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A True Luxury SUV with Outstanding Technology

Edmunds.com logo Edmunds.com 8/5/2015 Adrian Eckenrod

While we have only had our 2016 XC90 for a week, we truly love this SUV. The vehicle is primarily driven by the wife and on family trips. We were not even looking for a Volvo at first. Previously we had a 2004 XC90 and while an OK vehicle we never loved it, size was good, handling and MPG were not. We downsized from that to a new 2012 XC60 which was also nice (much better handling and MPG). Although nowhere near the same luxury as our prior Mercedes. With two kids it quickly became too small. Was looking to upsize and considered the following 2015/16 vehicles: Acura MDX, Range Rover, Porsche Cayenne (too small), Audi Q7 and Mercedes GL. We have always been partial to Mercedes and loved all our prior MB's so it was looking like that would be our next choice. Took the XC60 to the Volvo dealer for an offer and that's when we saw the new XC90. This vehicle is nothing like the prior XC90, it is easy to see what Volvo has been doing with the $11 billon from Geely. I am not concerned with a Chinese company being the parent owner of Volvo, as the Swedes still design and build the car. Look around these days and you will find many of the high-end items in the world owned by someone else. The luxury from the new XC90 is completely on par with the Germans. The Europeans have mastered the art of that for years but always seem to lag in the technology arena. Even when they do offer technology it is not on level with what high-end Japanese autos offered; not to mention you will easily add $10k to the European vehicles with options and still envy what the Japanese models have. The XC90 is a vehicle exceeding at both. Ours is a fully loaded model (spec'd same as a First Edition) and in no category does it lack. The luxury from the 18-way adjustable (Inscription model) front seats to the perfect balance of Nappa leather, birch wood and metal accents leave no doubt every detail has been thought of. Should you even find a glove box that can also cool down to 40 degrees in a European car, rest assured it will be another pricey option. The place I could see an improvement would be additional USB ports, but plug in one of the adapters that gives you two USB ports per outlet and problem solved. Reading other reviews prior to our purchase that was also one of the few things people could seem to gripe about. If lack of multiple USB ports are the biggest complaints with the XC90, then I think Volvo has succeeded in their goal of making a new iconic flagship for their brand. The all glass instrument cluster and center stack is as functional as it is aesthetically pleasing. The tablet like interface is extremely easy to use and does respond instantly (was a big concern of mine). Want to test the responsiveness, adjust the temperature slide up and down, it responds as fast as you can move your finger! Looking forward to the upcoming update to include Apple Carplay and Android Auto integration. The heads up display is another feature worth getting, very nice never having to take your eyes of the road. The enormous panorama sunroof is something the backseat and even third row passengers will enjoy. Shutting the doors is a solid thud I haven't heard since our last Mercedes. Again every aspect of this vehicle we just love.The drive is outstanding for this capable 7 passenger SUV, especially for a 2 liter 4 cylinder engine. It has better handling and performance than our prior XC60 with an engine twice the size. While it can't tow as much as the Q7 (the XC90 is rated to tow 5000 lbs) and is not as sporty as the Porsche or BMW, it is certainly a well balanced mix of comfort, performance and capability. The cargo space is seemingly endless (especially when compared to more sporty brands). It does offer four different driving modes which further enhances your driving experience. You certainly feel like you’re driving a luxury sedan, not a heavy truck or large SUV feeling about the drive. My primary car is a Porsche, and this is our first SUV I don't mind driving.Safety is my paramount concern when purchasing a vehicle for the family. That is one reason I was originally looking hard at the Mercedes, but Volvo certainly knows how to build an extremely safe car as well. They further drove that point home with all the advanced safety features this vehicle packs. There is no need for me to go over all of them, you can read all about them for the next hour in other reviews. I will say they are impressive and non-intrusive. I absolutely love the lane keeping aid. A gentle steering nudge reminds you when you are veering out of your lane. I believe that is actually making us safer drivers all around because it brings to point when and how often you were drifting. Having that truly lets you know how attentive you are to the road and your primary task while behind the wheel.If you are in the market for a luxury SUV, you would be remiss if you don't check out the new XC90. This one is nothing like any Volvo of years past for all the right reasons.

Average Rating : 5

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