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Michael

Volvo XC90 D5 AWD

My XC70 was booked in for a bit of warranty work (the plastic cladding is falling off) and it turns out there's also a recall on the car. I was expecting to be parcelled off into a V40 but no.

"Would you like to try our new XC90?" they said, I didn't need to be asked twice.

It's not in a great looking spec, silver doesn't suit it and the wheels are too small:



Otherwise I love these, in black or dark blue with the huge 10 spoke wheels they look better than anything else in the class - not a huge challenge these days but it's a good looking car.

It's also not as massive as I'd feared, it's not so much that it feels smaller than the XC70, though I think it does, it's that it's so much more wieldy. The seats are better, the steering wheel is a nicer thing to hold and look at and generally it feels a lot more like a car. It actually feels, to sit in at least, a lot more like a BMW. The design is different but the driving position is a lot more in that direction.

The touch screen is so straight forward and easy to use that it is without doubt the future. Just works as you'd expect it to work and it does so quickly.

For design and most materials this is a cut above the XC70, the touch screen is surrounded by cheap black plastic which reflects light directly into your face and for some weird reason they've used the same plastic for the window switches. This is odd as manufacturers tend to use better quality materials on the main contact points so why they've skimped here is beyond me.

The problems start when you drive it and it's a bit of a mixed bag. The steering is really light, which is par for the course these days and fine when you get acclimatised. It feels less spongy than the XC70 and the ride is a bit more nuggety. The gearbox is again fine, 8 speed, better than mine but not a BMW rival yet. To drive in a non pressing on wafts sort of way it's lovely, really pleasant.

The problem is the engine. It's punchy, unusually quick off the mark and much more frugal than mine but it sounds horrible and it's more of a deal than I think it should be. Where as most 2ltr diesels are tuned to sound gutsy this genuinely sounds like a small capacity petrol, I imagine it sounds a lot like a 1.2 Corsa. It's disconcerting as the raucous, tiny little noise coming from somewhere in front of you is completely at odds with the rest of the car. It's like it looks like Vin Diesel (see what I did there) and sounds like Alvin the Chipmunk.

I do like it, I like it a lot, the boot's massive enough for a herd of dogs but I'm not sure I could justify the upgrade. Nice to have for the day though.
Martin

I really like them as well and they they look good in grey with decent wheels.  The engine put me off, even more so now after your comment, which is a shame.

Interesting loan car though and a good move by the dealer.
PhilD

I still can't get quite get my head round what Volvo are doing engine wise.

I do love the the XC90 though, and a cracking loan car.
Michael

I've just been having a nose around it, as you do. There is a 3 pin plug socket in the back. I've never seen this in a car before.
Humphrey The Pug

Seeing loads of these about; they are definately the best looking large SUV out there.
PhilD

Humphrey The Pug wrote:
Seeing loads of these about; they are definately the best looking large SUV out there.


I think I'm old skool in that I want my larger 4x4 to look like one so I'm more RR than Q7. XC90 up there with the RR.
simonp

Michael wrote:
I've just been having a nose around it, as you do. There is a 3 pin plug socket in the back. I've never seen this in a car before.


The Mokka has one.
PG

Re: Volvo XC90 D5 AWD

Michael wrote:
To drive in a non pressing on wafts sort of way it's lovely, really pleasant.


I think this is exactly what the previous XC90 was like.

How much longer /wider than your XC70 is it?
Michael

XC70 4838mm x 1925mm
XC90 4950mm x 2008mm

It drives a lot better than the old one, the gearbox is in a different league but the engine is a let down.
gonnabuildabuggy

Michael wrote:
XC70 4838mm x 1925mm
XC90 4950mm x 2008mm

It drives a lot better than the old one, the gearbox is in a different league but the engine is a let down.


How big was the old one? I like the old one but somehow can't find the new one as attractive and your review has killed any attraction.

Was the box you tried on a D5? Heard similar about those and not sure if the 6/8 cylinders are the same box?
Michael

The old XC90 is much less nice. The interior is noticeably inferior to an XC70. I drove a D5 and it was an utter dog to drive. I think there are better cars out there generally than the old one, I'd have a Shogun or even a Jeep over one.

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