After 13 years of loyal service, the Volvo XC90 facelift with a second more ambitious generation that never vis-à-vis the German competition.
released in 2002, shortly before the first Volkswagen Touareg, the Volvo XC90 is one of the pioneers of the race of the SUV. Yet he had never benefited from substantial reform since its launch, when some of its German rivals have been renewed twice since. Suffice to say that the Swedish adventurer was beginning to acknowledge the weight of years, including at recent BMW X5 and Mercedes GLE , not to mention the new Audi Q7 fresh off in the arena. The firm Gothenburg has completely revised its copy and offered his SUV a new modular platform SPA, which will be taken later on the majority of future brand models. Bottom line, the XC90 gets lighter on average 125 kg compared to the previous model, while at the same time grows 14 cm (4.95 m long, 4.81 m instead of before) .
the range of entirely new engine is also involved in this relief and allows especially the brand of announce in consumption levels and CO2 emissions down significantly, it up to 30%. In place of the old five-cylinder 2.4 diesel, which remained alone in the catalog on the end of the first generation career, the new XC90 acquires only new petrol and diesel blocks displaying all architecture and identical displacement ( 2.0 four-cylinder). The range now starts with the 190 hp diesel D4, single engine combined with front-wheel drive, followed by the D5 225 hp, while the T6 petrol 320 hp umbrella heat supply. Indeed, a hybrid version T8, combining T6 block to an electric motor of 87 hp placed on the rear axle, acts of true luxury with a combined capacity of 407 hp and a 43 km 100 fashion % electrical (2.1 l / 100 km announced in the combined cycle).
Before the new flagship of the Swedish brand, the first contact is proving very positive. Refined and softened from the previous model, the silhouette of this XC90 exudes an undeniable class, well highlighted by our “light sand” painting. Thus, despite its generous measurements, the juggernaut appears elegant and rather refined, almost opposite the side “have you seen me” some of its Germanic rivals. This does not prevent him from displaying a certain charisma thanks to its front very successful, where the tapered optical feature a light signature evoking the hammer of Thor.
This distinction is reflected inside with boards of refined edge and a choice of warm materials and textures, as it should in a Volvo. However, despite this flattering presentation, the premium picky customer may be surprised by a sometimes uneven quality of assembly or some hard plastics placed quite visible locations. The XC90 does not drive the attention to detail as far as a Audi Q7 absolutely flawless on this point. However, the touch pad 9 inches, which includes many functions and plays an essential role in the counting of the center console, is very readable and ergonomic, but demand still time to adapt. For example, certain seat adjustments are only accessible via this interface, which is not necessarily intuitive.
The space aboard this large SUV’s to the extent that his stature leaves suppose. With 5 or 7 seats depending on the version (1500 € for 7 seats from the Momentum finish), it offers enough space and comfort to satisfy all of its passengers. Even third row occupants will feel comfortable if they measure less than 1.75 m with a natural sitting position. In this configuration, the safe loading capacity remains usable even with 314 liters, 19 liters more than a Q7 larger and less spacious third. This volume can reach 1,886 liters once the two rows of rear seats folded down.
good representative the Swedish firm, the new XC90 is of course security his hobbyhorse. He thus embarks any technological arsenal has become a must on a vehicle of this caliber, with the now classic line crossing alerts and safety distance (included in the optional IntelliSafe Assist at 1850 €, also including the adaptive controller with support jams) or monitoring of blind spots. But where the Swedish innovates, it is with his vehicle detection system at intersections, associated with the detection of cyclists and pedestrians with automatic braking. Especially since this is included in the City Safety, which equips all XC90 from the low finish Kinetic. It is also noted in the unpublished finds the front seats to energy absorption, the structure deforms at large shocks to prevent or limit injury to the spine.
If we can only praise the ongoing development of this armada of sensors and cameras to achieve the ultimate objective of the mark ( “ no serious injuries or fatalities in a new Volvo model in 2020 “), the system still shows its limitations and may surprise some overzealous. We have been an automatic brake suddenly when approaching a curve on a local road, because of a single vehicle parked in the bank, which was detected by the system as an obstacle on the road. A feeling not necessarily very pleasant … Beyond these little annoyances passengers, the XC90 welcomes its guests with an excellent suspension comfort and a very healthy and reassuring handling. Without being clumsy, Swedish does not offer the precision and vivacity of a Q7
the biggest disappointment for the new XC90 is, however, reveals the time to really seek the beast, when the need for power is felt. Although they used to “green” the image of large SUVs and give good conscience to its users, the new blocks gasoline and diesel four-cylinders are generally the sentence as soon as the right foot is heavy. The D5 diesel 225 hp thus shows hollow at low revs, but also noisy as soon as one draws from its scarce resources. The new automatic eight-speed Geartronic does not make things easier, sinning by his overall lack of responsiveness as soon as one tries to force the pace. It is not certain that this engine, which is expected in France represent the majority of sales, or the expectations of a premium customer, who is about to spend at least € 53,700 (D5 AWD Kinetic finish ). If the announced figures are flattering (0 to 100 km / h in 7.8 s and 5.7 l / 100 km in the combined cycle, which can be added two liters in practice), the approval provided by this diesel is really disappointing .
the honor of the XC90 is happily partially washed by the T6 petrol engine of 320 hp, which appears clearly more pleasant and voluntary (0 to 100 km / h in 6.5 s), while showing reasonably sober at this power level (less than 11 l / 100 km trip computer for 8 announced the combined cycle). Despite the flexibility provided by the double supercharger (turbo and compressor), it nevertheless reached yet the approval of the six-cylinder competition, including sound, while its price starts to get really high (from 68 € 250 in Momentum finish). In comparison, an Audi Q7 V6 TFSI with 333 hp, is displayed at a slightly lower rate (from € 67,800 in base trim), while it is more fun to drive and offers a finish a little more careful. Given this mechanical accreditation withdrawal, the rates of Volvo, broadly aligned with those of the German competition, thus seem rather ambitious (up to € 82,440 for the T6 finish Registration Luxe). Fortunately, the Swedish SUV makes up in part by full safety equipment comes standard, and its flattering and original presentation that can trigger lightning. It remains to try the hybrid version T8, which should finally offer driving pleasure in the height of luxury this beautiful vehicle.