Volvo in latin means “i roll” and the 2022 XC90 is a Swedish opulence that has started rolling with all its 7 seats on the Indian roads.
With the Indian market currently obsessed with SUVs, no carmaker is leaving the stones unturned to attract buyers to their park. Butch and masculine road monsters are the favourite choice for many wealthy folks out there.
With the recent outburst of large full size family SUVs like the Audi Q7, BMW X7, Mercedes Benz GLS, Volvo isn’t falling back. And to bridge this gap and to make others feel shy, the Volvo XC90 is here to give a good game to the rest of the lot at this price range.
So, how much does this thing cost? A wee less than a crore. And for that whopping amount, what do you get? A 2-liter mild hybrid system which produces 300 HP and 420 Nm of torque.
How is the Swedish charmer different from the others?
For starters, the chassis bespoke enhancements, the XC90 delivers more dynamic handling without compromising traditional Volvo comfort, safety or all-terrain capability.
The brilliantly engineered design of the vehicle ensures a controlled pitch under heavy acceleration and braking, and the damping hardware is tuned to provide exceptional turn-in, mid-corner grip and body control.
Styling on the outside?
The redesigned front bumper design and the prominent chrome grille lends the XC90 an aggressively sharp appearance.
Though the overall silhouette of the car hasn’t changed, but a significant transformation has taken place underneath. Starting with its design upfront, the 2022 XC90 features subtle styling updates to distinguish itself from the outgoing predecessor.
These subtle tweaks include a new all chrome grille, a restyled lower fascia, reprofiled rear bumper and redesigned 20-inch alloy wheels. One neat feature is the heated Volvo logo at the front grille, which prevents ice frosting and houses the vital sensors and the camera.
The LED lights have gotten way sharper than before, both at the front and the back. From the side, it sure looks humongous. The absence of side footsteps might make it a task for shorter or elderly people to get in and out. Chrome highlight strips run across the windowsill giving the vehicle a very upright stance.
The new benchmark is equipped with Android-based (Google-enabled) infotainment systems. The drivetrain consists of a 2-liter gasoline engine paired with a 48V mild-hybrid system.
How’s it like from the inside?
Hop inside, and you feel welcomed in a posh European coffee lounge. Superb Nappa leather everywhere you touch. Matte natural grain wooden inlays with a chrome strip running across the dashboard. The vertical infotainment system with its massive digital instrument cluster further accentuates the modern feeling.
The XC90’s seats create an athletic silhouette and provide exceptional comfort on long journeys. Finished in high-quality perforated Nappa leather, the XC90’s seats reflect Volvo’s status as the ultimate luxury SUV. Ventilated front seats inspired by the human form with massage functions and four-way electric lumbar support, is just something to flaunt. It is perfect, and with multiple massaging modes, you can never feel stressed behind the wheel. Even the headrests deliver heightened exclusivity.
The supportive seats also create more rear legroom and the impression of a cosseting five-seat interior while retaining flexible seven-seat capability. The black leather interior coupled with grained open-pore wooden trims, gives it an uber-luxury feel.
Now, if you fancy quirky elements which stand out alone, the illuminated crystal gear shifting knob will catch your attention in the first go.
If you have an eye for details, you can spot the Swedish flag stitched on the driver’s seat.
The seats are one of the best in class. With multiple way adjustments and an excellent massaging feature, they are sculpted to give you the best experience while on the road. However, the rear seats are superbly well-cushioned, with plenty of legroom and knee room on offer.
The build quality is exceptional in its own ways. Everything feels well put together and the overall touch and feel of the materials used, derives a sense of opulence within.
Even though the dash layout might not appeal to a greater audience, but if you like things less fancy and jazzy and more towards the sophisticated types, this is just the thing for you. The doors on the contrary, look much more attractive with loads of cubby spaces to fill in all your tit-bits.
But there is one thing missing. While the younger sibling XC60 gets a touch sensitive panel to operate the panoramic sunroof, the XC90 misses out on that and rather gets the conventional switch to do so.
Is it even fun to Drive ?
The 2.0-litre gasoline engine mated to an eight-speed automatic gearbox is adequate for cruising, considering the sheer size of this car. It is not docile either and will give you enough power for that quick overtake whenever you wish to. And mind it, it is a bulky car and it will move with its own heft. The overall drive is very pliant and it moves with a composed poise and mannerism, and it’s not always in a hurry, but whenever you need it, it gets its 300 horses and 420 NM of torque running in action. Gun the metal down, and it will create enough boost for you to overtake that annoying vehicle in front of you and will sprint you towards a glorious victory with flying colors.
Driver engagement certainly isn’t the prime mission of the suspension. Instead, it maintains an unruffled decorum through bends and absorbs mostly whatever the road is throwing at it. There are no paddle shifters, but the steering is nice to grip & feels luxurious.
It is the most connected steering literally, always having a silent conversation with you through its haptic feedback mechanism, which plays a big part in the driving and safety aids.
There is an extensive list of features like Adaptive cruise control, collision mitigation support, hill descent control, lane-keeping assistance, etc. Making the ride leisurely comfortable and, importantly, safe. Talking about safety – it’s like you are wrapped inside a cocoon.
Now one might speculate it to be less luxurious than a Benz or less engaging than the Beemers, but get behind the steering wheel, and it will for sure give you an exhilarating experience. The overall ride quality is poised, subtle and has its own charm.
Can say, it has a character of its own. And if you think you will look like any other commoner, then no, be ready to make an impression every time you arrive in style.
All the tech includes:
Best in-car navigation –
With google being fully integrated into the car, hands-free and voice assistance controls gives you accurate time traffic info to reach your destination without any hassle. Simply say “Hey Google” and connect to your dear ones, enjoy entertainment and tune your cabin environment without taking your hands from the wheel.
Premium audio & media experience –
Use voice commands to toggle through various apps on Google Play and an optional Bowers & Wilkins 19 speaker 1400W sound system for you to immerse in the best audio experience. A pure acoustic orgasm to the ears.
ADAS & BLIS –
The Advanced driver’s assistance system brings in everything like a 360-degree camera, lane assist and BLIS (Blind spot information system) for an intuitive safe experience.
Clean Cabin air –
The first of its kind advanced air purifier prevents up to 95% of hazardous PM2.5 particles from entering the cabin. No matter what the world looks like outside, you will have clean air to breathe on to inside.
Mild hybrid with 48V battery –
The starter generator integrated into the car actively supports the engine in refined accelerations and reduces fuel consumption while delivering an exhilarating driving experience.
In addition, buyers can opt for a three-year service package for an additional amount of Rs75000, which will cover up all the post-sales servicing dramas.
The Price Needle :
BMW X7 at the top of the chart will be around the Rs 1.50 Crores ; Mercedes GLS would be around the Rs 1.20 Crore , 2022 Audi Q7 price is yet to be announced but it should be priced around the same mark as the Volvo XC90 .Which means that if you are looking for a 5+2 Seater Luxury SUV shy of a crore , then, the XC90 and Q7 are the only options.
Our Verdict :
To Summarise, Volvo’s have always been understated. The updated XC90 rivals the Mercedes Benz GLS, Audi Q7 and to an extent on the far fetched side, the BMW X7. So if you are looking for a daily driving machine to run the daily errands, be chauffeured to your corporate meeting, or simply taking the family out on the weekend, or even do cross country tours, this Swedish charmer will always bring a smile on your face. All in all , a complete package to get the celebrity horses running.
Also, to read about the XC90’s younger sibling, click here to read all about the Volvo XC60.