The Underdog

Volvo seems to have always been a conundrum of a brand. Not that popular with the general public nor enthusiast, but have always been a benchmark for safety, clean styling, and believe it or not pretty good performance. So when I got my hands on the new XC90 I was pretty excited. Volvo sure did not disappoint. 




The Good: It's amazing design and in my opinion draws more eyes than its German counterparts. Not to mention its something different. Great power and great accouterments for the price point. 

The Bad: From what I have read across the inter web and from some experiences from colleagues the car has been plagued with mechanical issues which. believe have been sorted out for 2k19 and 2020 model years. Also while the power is quite good I think the hybrid version is a must. 

Verdict: With crisp lines, smooth styling, and going against the status quo you have a great appointed car that rivals some of the best out there. Don't forget it's all quite safe. 



Life is breathed through the XC90 through a surprisingly slick Dual charged (turbo and supercharged) 2 liter four cylinder engine. Which in theory is quite a feat however I personally feel the motor is just too small for such a big heavy car. However with the forced breath of life from the turbo and supercharger that little 4-cylinder motor has enough get up to get you to soccer practice back in a few blinks. I personally feel the T8 hybrid [while pricey] is the one to get as you can use as much extra power as you can get to push all that heftiness. At the end of the day no matter which motor you get its surprisingly good bang for the buck. 


 I think this car is quite the looker- and much different in the sea of Mercedes, BMW, Audi etcetera. The enthusiast in me wants to see it lowered on 21s with blacked out windows light smoke on rear tail lights and chrome delete to show the various aspects of this family hauler. But if you leave it stock in the right color looks just delectable. Granted some people may not enjoy the looks of this car, but I feel the design language of current Volvos is done just right and makes me want one because it is so unique and conceptual. The car I currently have came with LED headlights which is a must in any car -with the super cool and iconic Thor's hammer DRLs. Providing the car with the necessary aggressiveness to show it means business with the sweet lines to give it that luxury feel. The eyes of this car are aggressive, beautiful and bold. and the whole fit and finish of the exterior is quite chic. 



The seats are comfortable and supportive. With that said I am a fan of the Design seating and appointment much more. The interior leaves a lot desired. While it designed well its quite minimalistic. It is probably somewhere in between BMWs over designed interiors and Tesla's overly minimalistic interiors. It is good just seems as if a little more is necessary. Everything is placed in a good spot making everything easy to get to and not out of reach. The only real problem I have with the interior is the size of the screen I wish it was a little wider and the engine start knob. While the piece itself is beautiful in my opinion it is just a tad silly.  The navigation worked well and the sounds system had enough bump and clarity to handle every genre of music and immerse you in the sauce as if you were there when they recorded it.  The interior is plenty roomy for kids and adults a like, however with that third row seat if you are anything over 4ft tall and or older than maybe 8 you are not going to be comfortable back there at all. Do not believe the hype adults do not fit in the 3rd row. 

Music equipment, stroller, mom and all her bags, real estate signs, beach gear you name it. When the third row is down there is more than enough space for all of life's adventures. Whether it is for work or play or family time to go adventure The XC90 can handle it all. I feel the interior is well thought out and conducive for an active lifestyle.



It's a Volvo. What else needs to be said here. Notorious to other manufactures but Volvo has consistently almost since it's inception been one of the safest cars on the road hands down. Consistently having some of the best ratings of any car in and out of it's class. One of the things to note though is the adaptive cruise control. Almost like auto pilot in a sense that the car is very involved, however you the pilot are still very much in control. The only negative about the safety protocols is that the brakes get too involved way to early however with a few days of getting used to that initial though subsided. Making the whole system seem to be very good as opposed to cars made by its counterparts. 



Do not get my wrong I actually love the XC90 and its few quirks. The styling is great, the power is decent, the car as a whole is well thought out. But would I buy one? The one we tested was a few ticks under $74k ,Going to their site to spec one rendered with the R-Design accoutrements, and the hybrid engine we are beat over the head at just under $90k. A lot of autos can be had for $90k and for $90k while I absolutely love how unique, and well designed the XC90 is I still might opt for a Tesla Model X or a Trackhawk. Two Extremely different cars per se but also two I would rather drop $100k on. Special Thank you To Santa Monica Volvo. Go give them a visit and test drive your very own Volvo that suits your lifestyle.


Leave a comment

Add comment