Peter Hitchener and Chris Miller review the 2015 Volvo XC90.
It’s an experience to be savoured, the first drive of Volvo‘s long awaited first-generation XC90 replacement.
There has been quite a build-up… Yes we’ve read the stories, checked out the media releases, the spy pics, the roadside billboards, and of course, the Avicii television jingle… “and I’m feelin gooood”.
Finally it’s here, and I’m pleased to say it lives up to the hype. More than.
It’s true to say it’s been a long time coming. The previous XC90 was a Volvo stalwart for years, and just kept selling, despite being somewhat long in the tooth.
Now, at last, the replacement model, the first all-new car from Volvo since it came under the ownership of China’s Geely group. What an impressive job they have done.
Bigger that the car it replaces, the new 2015 Volvo XC90 is also lighter, and boasts a new generation of highly efficient 4 cylinder engines. Yes, 4 cylinders for a two tonne vehicle. And yet it does an impressive job of the heavy hauling.
One of the company’s primary commitments is the safety of all road users, and to this end there is a comprehensive and innovative list of safety features built-in… Lane change warning, blind spot monitoring, adaptive cruise control, and a host of others.
Then there’s the cabin, one of the most beautifully designed you will find. It’s neat, simple, restrained, a delight to behold… Yet it works brilliantly, and everything you need is somehow there in abundance.
Check out the huge centre console touch screen - just like your mobile phone, you can swipe to and from all other functions.
Everything is within easy reach, giving you the reassuring feeling that the car could somehow drive you home if it chose to, and park itself in your garage! A bit fanciful perhaps, but it does feel very companionable, and seems to shrink around you as you drive.
Wherever you look there’s a luxury SUV beckoning you for your attention. Into this crowded segment of the premium market comes the all-new 2015 Volvo XC90. If this is your kind of vehicle, take it for a test drive. You might be surprised.
Behind the Wheel’s Chris Miller is calling the Volvo XC90 a serious contender for our Car of the Year 2015 and I’d have to agree…
That’s right Peter, the Volvo XC90 is a real achievement and is hopefully a sign of things to come from Volvo.
The world first technology in this car is really impressive. Particularly the run-off road protection system where seat belt tensioners and energy absorbing seats and seat frames combine to reduce the risk of spinal injuries if the car leaves the road.
There’s also another world first in the shape of “Autobrake at Intersections” where the XC90 will automatically brake to prevent you turning into the path of an oncoming car. It’s really clever stuff.
The engine in the T6 version of the XC90 is also super impressive. Amazingly, from a small capacity 2.0 litre four cylinder turbo Volvo have managed to extract a whopping 235kW and 400Nm, all delivered in a very smooth, very creamy way via a brilliant 8-Speed automatic.
Fuel consumption is equally as impressive returning 8.5 litres of premium unleaded per 100km.
It’s a spritely performer, quick off the line and delivers effortless high speed overtaking.
The steering is light and accurate and delivers plenty of feedback, while the ride is simply glorious, floating over the worst Aussie roads can throw at it all while still keeping you in touch with the surface below you.
It is tuned for a plush ride and as a result you do experience a little body roll and you can feel the weight shifting around when you change direction quickly, but the character of this car is one of unfussed elegance and you tend to alter your driving style to reflect the mood of the big XC90.
The Volvo XC90 is a real luxury car and has offerings from BMW, Mercedes Benz and Audi firmly in its sights.
About the only drawback with the XC90 is the price. The mid-range T6 Inscription model tested came in at $106,000 with options, but before on road costs. The entry-level diesel starts at $89,950 before on roads. It is considerably more than the car it replaces, although there is considerably more car.
And when you shop it against the German competitors you start to see the value.
The XC90 is a fantastic effort from Volvo and will take some serious competition to beat it to the Car of the Year crown for 2015.
NUTS and BOLTS – 2015 Volvo XC90
Engine: 2.0 litre turbo-petrol producing 235kW and 400Nm 2.0 litre turbocharged and supercharged petrol/electric hybrid producing 235kW and 400Nm or 2.0 litre turbo-diesel producing 165kW and 470Nm
Transmission: Eight-speed automatic (only)
Safety: Five stars
Warranty: Three years
Price: from $89,950