Editor: Jason “The Bok” Date – 12 Nov 2019
In 2015 Volvo brought the world its second-generation of the massively popular flagship SUV, The XC90. This year would also see the brand introduce a new design language and one which would be responsible for inscribing its further award-winning success going forward.
It was 2015 that I first drove the second-generation XC90 and ever since, it has firmly remained as my favourite luxury SUV right across the board. At this point, you might be questioning why I am therefore re-reviewing it? The answer is rather simple. On the surface the XC90 remains very similar in its appearance and overall offering, why change a winning formula. What Volvo Cars has, therefore, done, is to take this multi-world car of the year and further enhance it.
- Price: R1 131 600 (Price as tested R1 269 400)
- Engine:0-litre turbodiesel
- Power/Torque:173 kW / 480 Nm
- Transmission:8-speed automatic
- Fuel economy:7 L/100 km (claimed)
- Load space:314-692-1947 litres
- Seating: 6 Seater (As tested)
While its exterior remains remarkably similar in appearance, those with focussing in will notice its bolder more pronounced grille design and new alloys immediately. The remainder of the body caries additional tweaks, but thankfully nothing which spoils its crafted Scandinavian modern simplicity.
The interior still features some of the best elements of any vehicle on the road. Premium leatherwork, seats which are contoured to fit your body snug and industry-leading technology. Taking the centre of the show is Volvo’s Sensus “tablet PC” style multimedia infotainment system which offers every imaginable media source from Apple CarPlay to Android Auto and a brief well placed and easy to manage mobile type experience. All media can be specced to be delivered through Volvo’s Bowers and Wilkins surround sound speakers, which like the vehicle represent simple excellence.
Of course, this is still an automobile, so it needs to feature its tech in motion and it does. This most updated XC90 features Volvo’s simply awesome Pilot Assisted Drive, which allows the vehicle to take over steering and braking at up to speeds of 130 km/h while scanning for obstacles of any size and type and even reading road signs. The job of parking is also handled by the vehicle all on its own. In the XC90 you drive or are being driven in what is the result of Volvo’s relentless pursuit of safety and its evident that the firms 2020 vision of an un-crashable vehicle could come to fruition.
The XC90 is available with several petrol-powered, diesel and even hybrid electric variants. I spent time with this model driving the D5 Inscription model which utilises Volvo’s clever PowerPulse technology of eliminating turbo lag through using a supercharger on take-off and a turbocharger after. The 2.0-litre turbodiesel engine produces 173 kW / 480 Nm of torque and more than ample power both around town and on highway type roads.
All-wheel drive allows the XC90 to be a true all-rounder, with impressive ride-height and appeal which is great on-road and very good off-road if required.
While it is common to find five or seven seating vehicles, Volvo has chosen to offer the XC90 with six-seating option. I personally don’t completely understand the appeal of six seats, however, if you are someone who transports pets of goods often, you might find the extra space welcome when compared to a full rear bench-type seat.
Conclusion & SA Price
The XC90 continues to burn the Volvo flagship SUV torch brightly. A simply sublime level of luxury combines with cutting edge technology and what is still, in my opinion, one of the best luxury SUV’s anywhere on the planet.
The Volvo XC90 is sold in South Africa with a 5-year/100 000 km warranty and maintenance plan (Volvo Plan), with 5 years’/unlimited-mileage roadside assistance. The six-seating XC90 D5 Inscription costs R1 131 600 or (Price as tested **R1 269 400**) which includes the Volvo Premium Pack at *R66,500; Luxury Pack at *R10,500; Panoramic Roof *R20,750 and finally Air Suspension *R26,750.