Consider this award-winning seven-seat luxury crossover to be the turning point for Volvo – a manufacturer that has long suffered for lack of new product. A big influx of cash from new Chinese owners, Geely, gives the Swedish automaker new life, and this full-size XC90 crossover is the first phase of what will be Volvo’s largest product rollout in its history.
The XC90 is big – and different. It’s handsomely conservative on the outside and beautifully rendered on the inside, showing unique Scandinavian design and an obsessive attention to detail. Every surface is a delight to eyes and touch. As per all Volvos, the front seats are superb.
Central to the experience is a large vertically oriented "Sensus Connect" iPad-like touchscreen that is one of the more successful interfaces of this ilk. Nevertheless, we’re still at the mercy of touching and swiping as many hard buttons have been sacrificed.
For such a big vehicle, the engine is tiny, but technology has it punching far above its weight. All Volvos carrying forward will be powered by the modular 2.0L 4-cyl Drive-E engine family, be they gas, diesel or gas/electric hybrid.
In the 2016 XC90 T6 AWD, starting at $61,300, both turbocharging and supercharging boost the 2.0L to 316 hp and 295 lb-ft. It’s a tractable and smooth engine, belying its displacement, and with the standard 8-speed auto it returns an official 10.6 L/100 km combined. Be advised, real world numbers will be higher.
At $74,150 the T8 Twin Engine AWD plays the gas/plug-in electric hybrid game, boosting output to a healthy 400 hp and 472 lb-ft. An 80-hp electric motor drives the rear wheels. EV range is pegged at about 25 km.
The base model XC90 is very well equipped with numerous safety systems, navigation, fine leather, 4-zone climate and 19-inch wheels. For an additional $4550 the R-Design package adds some visual flair, full LED headlights and 20-inch rolling stock. The $6150 Inscription package ramps up the luxury, turning this big Swede into a rolling cocoon of safety and opulence.
The top-dog hybrid T8 Inscription runs $75,750.
Whatever powertrain or trim chosen, we advise getting the optional $2350 4-Corner Air Suspension. Without it, the XC90’s ride is brittle. For many, the $2,200 Convenience Package will also be mandatory – Park Assist Pilot & Park Assist Front & Rear, Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) and Lane Keeping, HomeLink., compass in rear view mirror and 12V power in cargo area.