Editor, Luke Garner, takes the new Volvo XC90 for a spin to discover why you should make it your next business ride.
Volvo XC90 D5 Inscription
From £50,685 OTR
When this giant white rhino appeared on my driveway I immediately considered taking a day or two off work simply so I could examine the entire beast – it seems like it would take that long! The first thing that is apparent is that you get a lot of car for your money and it certainly strikes an imposing figure, with the clean lines looking sleek and magnificent as it powers its way through traffic.
The 2.4-litre behemoth seemed slightly underpowered in the lower gears trying to get off the line, though once it gets going above 30mph this white rhino powerfully charges its hulking weight up to a formidable speed with graceful ease. There is also a 320+87 bhp T8 Twin Engine Diesel Hybrid version available that boasts a 0-62 time of a startling 5.3 seconds – not quite in a league with the Porsche Cayenne but it’s a lot cheaper and still impressive nonetheless.
However, it is inside the cabin where the XC90 Inscription comes into its own. Thankfully the climb into the cockpit isn’t anywhere near as formidable as its imposing figure would suggest, with the step up being easy for legs both tall and small – ideal if you’re utilising the seven available seats for little tykes. Worries about getting children (or even pets) into the rear seats are also alleviated as the XC90 allows for you to lower the rear suspension and thus the rear end of the car, making access easier and closer to the ground, all at the push of a button.
However, it still provides a road position that will make you feel like a king among men, towering over your subjects while gliding effortlessly through traffic.
The XC90 D5 Inscription comes with a whole host of driving gizmos and gadgetry as standard, and can be equipped with many more, including cruise control, lane assist, heated leather seats and steering wheel, head up display, 9-inch screen, bluetooth, and more.
Those gadgets come in handy when it comes to parking too, making it not as problematic as would first seem, given the dimensions of this behemoth. Despite being a whopping five metres long and two metres wide and it being difficult to find spaces that will accommodate its mass sufficiently, Parking assist, reverse cameras and all-round body parking sensors make entering a spot – once you actually find a suitable sized one that is – a doddle.
The panoramic sunroof with sunscreen is a nice optional extra that I’d imagine would be a delight when traversing the country lanes of somewhere like Devon on a family holiday at the heights of sunny summer. However, during a gloomy November evening it is somewhat less useful.
Nevertheless, for those who desire to be something other than just another school-run mum in a Range Rover, the Volvo XC90 is the perfect choice.