Volvo XC90 D5 Review
Volvo has long been the go to provider of safe family wagons. Whether it be their early huge 7 seat estates with rear facing 3rd row in the boot, through to their more modern family saloons and estates. However, perhaps most notable is their XC90. This has been a school run regular for many years now due to its SUV form factor, huge boot with deployable front facing 6th & 7th seats and independent, good width 2nd row seating. With only the Q7 and Discovery to really compete with it, for along time the XC90 rightly took a strong market share.
However, whilst the XC90 stayed the same for some time, its competitors innovated with the new Q7, the new Range Rover Sport, and lesser contenders such as the Discovery Sport and Nissan X-Trail, taking some market share. Now, however, Volvo has finally responded with their next generation XC90, and what a response it is.
Throughout, the XC90 is all new, however there is enough of a similarity, especially at the rear, to make it feel comfortable for those upgrading from its predecessor. The format is the same, a huge super safe SUV with a cavernous boot that hides 2 extra independently folding rear seats which, when deployed, still give you a decent size boot. So that is a big tick on the practicality side of things.
Getting behind the wheel it looks nothing like the old XC90, and this is a good thing as the interior of the old one was certainly starting to show its age against the competition. You now have a digital dashboard presenting all the key information you need and a big portrait iPad style infotainment screen that controls everything from the radio to the most detailed of car settings at the touch or swipe of your finger. Whilst this is a huge step forward, it is fussy and feels like they have almost over done it. To make simple changes such as changing the radio station involves too many presses and swipes for my liking. You could of course try the voice command, and you will find this working perfectly normally (e.g. it is useless).
The sweeping dash is elegant though and overall the cabin is a nice, spacious place to be with the standard super comfortable seats you find in just about every Volvo inviting you to soak up the miles. The rest of the cabin is the same with ample space for 2nd row passengers with independently sliding seats and the 3rd row is also quite spacious, considering.
The tried and tested D5 engine (now with an impressive 235hp) on the model we had, paired up with the silky smooth 8-speed automatic gearbox is nice and powerful, however when pushed it did tend to hold gears a little too long making it sound like it was working harder than perhaps it should be. Volvo also offer their Twin Engine T8 with super low emissions and just over 400hp, however I am not sure if the £14,000 premium would be worth it, nor realistically for their standard T6 petrol that is only available on the higher trim levels commanding a £3,000 premium over the D5. Ride quality for the new XC90 was excellent and Bentley, with their Bentayga that we tested recently here, could learn a lot. It felt supple in the twisty B-Roads yet smooth yet positive on the Motorway.
The entry level Momentum as tested packs a good punch as far as specification is concerned. Keyless entry and go, Pilot Assist, Adaptive Cruise Control, hands free tailgate opening/closing, Rear Parking Sensors, Bluetooth Hands Free, Dual-Zone Climate Control, Leather Upholstery, heated front seats, City Safety, Speed Limiter, Lane Keeping Aid, Road Sign Info Display, DAB Radio, Satellite Navigation and 19³ Alloy Wheels is all standard for just under £47,000. There is no real need for a higher trim level, unless you want more sporty styling from the R-Design or even more luxurious feel from their Inscription.
It is worth pointing out that the driver aids, of which there are many even on the Momentum can be a little intrusive, prone to giving resistance at the steering wheel should you want to take the line on a corner sharper than it would like or change lanes without indicating, yet is was not helpful enough to keep you on the straight and narrow should you doze at the wheel, giving up and switching off fairly quickly unlike the Skoda Superb we reviewed here which kept you on the straight and narrow and woke you up with a stab of the brakes.
So, the new XC90 is all change for Volvo, but in fact it is more of the same. It is still probably the most comfortable SUV you will ever drive, it is still well appointed specification and class leading safety wise, you can still pack it full of people whilst not causing a fight for space, and it will almost certainly be a vehicle of choice for the school run too.
To lease, the XC90 D5 Momentum, at under £500+VAT/month on a standard 3+35 / 10,000 mpa contract hire, the XC90 is an attractive prospect for both the private user and company car driver with a reasonable BIK at 29% and astounding 7% for the T8 Twin Engine if the fleet manager is happy with the £200/month premium over the D5.
If you would like to find out more about leasing the new Volvo XC90 or any other vehicle, please get in touch with JCS Fleet on 01223 911 761 or use our enquiry form below.