No wonder, really. We love Scandi minimalism in our homes, why not in our cars? The XC90 has a clean interior with a large touchscreen, which is easy to navigate and offers a good car look for parking in tight spots. If you want to spice it up a bit you can go for heated massage chairs.
But it’s not, it’s completely straightforward – no complicated and fancy dashboards here. And it is very safe. Volvos regularly win awards for their safety. Maybe almost too safe, I think at one point, as I back into another pub parking only for the safety brake to kick in.
It’s a feature designed to stop bumps below 10mph, which means the Volvo suddenly freezes when I’m reversing and, ironically, I’m worried I’ve hit the Audi behind me. I’m still confused about this as I had several legs to go, but better safe than sorry I guess. And you can turn this setting off if it’s really annoying, like I do with the “lane assist” setting on my VW every time I turn it on because I’m perfectly capable of driving down the middle of the road without my car. actively trying to tell me I’m too close to the white lines, or too close to the car in front. Do we have to have such nursing features in all modern cars?
Apart from that, high marks. The XC90 is comfortable, convenient and, as the review said, adequate. Enough room for a pair of muddy boots, overnight bags, multiple coats and a couple of shopping bags from Burford Garden Center (don’t say I don’t know how to organize a romantic weekend away).
Enough space for me to discreetly change out of muddy leggings and put on jeans in the back seats between our walk and the bar. Certainly enough space to spot the worst behavior if that is what you are into, although I honestly could not tell you anything about it because we had a busy backgammon schedule to stick to it. I didn’t score much, maybe because of all those Negronis, but we had a good time, and The Bull was great. Just check which one you’re sitting on before setting up the sat-nav.
On the test: Volvo XC90 Recharge T8 AWD Ultimate
Price: from £83,130 (£83,925 as tested with optional metallic paint)
Strength training: gasoline-electric plug-in hybrid; 310bhp (petrol) plus 145bhp (electric)
Top speed: 112mph (less)
Acceleration: 0-62mph in 5.4sec
Fuel economy: 188.1-235.1mpg (WLTP)
Electric range only: up to 44 miles
0-100% at checkout: from 5 hours for 37kW
CO2 emissions: 28-34g/km (WLTP)