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.
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 America�, the homeland of the SUV.
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.
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.
Standard specifications� 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:
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|
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