British Show Debut For Volvo XC90

Since its world debut at the Detroit motorshow in January, interest in Volvo's all-new, next generation SUV, the XC90, has gained considerable momentum. With over 1,200 orders from UK customers (and 6,000 in USA) already received before it arrives in showrooms, the XC90 is sure to be a 'must-see' during its UK show debut at the British International Motor Show.

XC90 Highlights:

  • Innovative and versatile interior design
  • Stylish and masculine (but not macho) exterior
  • Up to seven individual forward facing seats
  • Two powerful engines:
    - D5: 2.4-litre, five-cylinder turbodiesel with 163bhp
    - T6: 2.9-litre, six-cylinder petrol with 272bhp
  • Car-like handling
  • Class-leading emissions and fuel economy
  • High standard specification for S and SE models
  • Volvo advanced safety standards and systems (IC, RSC, ROPS)
  • Crash test compatibility with smaller cars

Volvo waited to enter the SUV market until it could offer a no compromise, safe and strong vehicle with car-like handling and class leading environmental credentials - and it looks like it has certainly been worth the wait. Its advanced, innovative design and safety features have already notched up the XC90's first significant award - it has just been voted 'SUV of the Year' in America¹, the homeland of the SUV.

Innovative Interior

Apart from its handsome and dynamic exterior design, the innovative, flexible and versatile interior is the unique feature that takes the XC90 streets ahead of any of its other premium rivals.

The XC90 has seven individual forward facing seats and all six passenger seats fold flat for maximum flexibility and load capacity, if needed. Unlike some of its rivals, the two seats in the third row fold away completely - and don't take up any boot space when not in use.

Ingeniously, the middle seat in the centre row has an integrated booster seat and can slide forward to bring a child right up to the adults in the front seats, and for the XC90's final party trick, a removable centre arm rest between the front seats gives extra legroom.

Superior Safety

Naturally, Volvo has ensured its SUV does not compromise its levels of safety and after extensive crash testing developed some important new features.

Volvo has designed the XC90 with as low a centre of gravity as possible and has developed a new RSC (Roll Stability Control) system using a gyro-sensor to register the car's roll speed and angle and, if necessary, will automatically stabilise any excessive roll by braking the outside wheels.

In addition, for maximum occupant protection, Volvo has developed the XC90's Roll Over Protection System (ROPS) to include stronger boron steel in the roof structure and fitted the side Inflatable Curtain (IC) across all three rows of seats that also stays inflated for longer in case of a multiple roll - and to help keep passengers inside the car during a roll-over.

Volvo has also considered the important issue of SUV crash compatibility with smaller vehicles and positioned a lower cross-member across the front subframe of the XC90 at the appropriate height to impact with the structure and crumple zones of smaller cars.

Luxury Specification

Standard specifications² of both S and SE models leave many other premium rivals looking poor value in comparison. All XC90s have a high performance audio system with CD player and 160W output, Electronic Climate Control with Volvo's Air Quality System and reverse parking sensors. Upgrading to the SE model adds luxuries such as leather upholstery, an in-dash six-CD changer, and larger 18in alloy wheels.

Apart from a range of Volvo lifestyle accessories including roof boxes, cycle, ski and snowboard carriers, and towbars, the stylish and desirable options available for the XC90 include:

  • Bi-xenon gas discharge headlights
  • Dark tinted rear and side windows
  • Mini-Disc player
  • Rear seat headset sockets so rear passengers can listen to either CD, radio or
  • Laminated (toughened) side windows
  • Communications pack: DVD based, European satellite navigation system; integrated GSM phone; Mini-Disc player; and upgraded audio system with Dolby Pro Logic II digital Surround Sound, 4x70W and 1x25W amplifiers, with 11 speakers
  • Winter Pack: headlamp cleaning, heated front seats, textile floor mats
  • Premium Pack: electric folding door mirrors with ground lights, electric driver's and passenger's seats (with driver's seat and mirror memory)
  • Cross Country Pack: running boards, rear skid plate, roof protection ribs, load carrier, mudflaps

Power and Performance

Performance is well catered for by a choice of Volvo's refined, 163bhp, five-cylinder D5 turbodiesel or six cylinder, 272bhp T6 petrol engine, while class-leading fuel economy, insurance groups and emissions make it easier on running costs and the environment.

Model OTR £ Combined mpg BHP/Torque CO2 Ins group
£29,665 31.0 163bhp/ 340Nm from 1750-3000rpm 242 g/km 15
£31,650 31.0 163bhp/ 340Nm from 1750-3000rpm 242 g/km 15
£31,865 21.9 272bhp/ 380Nm from 1800-5000rpm 309 g/km 16
£33,865 21.9 272bhp/ 380Nm from 1800-5000rpm 309 g/km 16
Published 22 October 2002 Melanie Carter

The information contained this Volvo XC90 news article may have changed since publication on the 22 October 2002. Our car specifications, reviews, and prices may only apply to the UK market. You may wish to check with the manufacturer or your local Volvo dealer, before making a purchasing decision. E.&.O.E. You may NOT reproduce our car news in full or part, in any format without our written permission. © 2018