Donna Kelly has over 14 years of experience in the motoring industry, writing, test driving and tweeting about cars. Her weekends are spent trackside, covering racing events.
With its distinctive exterior, active safety systems and generous equipment list, the Volvo XC90 is one of the best cars in its class, giving rivals such as the Audi Q7, Porsche Cayenne, Range Rover Sport and BMW X5 a run for their money.
Our Volvo XC90 review covers:
Like the rest of the Volvo range, the new XC90 features lots of Scandinavian influences in its design, with recent updates to its style helping to keep the XC90 at the top of its game.
Exterior design highlights include Volvo's signature 'Thor's Hammer' headlights, a deep front bumper, a bluff radiator grille, dual exhausts, and a crisp rear end. R-Design models are even more distinctive thanks to its gloss black exterior trim, silver roof rails and large alloy wheels.
Inside, the XC90's vast interior is better than ever. There's loads of room up front to stretch out with a generous amount of shoulder room, although not quite as much as you get in the Audi Q7 or Land Rover Defender.
All XC90s come with seven seats as standard. The middle-row can fit three adults in reasonable comfort, but the rearmost two seats feel a little cramped part, so they are only really intended for small children on short trips.
Elsewhere, the XC90 lives up to its practical image with its numerous storage solutions. In addition to a large storage area in the centre console, a decent-sized glovebox, two large cupholders and deep door pockets help keep essentials safely stowed.
At the rear, the XC90's 356-litre boot with all seven seats in use is amongst the best in its class, with enough room for a couple of large bags or a big weekly shop.
With five seats in place, the boot space increases to an impressive 1,007 litres, allowing you to carry two large pushchairs, a couple of sets of golf clubs or three large with ease. Stow away all the seats, and there's 1,856 litres on offer.
As expected from a Volvo, the XC90 boasts one of the best minimalist dashboards on the market. A mix of materials is used, including chrome trims, gloss-black fascias and lots of leather.
All models come with a cool 12.3-inch portrait-style infotainment screen that controls the entertainment and climate systems. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone mirroring is also included on higher-spec models, but the Audi Q7 still stands out for its sharp graphics and easy-to-use controls.
There are three trim levels to choose from, including Momentum, R-Design and R-Design Pro. However, the T8 Recharge plug-in hybrid model is only available with Inscription Expression and Inscription Pro specifications.
The entry-level Momentum trim comes with a generous specification as standard, including Bluetooth, sat-nav, cruise control, keyless start, a reversing camera, park assist, a hands-free power tailgate, and 19-inch alloy wheels.
The R-Design model adds sports seats in leather and nubuck, gear shift paddles behind the steering wheel and a gloss black exterior trim.
The top-spec R-Design Pro receives Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity as standard.
Under the bonnet, the Volvo XC90 is powered by a 2.0-litre petrol engine with 247bhp or a 2.0-litre diesel engine with 232bhp – both badged B5.
Both engines use mild hybrid technology to help reduce CO2 emissions and boost performance, but the B5 diesel model is best if you do lots of motorway driving.
A plug-in hybrid model, called the T8 Recharge, is also available, combining a supercharged 2.0-litre engine with an electric motor for 449bhp. With official CO2 emissions as low as 63g/km and up to 25 miles of pure electric driving, the T8 Recharge remains a popular choice with company car drivers.
Every version of the XC90 features four-wheel drive and an eight-speed automatic gearbox.
Whichever engine you choose, out on the road, the XC90 strikes a neat balance between comfort and agility. While there is a fair amount of body roll in corners, overall refinement is very good, and its road-biased set-up makes plenty of grip and for a comfortable ride in all models.
Prices for the new Volvo XC90 start from £59,730.00 OTR* or to lease from £584.69 per month.
Thinking of getting behind the wheel of the new Volvo XC90? Car leasing offers many benefits over buying, including fixed monthly rentals and a low initial outlay.
All our lease deals include road tax, breakdown cover, the manufacturer's warranty and free mainland GB delivery direct to your door (exclusions apply).
*'On the road' price correct at time of publication and includes one year's road fund license, DVLA first registration fee and number plate fee. Prices are subject to change. Always check with your nearest retailer.