Volvo XC90 B5 diesel AWD R-Design
Volvo’s XC90 was the first model in the current Volvo range to be built on the bands new architecture. That was 4 years ago, so time Volvo thought to update the range for 2020, with one of the new diesel models the B5, making it’s way to Company Car & Van.
The largest Volvo is still impressive. It’s a proper seven-seater, with some serious road presence, weighing in at over 2,100 kg’s. This is car you won’t miss in a hurry.
Inside, even though the interior of the XC90 is now over four years old, it’s still very much at the technical forefront of twenty-first century cars, showcasing as it does the best of Scandinavian design coupled with a clutter-free dashboard which is the highlight of the cars interior.
Volvo have kept things simple when it comes to choice, with just three specs; Momentum, R-Design & Inscription, the R-Design D5 being my test car, as this model will be the go-to choice for fleet customers. All models offer 4WD, seven seats, special energy-absorbent seats, Volvo’s City Safety auto-braking tech, Oncoming Lane Mitigation, Run-off Road protection, Pilot Assist & adaptive cruise control, so there’s no compromising on space or safety if you want one.
The interior looks & feels expensive with brushed metal inserts, matching soft leather & a tidy layout. Still on-trend, is the completely decluttered dashboard. The infotainment & climate levels are controlled by a central touchscreen which has been designed to replicate the feel of an iPad & allows you to scroll between three screens. Home with access to SatNav, Telephone, Media & Climate & by scrolling left or right a second & third screen which offers full access to the car’s setting’s or the Infotainment options. Although the system is to the forefront of what people want in their cars, after all we spend an awful lot of time sitting in our cars nowadays, the touchscreen can be distracting for the driver & is best practiced on, before trying to decipher it whilst driving in traffic. Having experienced the system on several Volvo’s, it is actually quite simple to understand & very intuitive as well.
Standard equipment across all models is comprehensive, with sat-nav, LED headlights, air-filtration, keyless entry, hands-free tailgate opening, a powered driver’s seat, auto-dimming mirrors and DAB radio. My test car was also fitted with the Winter Pack with heads up display, heated front seats, heated steering wheel & heated washer nozzles which will set you back £1275 & a £1,600 Xenium Pack that includes Park Assist Pilot, a 360 degrees parking camera & a power glass tilt panoramic sunroof, with sun curtain. A Harman Kardon premium sound system including smartphone integration adds another £850 to the price.
The D5 has a 235hp twin-turbodiesel & this is more than powerful enough for most of us. I drove 500 miles in the XC90 fully laden, most of which was cruising on the motorway where the D5 performed really nicely. Around town & on smaller roads, there is some body roll but overall it handles much like a normal family car & not like a large SUV. On the motorway, if you need power on the move it’s there if you want it, which enables you to overtake with confidence. The D5 offers a top speed of 137 mph & a 0-62mph time of 7.6 seconds which illustrates this. How will your pocket fare then ? On official tests, the D5 offers the customer a combined return of 37.7-44.1mpg with C02 emissions of 154g/km. I did not drive the D5 carefully, nor alone with an empty full tank, rather the opposite & I averaged a shade under 34mpg, which seems respectable in the world of the urban tractor.
Customers who run a large SUV want to utilise the space that goes with it. The Volvo XC90 doesn’t disappoint. Measuring 4,950mm nose-to-tail. In the cabin there’s a storage area in the centre console, plus a deep central cubby hole & a decent glovebox. In the back row, each seat gets a cup-holder. If you need to stretch out, there’s plenty of space in the luxurious front seats & in the second row too, as these seats move back & forward to increase or decrease the space as required. If you need seven seats there’s more good news, because even the third row of seats, which fold flat into the boot floor, are a good size. an the grown-ups.
If you want to utilise the boot with say a mountain bike or a flat-pack from IKEA, the XC90 offers 451 litres of boot space in seven-seat & 1,102 litres with the third row of seats folded flat into the boot floor. Stow all five of the rear seats away & there’s 1,951 litres on offer. The boot also comes with a low loading lip, a shallow underfloor space & of course there’s a powered tailgate.
As a family of four adults + medium sized dog, we really enjoyed the space & practicality that the XC90 offers. With it’s luxurious interior, up-to-date technology & it’s tremendous safety features, it really is a great car to be a passenger in, especially on a long journey.
In a sector dominated by badges, the XC90 stands out as the thinking-persons choice of large SUV. As a company car driver, there is still a quandary over diesel BIK & for those who are concerned, there is a plug-in T5 XC90 petrol to consider. Our diesel test car’s BIK is from £345 a month, whilst the plug-in petrol T5 starts at £211. If neither appeal, Volvo will be offering an electric car in each of it’s model range from 2020, so every Volvo model will offer an EV option.