Volvo has the X-Factor

Volvo XC90 D5 Inscription

It’s not just the size that counts, it’s what you do with it. Motoring expert Graham Courtney reviews the Volvo XC90…

 When it comes to a prestigious, big 4×4’s, the Volvo XC90 has got it all.

It manages to achieve that rare mix of go-anywhere capability with terrific long-legged motorway cruising. In a nutshell, you can either cruise down to the south of France, or hustle along a back lane and, when you finally arrive at your destination, turn off into the rough stuff and head for the hills.

It’ll be happy whether loaded to the gunwales with holiday clobber or full of screaming kids on the school run or, for that matter, pulling up outside an exclusive restaurant on Yarm High Street.

Let’s start with the basic stuff. There are six trim levels…Momentum, R-Design and Inscription. All have a Pro version, too. There are three power choices: 2.0 litre D5 225 bhp turbocharged diesel, 2.0 litre T6 320 bhp supercharged petrol or T8 400bhp hybrid, which mixes the petrol engine and a powerful electric motor.

You can mix engine choices and trim level except on the entry level Momentum, which is only available with diesel or hybrid power.

The entry level prices for the XC90 start at £48,655 for the D5 Momentum. Move up to the Momentum Pro trim and you’ll need to find a further £2,500.

The R-Design is aimed at folk who want a sporty appearance to their XC90 while the Inscription is for those who want the ultimate in luxury.

All of them are four wheel drive although the Hybrid does allow you to use the electric motor on its own which drives the rear wheels only.

In terms of performance and economy, the diesel D5 XC90 offers the best combination. You get a 0-60 time of 7.4 seconds but can reach almost 50mpg. The T6 is quicker (0-60 in a shade over 6 seconds) but fuel consumption drops to 35mpg. But, for the ultimate in performance, head for the stonking Hybrid T8 XC90. It will hit 60mph in a staggering 5.3 seconds which is hugely impress for such a sizeable car.

However, if you are impressed by that figure, you will be knocked flat by this one: 134.5 miles to the gallon. Yep, drive carefully and use the hybrid to its full potential and you will save a fortune in fuel.

As for what you get in terms of kit, there is no point in giving you a list because it is endless. Needless to say that every XC90 is loaded with gear including sat nav, air con etc.

If you need a true 7-seater, premium SUV, to be honest you have nowhere else to go. Frequently the rearmost seats are fit only for the local Hobbit, but in the Volvo XC90 you really can get seven adults to be seated in comfort. You can also guarantee the highest possible safety levels. Volvo’s reputation for producing the safest cars on the road is well deserved. Their City Safety wizardry is outstanding. You also get lane departure warning, auto braking, traffic signal recognition etc.

Volvos are also extremely reliable, have excellent resale values and, especially if you go for the D5 diesel or Hybrid models, will be easy on the pocket for what is, after all, a really big car.

Volvo hit the bullseye when they launched the XC90. It’s brilliant.