Traditionally, Volvo has been the car you wished you were in when you realised you were about to have a serious accident, and your life started flashing before your eyes. Passenger safety has always been this manufacturer’s prime objective – which is all good and well if safety is your main motoring concern. But, you know how it goes… We’re emotional creatures and we look for more than just safety. We want fun and excitement, too! So, for the last decade or so, Volvo has struggled to shrug off its safe conservative image while simultaneously striving to be the safest car maker of them all. A real challenge!
The brand was sold off to Ford, and after a few years, when Ford found itself in a tight squeeze, it sold the brand off to Chinese motor manufacturer Geely, in 2010. So, what’s worth noting here is that the vehicle reviewed in this test has a Chinese parent. And, as you’ll read in this tow test, we think that they’ve come up with a model that seems set to be a seriously hot contender in the SUV segment – set to challenge the Mercedes-Benz GL, BMW X5, and Audi Q5 head on!
Engineers at Volvo have apparently determined that the optimum engine cylinder capacity for fuel economy and performance is 500 cm³, so this SUV is powered by a 2.0-litre 4-cylinder diesel engine equipped with a twin turbocharger system. It’s a combination powerful enough to propel the vehicle to 100 km/h in 7.8 seconds, and in 28.44 seconds when towing a caravan weighing 1 120 kg.
The motor develops 470 Nm of torque right where you want it – between 1 750 and 2 000 r/min. And don’t forget the 165 kW of power.
The XC 90 features an innovative rear suspension. It’s a single, composite leaf-spring mounted transverse at the rear – which, in simple terms, is a single blade spring positioned across the width of the car!