In our article about the Volvo XC60 T8 (there), we discussed the fact that Volvo did an impressive come back at the forefront of the automotive scene. In fact, the first car of the new Volvo era is the XC90. When it came out in 2015 it was the most advanced SUV regarding its technology. Also, in our opinion, it was one of the most beautiful of its category.
So 3 years later, how is it to drive? What are its main features? Is it still at the top of its segment? Let’s find out.
Volvo XC90 T6, the design:
No surprise here, it’s a Volvo! The lines are quite straight and the car is consensual while statutory. The good point is that it doesn’t get old. 3 years after its launch its still as beautiful as when it first came out. The exterior proportions of the car are excellent for a SUV. At Road Rug Cars, we do like the new Volvo exterior designs, They are very elegant and modern at the same time. From the outside, we would choose the XC90 over the Audi Q7, but you know tastes and colours are quite personal.
Inside the design looks similar to the Volvo XC60 we reviewed at the beginning of summer. However, this time it’s a Momentum instead of an Inscription. In the Volvo’s language this means that the XC90 we get for our test drive is the entry level. At the opposite the Inscription stands at the top of the line. So what are the main differences between those finishes?
To solve your growing anxiety I’ll start by the conclusion. It’s beautiful, as per usual with Volvo! It does feel well made and durable. The quality of the buttons are as good in the Inscription finishes and still above many competitors. What a relief!
But, yes there is a but, it’s not perfect. Sadly, as we already wrote in different articles all car-makers are now using plastics extensively inside the cabins. Cost reduction? Maybe! Durability? Probably! In fact the Momentum version is approximately 10,000$/€ cheaper than a Inscription lines and this does make sense. In the momentum line exit Orrefors crystal gear selector, exit also the leather covered dashboard. The seats are still covered by leather but it’s not a full-grain anymore.
Audi, BMW, Mercedes, Jaguar, Volvo it’s all a matter of tastes, on our side we like to be different. Therefore, on the design standpoint this would make us probably go for a Volvo or a Jaguar instead of the traditional German choices.
In the city:
The first impression is the silence. It starts with almost no noise even if the T6 is equipped with the 320hp, 2.0L, turbocharged and supercharged 4-cylinder. In fact, the engine is the same as in the XC60 and XC90 T8 expect that there is no electric engine to support the thermic one. Quickly the first impression is confirmed, the ambiance onboard is all about the confort instead of the sportiness.
In the city, the car is really easy to drive, the steering wheel is light and all the electronic helps you with the dimensions of the car. Good point considering that most of Volvo’s customers for this car are urban. Behind the wheel you almost forget that the car is 4.95 meters long and that’s very appreciable.
The modularity of the car makes it your perfect allied in pretty much all situations. If you’ve ever thought about going on a road trip with 6 friends that’s your car. If ever your thinking about having 6 kids (think twice) this car will suit you perfectly. Do you need such a big car if you’re a young professional or have a small family? Probably not, but, you better have too much space than none.
The suspensions are really softs and absorb all the Montreal’s potholes with an incredible ease. On the engine side, there is enough power to do a 0 to 50 km/h quicker than most of the cars. However, if your right foot gets just a little heavy you easily reach 20l/100kms in the city, which is a lot nowadays. This may be enough to temper your enthusiasm.
On the road:
Let’s be honest, this car is not designed to tackle the countryside roads or break any time record. Its pachydermic weight quickly reminds you that this car is more a Luxury Utility Vehicle than a Sport Utility Vehicle. The body roll is quite important even though the car does feel really safe and stick to the ground. The power delivery is good, and the turbocharged and supercharged engine helps a lot with the torque which is impressive with 400Nm at 2,200rpm.
After a couple of kilometers you understand that this car is more about cruising than speeding. And then it becomes enjoyable. Actually, you don’t even want to go fast in the XC90 T6. The car is incredibly well insulated from the road and wind noises which makes you feel like if you were flying above the road.
The 3 driving modes (Eco, Confort and Dynamic) are really useful to make the car more or less aggressive. The dynamic mode is actually surprising and offers good accelerations to overtake some slow Toyota Corollas.
Put your window down, open the huge panoramic roof and enjoy the (silent) ride.
On the highway:
It’s predilection playground. The car is actually perfect to swallow kilometers without feeling any kind of tiredness. The gear changes are unnoticeable and the adaptative cruise control and pilot assist really enjoyable.
The consumption which is high on the urban area go down a lot when cruising at 110km/h to reach an average of 9.8L/100kms combined. We have to admit that doing under 10L/100kms in a 2,000kg gasoline full-size SUV is unexpected. It also becomes way more acceptable for you wallet too.
At the end of the day, it’s a good SUV polyvalent and confortable. We did enjoy our week with it even if it’s not the funniest car to drive.
It appears more like a reasonable choice than a sudden crush. The price of the base version is in line with the competitors but the Volvo offers a really nice value proposition. Its strength is truly its equipment which is really complete and up to date.
The Volvo XC90 T6 definitely offers a nice alternative to all the well known SUVs and confirms that on this big market we should now also count on Volvo!
#FunToDrive score : 60/100
Because it’s a good SUV but it misses a little craziness. As we mention in our review buying this car is a reasonable choice more than a heart choice. However it’s still beautiful, confortable… to sum up it’s a Volvo!
It’s now time for you to discover our “XC90” story at the top of our Instagram profile.
Most importantly keep it #FunToDrive.