The Volvo XC90 is here, and it’s not the chuffing great big tractor some of you might have expected. Quite the opposite, in fact; it’s just about the best-looking Volvo we’ve seen in decades. Maybe the best-looking SUV. Yeah, we said it.
The new Volvo XC90, a rival to the BMW X5 and Mercedes GL, has all the usual Volvo design hallmarks, including the diagonal slash across the front grille (this time aligned with the slash) a curvy rear light cluster and a prevailing “boxy-but-good” aesthetic. But it also includes some distinctive new touches, notably the T-shaped “Thor’s Hammer” day-running lights and a bonnet the size of three football pitches. Ish.
The new Volvo XC90 is blessed with a pretty sexy interior, the centerpiece of which is an iPad-like touch screen monitor that is almost completely devoid of physical buttons. The overall theme is one of Swedish minimalism with wood and leather adding that extra touch of elegance. A crystal-glass gear lever and diamond-cut controls for the volume knob and starter button complete the look.
Unsurprisingly, there’s plenty of space inside the new Volvo XC90. There’s ample room for front and rear passengers, as you might expect, and a third row of seats (taking the total to seven) which is large enough to accommodate two passengers up to 170cm (5 feet 6 inches) tall.
Tech hasn’t been overlooked in the new XC90. The car features the option of a 1,400-watt, 19-speaker Bowers & Wilkins stereo system, which includes one of the first air-ventilated subwoofers in a car. This, Volvo says, is integrated into the car body, turning the whole interior space into a ‘giant subwoofer’.
Power will come from a range of two-litre four-cylinder Drive-E powertrains, the top of the range being a supercharged and turbocharged petrol engine that also features an electric motor. In all, the unit promises around 400 horsepower with carbon dioxide emissions of just 60g/km – impressive stuff.
Volvo hasn’t skimped on the safety features. The new XC90 features two world first safety systems including auto brake at intersection, which scans a junction for cars that might run into the XC90, applying the brakes to avoid or reduce the severity of an accident. The second technology, run off road protection, automatically tightens the seat belts to keep passengers in place if the car is deemed to have left the road.
Moreover, the XC90 will use rear-facing radar to scan for anyone running into you from behind. If detected, the seat belts will be tightened in advance to keep the occupants in place
Prices for the XC90 D5 AWD start at £45,000. It’ll be available to order at Volvo dealerships in October after the Paris Motor Show, with deliveries expected in May 2015. Interested? Good. We’ll keep you posted.