Luxury cruising inVolvo’s super SUV
THERE seems to be a never-ending list of new features being offered when cars come off the production line nowadays.
But I reckon one that has been around for some time should be on your list of must haves when buying a new car.
For whatever reason they are put up, average speed cameras can be frustrating for many mo-torists.
There you are driving along and keeping an eye constantly on the speed counter to make sure you don’t go above the required limit.
The M74 in Scotland is a road I travel on regularly and major roadworks mean we have a 50mph limit for the next couple of years – with average speed cameras in place.
And this is when cruise control is such a benefit.
My latest test model – a Volvo XC90 – was equipped with adaptive cruise control with distance alert.
It meant I could concentrate on traffic around me and not worry about picking up any speeding points.
The system was so easy to use with the steering wheel controls.
Set it at 50mph and as the traffic flow slowed down it would automatically redu-ce speed to keep a safe distance behind the car in front and return to the set cruising speed when the pace picked up again.
This was just one of the many features I liked in this all-new big luxury SUV.
Volvo says the model marks the beginning of a new chapter in its history, showing its future design direction.
The XC90 is certainly impressive with a new bold front featuring the iconic arrow aligned with the diagonal slash across the grille and T-shaped ‘Thor’s Hammer’ daytime running lights.
This is Volvo’s new face while the rear features a boot lip with light strips extending down from it and twin exhausts.
Inside the cabin it’s all luxury and bright, thanks to a huge sunroof.
The XC90 is a full seven-seater and offers plenty of combinations with its folding seats.
There’s lots of room up front and in the three middle row and two rear seats.
The three individual second-row seats have recline adjustment and can slide – to create more room for third-row passengers or allow more boot space.
And it’s also full of new technology.
Centre of the dash is a nine-inch tablet-like touch screen that is particularly user friendly.
A Sensus user interface gives access to a wide selection of cloud-based applications, allowing internet radio, satnav, Bluetooth, music streaming with connections to Apple and Android devi-ces.
And if music’s your thing while on the road, the XC90 offers one of the top audio systems available in a car.
A £2,500 option brings you a 1,4000W output am-plifier and 19 Bowers and Wilkins speakers with air-ventilated subwoofers.
Entry-level Momentum models get power-ope-rated tailgate with super hands-free opening, key-less entry and start, power driver’s seat and a safety package that includes pedestrian and cyclist detection and front colli-sion warning with full auto break.
There’s also run-off road protection where the Volvo detects what is happening and front safety belts are tightened with energy-absorbing between the seat and seat frame cushions to help prevent spine injuries in the event of a hard landing.
You get the luxury levels of comfort you would expect from a model range that starts at £45,750.
The Inscription test model – priced at £50,185 without some options fitted – had Nappa soft leather uphol-stery and the high seating position was excellent.
Power units include a top-of-the-range hybrid Twin engine that combines a supercharged turbo petrol and electric motor.
There are two diesel choices – D5 225bhp twin turbo and D4 190bhp turbo – as well as two petrol options – T6 320bhp supercharger and turbo, and T5 254bhp.
The more powerful diesel engine was under the bonnet of the test model and it worked perfectly with the eight-speed automatic gearbox.
This XC90 moves pretty smartly out of the box with a zero to 62mph time of just 7.8 seconds and boasts a top speed of 137mph.
It was a dream to drive with power coming through effor-tlessly and little road, engine or wind noise.
For a big SUV, the four-wheel drive XC90 displays super handling characteristics with its sharp handling and provided super, smooth comfort.
You could cruise comfortably for many miles in this luxury SUV and it won’t disappoint if you want to push it on some winding roads.
Another plus are the fuel consumption figures which show this model is capable of achieving 44.1mpg urban, 51.4mpg extra urban and 48.7mpg combined.
Build and finish quality is excellent in this latest stylish top quality SUV from Volvo.