The agile Volvo crossover

Thursday April 08 2021
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By Paul Kaganzi

Volvo XC90 is a luxury mid-size crossover manufactured by Swedish automaker Volvo.  It has been on the market since 2002 with its second generation coming on the market in 2014. It is an agile sport utility vehicle, which has competition in the form of Range Rover and Audi crossovers.

Design

It has a family mover look; big and tough but not aggressive. It has a gentle cascading profile and warm inviting head lights. The large alloy wheels give the car a high ground clearance.

The familiar grille pattern and Volvo emblem are an assurance of the Swedish quality and promise.

Interior

It has a seven-seat arrangement in the 2-3-2 layout. This gives the car the flexibility to carry an average family and its luggage.

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The seats are large, long and supportive with a provision for front row seats to slide or fold front wise. It is also fitted with a child seat in the middle, which can be pulled forward, giving it a family setting outlook.

It has enough legroom for both the first and second row given more space. The third row, which is reserved for children also has enough space. The third row seats can fold down flat to extend the rear luggage space.

Steering

The Volvo XC90 has a command driving position with a wide clear view of all angles.

The plain looking centre console and dashboard blend like an aero plane cockpit in a practical rather than a fancy way. The expansive dashboard creates an impression of spaciousness.

It has a highly electronic entertainment system which gives practical audio sounds.

Handling and safety

The steering feels light and not even the diesel engine noise will interrupt your driving experience.

The 2.9 litre petrol is equally quiet but tempting to the foot as it surges forward on the slightest temptation. The 2.4 turbo engine responds faithfully when you kick down as you drive uphill or decide to overtake. The XC90 gyro stabilisers, Roll stability and Traction control systems chip in passively to complement the XC90 superb performance when you drive fast through sharp corners.

All this dynamic package is wrapped up in a robust R design mono-coque frame which absorbs stress from road forces and responds well to changing road dynamics to minimise body roll.

Volvo is known for its immense and strong body that provides safe all round protection for its driver and passengers. Child restraints for the XC90 provide safe travel for children.

Maintenance

Like all cars, you must have a maintenance plan when you decide to buy a Volvo XC90.

However, if it is a used one, ensure that you check the condition of ignition coils on petrol engines and turbo charge system for leakages of oil and air from intake hoses.

Maintenance parts are a bit pricey but available in selected dealerships and repair centres.  Other features include:

Legroom

The Volvo XC90 comes with a sleek interior that is complemented by a large legroom for both the first and second row. The third row, which is reserved for children also enjoys substantial space.

Socket provisions

The XC90 was updated in 2007 with a restyled front and rear and a revised interior. It was later remodeled and given LED tail-lights although entry-level models retain the previous style. It also received a cosmetic make-over that included standard LED daytime running lights and taillights.

XC90 Ocean Race

In 2001 Volvo became the main sponsor of an around-the-world sailing race, now called the Volvo Ocean Race. The 2005 edition was the first in which all competitors used the same boat knows as the Volvo Open 70, a 21.5 m (71 ft) racing yacht made for a crew of 10+ and to be robust enough to survive the open ocean.

In early 2005 Volvo cars released a special version called Ocean Race Edition. Special blue colour, leather interior with contrast stitching and special interior trim. A total of 800 were made.

Specifications

Fuel type                                 Petrol

Engine displacement (cc)      1969

Max power (bhp@rpm)       400bhp

Max torque (nm@rpm)        640Nm@1740rpm

Seating capacity                     4

Transmission type                 Automatic

Boot space (Litres)                300

Fuel tank Capacity                68

Body type                               Hybrid




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