The step up from the old XC90 is certainly appreciated. This car has brought the model up into the X5 & Q7 stables. It gives classy appearance and displays quality interior with so much information as to the vehicle operation on the big screen.
It has been a real culture change to accept that you don't need the big V8 or V6 with the reassuring growl to get up and go.
The acceleration power, which comes without a lot of noise and fuss, is quite exhilarating and satisfying considering the size of the engine. If you are still held in the old mold of noise equals power, you will never be able to fit into the XC90 or the electric cars of the future.
The 8 speed gearbox is constantly keeping the motor revs trimmed in the area of 1200 to 1600 RPM and makes use of the torque where possible. Gear shifts are hardly distinguishable and sometimes slow in deciding whether to go up or down a gear which was more pronounced in the older model. The Nappa leather seating and interior linings are top quality and comfortable.
The driving position is excellent and Steering is effortless with a sense of control and feel of the road, tracking well. Braking is excellent, experienced when a car pulled out of drive in front of me. The safety features came into action with the ABS and seat belts tightening up and pulling you back. With the sudden braking, I was advised by a driver following that the rear brake lights started flashing brightly which has obviously been designed to give clear warning to anyone behind.
Lane assist and adaptive cruise control are great options, but when you change lanes you need to concentrate as car may speed up or pull up suddenly depending where the vehicle is in the new lane.
heads up display is good but not easily seen when wearing polarized sunglasses. Auto headlight dipping and windscreen wipers work well and adjustable.