Driven: Volvo XC90 D4 and T5

by | Aug 14, 2016 | 0 comments

In an age where there are so many different SUV’s on the market offering much of the same, its refreshing to know that Volvo have an SUV in the mix.

Full of safety features, as Volvo are known for, the latest XC90 certainly doesn’t disappoint.

Sleek lines and beautiful design cues have taken the previous pretty much mundane-looking XC90 into a world fit for high fashion and superstars.

It’s bigger, smoother, more comfortable, way prettier and more importantly has lost that dated cellphone keypad-type centre cluster, replacing it with a superb massive touchscreen display.

It’s basically a tablet with high resolution display slammed into the centre console in portrait layout, it simply the best infotainment system available on the market today.

It is packed with features and provides fantastic usability thanks to someone who bothered to sit down and think about how you would use an infotainment system.

The interior is luxurious and dare I say it one of the most comfortable SUV’s I’ve driven to date with seating that hugs you without cutting off blood supply.

The opulence of the interior continues into the full TFT instrument cluster which houses the standard speedo and rev counter as well as navigation and various other controls which you can specify.

The Bowers & Wilkins sound system (an optional extra) is the one extra you really should consider, it’s crisp with a clarity that only a few sound systems can offer.

Volvo have also introduced their PilotAssist which basically allows you to check email, write a novel or stare at the blonde in the car next to you while you sit in traffic.

It pilots the car through traffic, keeping you in the lane and braking when necessary without any control required from the driver.

Real world tests proved to be quite successful, but does take some getting used to.

The front wheel drive entry-level D4 provides 140kW and 400Nm from the 2.0 twin0turbo i4 Diesel, producing exceptional economy figures of around 5l/100km on the combined cycle, while the T5 provides more oomph from 2.0 turbo charged petrol delivering 187kW and 350Nm to all for wheels.  Economy from the T5 is a decent 7.6l/100km.

Both models use the 8-speed Geartronic automatic transmission which is fantastic with smooth almost unnoticeable changes.

The XC90 offers exceptional handling and sports-car-like characteristics, giving a superb experience for the driver.

With the recent introduction of the 300kW Volvo XC90 T8 twin-engined plugin hybrid, Volvo have thrown the proverbial cat amongst the pigeons.  There’s a large amount of luxury and features on offer here giving the buyer a lot more choice.


  • Volvo XC90 D4 Inscription FWD – R884,300 (R964,150 as tested)
  • Volvo XC90 T5 R-Design AWD – R926,900 (R980,900 as tested)


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