Volvo XC90

The creation of an up-and-coming era

"Truly falling in love with a Swede"

"Best seat in the industry"

"The new Volvo XC90 looks best in R-Design trim"

"World safest, cleanest and fastest 7 seater SUV"

"Leader in the third row legroom SUV (170 cm)"

Owned by Geely (officially Zhejiang Geely Holding Group Co., Ltd), a Chinese automotive manufacturing company headquartered in China; Geely's products range from automobiles, motorcycles, engines and transmissions. Many are afraid that the image of the Swedish manufacturer will disappear and in fact, I would compare the era of Volvo similar to the era when Ford owned Jaguar. Now with Tata, the Indian company is spending lot of money on R&D for Jaguar; it is the same case now with Volvo.

The Chinese are spending money, yet not a lot, on Volvo to make it a profitable brand. With no doubts, the Chinese are not interfering in the design and technology. Volvo is in the process of rebranding, and the first step in that process takes the form of the all new XC90.
Launched in 2002, the Volvo XC90 was the first 7-seater SUV in that category. 636,000 units were sold worldwide.

Thirteen years after the first XC90 was launched (during Ford's ownership), there is lastly a second generation Volvo XC90, but is it as good as the first generation?

First edition of the all new Volvo XC90 was sold during 47 hours online. Only 1927 were produced, referring to the year when Volvo was founded. The cool thing is that 5 percent were sold over mobile phones and nine percent over tablets.

Volvo is following their most-recent slogan: "We understand you, we protect what is important to you and we make you feel special." Some customization is now available within the all new XC90 such as steering, powertrains, brake, ESC/DSTC and suspension.

The new product is proving to be a hit with customers even before it has appeared in showrooms, with over 16,000 orders for the brand new SUV already received. "These strong order numbers are very encouraging and it shows that customers obviously appreciate the new kind of luxury car experience," said Emre Karaer, general manager of Volvo Car Group Middle East and North Africa. "The XC90 is a firm evidence of the Volvo-by-Volvo strategy. Its outstanding combination of luxury, space, versatility, efficiency and safety will bring the SUV segment into a new dimension, just as the original XC90 achieved in 2002."

Commenting on the growth of the premium segment in the Middle East which witnessed a remarkable growth by 15.7% in 2014 and by 17.2% for the medium SUV premium segment, Emre Karaer said: "Giving these promising figures, Volvo Cars Middle East and North Africa is geared for stronger growth on the back of new launches in 2015 especially with the XC90. Our milestone this year is to reach a market share of 10% in the medium SUV premium segment this year."

Exterior
The new face of Volvo combining a distinctive and confident face, completed with the updated Volvo Iron Mark and the signature ‘Thor's Hammer' headlights, the XC90's connection to Volvo's past and homage to the Swedish lifestyle are entirely evident in the new design language.

Drivetrains
There are two petrol engines for the time being offered by Volvo. The T6 is powered by a 2.0L turbocharged, 4 cylinders, 320 hp and 400 Nm. The T8 is powered by the same engine 2.0L turbocharged but with plug-in hybrid. It is powered by 320 hp (engine) and 80 hp (electric motor) which makes a total of 400 hp. The average distance on the hybrid is around 40 km. Fuel consumption of the T8 is expected to be around 2.5L/100 Km and 0-100 kph in 5.9 seconds. Both engines are coupled to an 8 speed automatic gearbox. 
Three trims will be offered: Momentum, Inscription and R-Design. Middle East prices might vary from a market to another, but we are talking around 250,000 AED for the T6 (Momentum) and 280,000 AED for the T6 (Inscription). Basically the only change between these two trims is the air suspensions on the Momentum. T8 will reach by end of 2015. And later in 2016, Volvo is planning for another engine T5 producing 254 hp and 350 Nm of torque.

Driving Impressions
We were hosted by a 2-day test drive event in Tarragona, following the initial reveal in August 2014. I was really thrilled by the premium feel this SUV created with thought-through safety and convenience features, true luxurious comfort, solid and adaptable drive settings and stunning Scandinavian design. The end result is a visually striking SUV with an unrivalled combination of power and fuel efficiency and a superlative interior finish. From the uncluttered console and large tablet-like touchscreen interface to the handmade crystal Orrefors gear knob provided in the Twin Engine version, the XC90 clearly creates a new expression of luxury, simplicity and digital craftsmanship delivering a unique and calming experience.

Verdict 
The 2nd generation XC90 deserves a warm applause! With a remarkable exterior and futuristic-looking cabin, it is one of the most luxurious SUVs in its segment. Technology makes it safer and easier to drive, while the engine lineup is powerful and yet fuel-efficient. The new XC90 is certainly ready to go out and chase its competitors. Will the new design philosophy with Geely improve Volvo's weak image from Ford's era?

Pros: stunning exterior design, luxurious and futuristic interior, powerful and efficient engines, promising hybrid drivetrain, safety and technology
Cons: expensive, numerous competitors
Rivals: Audi Q7, BMW X5, Mercedes GLE, Volkswagen Touareg, Range Rover 
4.5 stars
One word: revolution

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