A big SUV powered by a V8 engine. It must chew through fuel and kill the globe…right? Wrong. Volvo’s latest XC90 – the 4.4-litre V8 – is a mix of power and efficiency, striking the perfect balance.
Trekking off the beaten track isn’t a lost task either. Although most owners will never leave a paved surface, I ventured off-road to see if Volvo’s bad-boy SUV has what it takes to entertain the family while out bush. The vehicle’s ‘car-like’ stance didn’t fill me with confidence for off-road work though.
Surprisingly, the ground clearance was more than adequate when pushing the XC90 through some rough territory. The car never bottomed out, indicating that ground clearance was not compromised... Read More
The XC90 has no manual switchable differential locks or a low-range gearbox, meaning that the on-board computer makes all the decisions about when/where power is sent. Luckily, the muddy tracks and sandy plains proved no match for the XC90’s diverse all-wheel-drive system.
The interior is spacious and well appointed. The third row of seats accommodates children and can fit adults with a bit of a squeeze. The test vehicle was fitted with Volvo’s easy to use satellite navigation system which is controlled via buttons located behind the steering wheel. The hard-drive driven system is extremely fast and quite accurate.
The 4.4-litre, 60-degree V8 takes up barely any space under the bonnet. The hearty V8 motor produces a commendable 232kW, along with 440Nm of torque. That’s enough to propel this 2.1-tonne SUV from naught to one-hundred in just 7.3-seconds. Fuel consumption is rated at 13.5-litres/100km, which isn’t all that bad for a powerful V8 motor. The 6-speed automatic gearbox moves the XC90 along smoothly, with little fuss. Through corners, the XC90 keeps its composure and has limited body roll, literally feeling sedan-like.
Three models exist in the XC90 line-up, the LE, D5 and V8. They are priced at $69,950, $72,950 and $84,950 respectively. A new XC90 V8 Sport model is now also available at $89,950, adding additional features such as: Dynamically tuned suspension; nivomat self-levelling suspension; sport seats; leather steering wheel; metallic paint; 19” wheels; silver skid plates and unique carpets.
Standard features bundled with the XC90 V8 include: Leather upholstery; dual-zone climate control; 3rd row air-conditioning; power driver and front passenger seat; heated front seats; premium Dynaudio sound system with 12-speakers and 6-stack CD player; cruise control; central locking; power mirrors; automatic wipers; heated mirrors; auto-dimming rear vision mirror; third row of seats; rear parking sensors and interior air quality system.
Standard safety features include: ABS brakes with EBD; driver and front passenger dual-stage front airbags; front, middle and rear inflatable curtain; Side Impact Protection System (SIPS); side impact airbags; Whiplash Protection System (WHIPS); Dynamic Stability Control (DSTC); Roll Stability Control (RSC) and traction control.
The Volvo XC90 V8 is a comfy ride with enough features to keep most people happy. The V8 motor consumes reasonable amounts of fuel, whilst performing exceptionally well off-road. There is plenty of room inside the cabin to house a full load of passengers and cargo, while the luxurious leather and abundance of safety features offer peace of mind.
With the cost of competitor’s SUVs in the $100,000+ category, the Volvo XC90 V8 is a worthy option for families looking for a European transporter that isn’t afraid of getting down and dirty on weekends.
CarAdvice rating (out of 5): 3.5
- by Paul Maric