving aids and impressive crash protection giving you peace of mind that you and all your passengers are well protected in case of an accident.

MPG, running costs & CO2

4.2 / 5

T8 Twin Engine hybrid is the running-costs star of the new Volvo XC90 range, but the cheaper D5 diesel will be satisfactory for most buyers

Engines, drive & performance

4.1 / 5

Powerful petrol, diesel and hybrid engines ensure the big Volvo XC90 isn’t short of power

Interior & comfort

4.3 / 5

The new Volvo XC90 interior combines sleek and stylish design with advanced yet easy-to-use technology

Practicality & boot space

4.7 / 5

Like its predecessor, the new Volvo XC90 offers a huge amount of space for passengers and luggage inside

Reliability & safety

4.8 / 5

Volvo has always been a car safety pioneer and the new XC90 is well placed to continue that tradition

Last updated 
10 Jun 2015
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