insideKENT Magazine Issue 60 - March 2017 - Page 103

This first 2002 version was on sale for twelve years , before there was even any thought of a redesign . The car that has been Volvo ' s Captain America-esque poster boy , and which helped take Volvo from a slight sterotype , to an iconic manufacturer of quality cars , has never failed to impress , winning car of the year in 2015 . Since its creation it has just become better and better . And the thing is about this latest regeneration , is that it ' s even better . Again .

The XC90 has that familiar look and feel on the outside ; the air of a seven-seater car that is rugged , stylish and up for anything . Its ‘ Thor hammer ’ LED headlights are a shining example ( ouch !) of the plethora of little flourishes that make it a really very goodlooking car , as are the lovely shiny 19-inch alloy wheels .
Behind those good looks is some seriously impressive engineering . The XC90 is the first car to incorporate Volvo ' s new modular platform – codename SPAR ( Scaleable Product
Architecture ). In this Volvo is claiming to use a higher proportion of hot-formed boron steel than any other manufacturer , allowing the XC90 , so they say , to be larger , lighter , safer and better balanced than in previous versions .
Inside the car , you are aware that the latest XC90 has had a serious tech update . At the same time everything is positioned perfectly in that brilliant Swedish fashion ; everything is there for a reason , and does it brilliantly , be it button , dial or screen .
In regards to the non-computery stuff , the cabin is very good quality , the seats are comfy and the panels and dashes exude luxury . And there is a lot of space – for drivers , passengers and for your luggage .
The touch-screen , part of a new in-car system , controls everything from heating , to music , to navigation , and is very pleasing to use . And Volvo has gotten “ down with the kids ” ( as I believe they call it these days ) and made the XC90 capable of using the internet to go on Spotify and other such fun pastimes .
Driving the XC90 is a positive delight . Despite being a ‘ big ’ SUV , it doesn ' t ever make you feel small , the steering is easy on the biceps , and your visibility is very good . You get enough feedback from the road to make you aware where and what you ' re driving on , but it is never uncomfortable . At high-speed , motorway driving , the ride is extremely comfortable , meaning that the XC90 eats up the long journeys effortlessly . The XC90 , despite its obvious size and shape , handles twisty roads very well indeed with some rather excellent body control . Being 4x4 , the XC90 isn ' t put off by non-road terrain , and with a 235bhp 2.0 litre engine , has plenty of pulling power – of caravans and trailers I mean !
Obviously the XC90 isn ' t a sports car ; nonetheless it manages 0-60mph in 7.8 seconds and can rack up a top speed of 137 mph . It can carry 71 litres of fuel , and with a combined mpg of 49.6 , and emissions of 149g / km , is surprisingly efficient too !