The wait for the Volvo XC90 was worthwhile. Debuting a whole new platform and efficient four-cylinder-only engines (one with plug-in hybrid tech), it has the style and quality to match Audi, BMW and Land Rover in the premium SUV segment, with new levels of safety – as you’d expect from Volvo.
The D5 diesel is the clear pick of the range, being quiet and with just enough get up and go. The T6 petrol offers decent poke, but like the plug-in hybrid-powered T8 range topper, the whine of a four-cylinder engine takes some getting used to in a market where six or eight cylinders are the norm. Go for the diesel – the petrol engine is fun, but sounds whiny and is thirstier.
Most buyers will be happy with the generous safety tally and upmarket kit you get on entry-level Momentum cars, although Inscription or the sportier R-Design trims will tempt you with even more clever stuff. There’s a whole heap of standard kit too, with climate control, leather, sat nav and LED headlamps all thrown in.
However, key to the XC90’s appeal is its spacious, upmarket interior and the comfort and refinement on offer – this is a relaxing car to drive due to the plush ride and near silence. Being a Volvo, the seats are incredibly comfortable with a great level of adjustment and support. It’s a genuine seven-seater too, with even adults as tall ats 5ft 7in able to squeeze into the third row of seats.