Volvo XC90: The Full Luxury SUV King

Volvo XC90

Sweden as an automotive destination offers a rather interesting selection of marques. We have Koenigsegg, Scania and Volvo just to mention a few. Now, of particular interest to us is Volvo. Through the years it has evolved and become a true luxury brand. Considering the sad story behind the Saab also from Sweden, the luxury niche market can be very unforgiving. However, the Swede automaker has established itself in this niche, especially in the full luxury SUV segment. Competing with and rivalling German exports the Volvo XC90 is holding its own while being very Swedish. It doesn’t try to emulate other German offerings in the market it sticks to its own game plan. This three-row seven-seater is a work of beauty, which is ironic considering that Scandinavians are considered the most beautiful people in the world.

The History

The XC90 first featured as the Adventure Concept Car, which was unveiled at the 2001 North American International Auto Show. Interestingly, the XC90 was Volvo’s first SUV foray. Later in 2002, Volvo unveiled the production model of the XC90 at the 2002 North American International Auto Show. Production then followed later in August 2002.

Current Model

Currently, we are on the second generation of the Volvo XC90. It was announced back in May 2012 that the second generation of the XC90, would be available from the dealers later in 2015. The XC90 is based on Volvo’s new platform which is known as Scalable Product Architecture (SPA), which they say offers improved safety and efficiency.

There were the First Edition Volvo XC90, which were numbered 1,927. The limited number of the First Edition represents the year in which Volvo was launched. This special edition XC90 was sold out in 47 hours after its ordering platform was opened in 3 September 2014. A whole list of celebrities ordered it from Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Karl Gustav (Swedish King) to John Woo.

The Variants

The XC90 comes in a number of trims:

  • T5 Momentum
  • T5 Momentum AWD
  • T5 R-Design
  • T6 Momentum
  • T5 Inscription
  • T5 R-Design AWD
  • T5 Inscription AWD
  • T6 R-Design
  • T6 Inscription
  • T6 First Edition
  • T8

Volvo XC90

The Powertrain

Powering the XC90 is a 2L Drive-E four cylinder engine, whose variants are either twincharged or turbocharged. The most powerful engine overall is the 2L turbo petrol with supercharger and electric motors produces 408 PS and 640 Nm in torque. This engine also gets the fastest 0-100 km/h acceleration in a paltry 5.6 seconds. As for the most powerful diesel engine, you have the 2L twin-turbo which powers up to 225 hp and a maximum torque 470 Nm. This diesel is no slacker and manages an acceleration of 0-100 km/h in 7.8 seconds. Aiding this engines through the shifts is an 8-speed Aisin auto transmission.


Less clattered than its predecessor and adopting a seemingly more premium feel while at it. The most striking part of this Volvo’s interior is the Sensus infotainment system. Standard features include, sat-nav, keyless entry, a powered driver’s seat, auto-dimming mirrors and air filtration. Other features are also available in the Momentum entry level trim such as 8” TFT driver information display, 19” alloy wheels and 10 speaker 330W audio system.


The Volvo’s exterior is quite exquisite and looks incredibly curvaceous. The grille is great, but the T-shaped headlights have been aptly designed to appear as a Thor’s hammer.

Our Verdict

The Volvo XC90 has won the Motor Trends SUV of the Year on both of its launches. On top of that Auto Express awarded it as the Car of the Year 2015. Volvo as a company was flogged off by Ford for the Sino dollars. However, with the excellent production line offered from the Swedish company, they may live to rue this decision. As owners of Volvo the new Chinese owners have invested their own money in the company and have really taken Volvo a step forward. The XC90 is a top tier if not the best SUV out there. It’s up there with the Q7 in tech, offroad capabilities out match the Land Rover Discovery. Comfort, luxury, style and grace are all adjectives that can be used on the XC90.

If you are thinking of purchasing a XC90 you should start to budget from $ 43,950.

This is a real contender for class leader, however it has serious competition in the model of Q7. Between the two which would you pick as your preferred full sized luxury SUV? Have your say, leave a comment.

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