When people think of Volvo, the first thing that comes to mind is often safety. Volvo has always set the standard when it comes to premium safety within their vehicle range and when it comes to my family, safety is paramount when picking a car. The new Volvo XC90 has an amazing array of safety features from its advanced ultra-high strength steel safety cages to its Intellisafe system which comes standard, which now offers a world first auto braking system which will kick in if you are about to turn into the path of another car. This system also supports with Adaptive Cruise Control, Pilot Assist and Lane Keeping Aid. We found the Adaptive Cruise Control very useful on long trips. With standard cruise control you find yourself constantly having to adjust your speed when there were other vehicles on the road, this system gauges your distance and adjusts your speed accordingly for you. There are many other amazing features that can be added to the XC90 in regards to the Intellisafe system as well, with different packages available.
In addition to some world first technology in terms of safety, there is some great tech features inside as well. The sound system options are mind blowing when it comes to the level of quality. You can opt for the Bowers and Wilkins package which offers superior sound, but you would not expect anything less from a 19 speaker system. This system is next level and at a price that rivals vehicles in much higher price ranges. The system includes one 12-channel amplifier, 1400W output, 19 speakers (including two automotive innovations: a new type of subwoofer, which is both very powerful and space-saving, and a tweeter facing the cabin for outstanding sound quality). We got to test this out with a range of different types of music (to cater to us and the kids) and it preformed outstandingly. The system called Sensus Connect, which is standard, allows you to stream your music from your device to your car via Bluetooth®. You can also use Bluetooth® or Wi-Fi tethering to connect your XC90 to the internet via your device. This allows you to view your GPS through the touch pad on the centre display. What we found really good about this system is that we could connect one phone for calls and have another for our music.
The centre display is the command centre of this SUV. Everything can be viewed on it from the specific part of your seat you wish to adjust through the the electric adjustments on the side of the seats, down to viewing the stats of the car’s oil level and your fuel consumption. The touch pad was easy to use, and with its large display size it had a very crisp, clear image.
The centre display also allows you to do some pretty cool things to your digital dash display. There are different themed dash displays so you can have it looking sporty, or includes GPS or song choices, but what really stood out for me was when I received a text and it came up on the dash with a read out option. With the click of a button the media system read out my text over the stereo. I thought that was very helpful and an added safety feature to eliminate checking of phones while driving.
Onto the outside of the vehicle, the model we had came with the air suspension package. This offers air suspension on all four wheels and has a electronically-controlled damper system, which allows you to adjust your driving experience according to your preference and the conditions. Again, this can be all done at the touch of a button. You simply click the button and it comes up on the centre display to pick from a range of different options – from comfort to off road to performance. You can also set it to driver performance and adjust a range of setting to personalise you driving experience.
And what about under the hood? Well we were blown away when we actually opened it up. The T6 AWD model is a 2 litre engine that puts out 320hp using both supercharging and turbocharging to deliver amazing performance from the petrol engine. The amount of power that comes from such a small engine is really surprising. This has been coupled with a newly designed automatic eight-speed Geartronic® transmission. This was one of the smoothest transmissions I have ever driven and super responsive. In manual mode the gear shifts were almost instant, and while some tiptronics can be quite laggy, the XC90 was impeccable.
There are too many great features to mention and I could not fault the Volvo XC90. It has the best of technology, safety and style all encompassed in an amazing SUV, that rivals others in the luxury SUV range.