BEHIND THE WHEEL: VOLVO XC90 T8

WEDNESDAY OCTOBER 5, 2016

The gradual change on big SUVs getting prettier as time goes by is especially true with the XC90 because it is a looker, at least to my eyes. Be it from the front, back or side, the new 90’s design is cohesive, pleasing to look at, nowhere close to being a clumsy looking thing. The rather skinny on the top Thor’s hammer DRL dictates the whole car’s elegant design. Even though the one that was sent came with 22-inch alloys doesn’t make it as a whole distasteful.

PRO

Handsome looks

Ride comfort

Practicality and space

CON

Miniscule fuel tank

Volvo quirks

Hybrid system; a ticking bomb

SPECIFICATION

2-litre 4-cylinder

407hp 740Nm

8-speed automatic

0-100 km/h: 5.6s

Top speed: 230 km/h

RM 403,888

XC90 interior

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Very much has been continued on the inside with heartwarming wood running through the dashboard with soft leather wrapped on panels that are supposed to be wrapped and beyond. Consequently, touchscreen on center and speedometer are reactive and of high resolution. Back seats provide ample of room and recline but I wonder why were there cables below the driver’s seat left out in the open.

volvo since 1959
volvo flag

Weighing in at 2343 kilograms, it rides comfortably on air suspension. There will be no complaint even on its sportiest setting. It can seat seven but if you’re like me, I’ll keep the last row folded flat for boot space. Despite being huge on proportions, it drives like a mid sized SUV. If you enjoy swift driving like I do, the XC90 doesn't feel like it needed more power than it does. The traction control system gets thumbs up for not being overly intrusive.

 

Despite Volvo says it’ll kick up a hundred in 5.6 seconds, let’s not forget the phony hybrid proposition marketing tactics because we've got experience. Truth is, it will only do 5.6 if there is charge in its batteries. And if you don’t, it will solely rely on its petrol engine while the battery pack is dead weight. After several hard accelerations or cruising about on electric mode to spook your friends, you’ll be needing to whip out a sundial to measure its acceleration.

xc90 back

This Swede company has come very far from what the first XC was but the idiosyncrasies still remain. The same issue I had with the very first top-of-the-range XC60 where the safety features only does two things. It either scares you for something that’s far from an accident or torments you for the rest of time, leaving me in a frenzy. Seated in the back, you’ll notice quality has been pinched and it’s no comparison to an Audi Q7.

 

Sure it can all be turned off but what’s the point of paying for them in the first place? To get moving, you’ll need to twist a plastic knob where right is to start or left to kill power. Then hold the handbrake down for a full two second otherwise it’d still be up. Next, shift the fake crystal plastic lever either up or down but it’ll still be in neutral because only with a second input will put you into reverse or drive.

xc90 side

After a brief five minutes of enthusiastic driving, the boot doesn’t want to open no more. I was told my driving had drained its batteries completely. That apart, its head up display failed to function during my time with the car but they had no reason for this one. Tipping over 400 thousand, I am not remotely convinced when one has to go through so much just to get the car moving. And if I were a person who’s got a fetish for optional extras, the BMW X5 40e M goes for 20 less.

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EST. 2015 | Federal Territory of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia | contact@thecwo.com

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