THIS GREAT Swedish machine does a good job of making you feel bullet proof behind the wheel.

The XC90 is large, imposing and quite sporty in R-Design guise. Big alloys, fat tailpipes and silver mirror housings help Volvo’s premium SUV stand out in the corporate car park.

The car is hardly new though. It’s now in its tenth year of production, but the XC90 continues to be a great sales success – and recent refinements to this still class-leading SUV have given the Volvo an injection of youth.

A new day running light configuration using LEDs in the lower bumper gives the front more character. There is also a new lower door moulding and all XC90 specifications are now fully colour-coordinated. The tail lamps have dual light guides, LED brake lights and a silver turn indicator bulb (still with orange light).

Inside, the Volvo is spacious and flexible and, on the move, it combines excellent handling and comfort with superior ability and flexibility. The R-Design version gives the car a more driver-focused character and, on top of a special chassis, it features redesigned upholstery, inlays, door panels and 19-inch wheels.

Gadget-wise, Volvo’s tried and tested ‘On Call’ system is still brilliant. It’s designed for enhanced safety and security in the car, and using a combination of wireless telecommunications and modern computer technology, you can receive assistance in difficult situations. Recently it’s been upgraded with music streaming from a Bluetooth enabled portable music player. New too, is a mobile application that makes sure you can connect with the system, even when the car’s parked up, via your iPhone or Android smart phone. The app opens up a range of possibilities, such as seeing the location of your car on a map. There is also a digital compass that points you in the right direction. Even better, the mobile app gives you access to information such as fuel level, average fuel consumption, average speed, odometer reading and trip meter reading. It’s all pretty clever stuff!

But,it’s not all about ingenious technology, The XC90 is very practical too, but in a non-boring way. For instance, the tailgate, which is divided into a really useful upper and a lower section for easy loading, now comes with a new, colour-coordinated leather grab handle. It’s a tiny touch, but it helps make the car feel all the more special.

The XC90 does it all really. It’s great for a family, it looks good for business and it’s just the thing for anyone needing a safe, grippy car for all seasons. The Volvo is also a top towing vehicle. It’s capable of lugging up to 2250 kg, so anyone with a horse trailer or a caravan will find the XC90 D5 R-Design ideal.


  • Spacious √
  • Flexible √
  • Practical √
  • Towing power √
  • Long in the tooth X


  • Max speed: 127 mph
  • 0-62 mph: 10.3 secs
  • Combined mpg: 34.0
  • Engine: 2400 cc 5 cylinder 20 valve turbo diesel
  • Max. power (bhp): 197 at 3900 rpm
  • Max. torque (lb/ft): 309 at 2000 rpm
  • Max. towing weight (braked) 2250 kg
  • CO2: 219 g/km
  • Price: £40,775 on the road
 Click below to watch the slide show:


Select a Magazine below to read a published review:

Only Peterborough, Issue 1, May 2012

R Magazine, May 2012 (Select Page 94)



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