Volvo’s highly-regarded XC90 SUV had just one Achilles’ heel – not enough get up and go. That’s been rectified in the new version of the Swedish brand’s best-selling model in New Zealand. It gets a higher horsepower and torquier turbocharged five-cylinder diesel engine.
Maximum power is now 136kW, and strong torque of 400Nm is now available between 2000 and 2750rpm. Making the best use of those increases is six-speed adaptive automatic gearbox which drives all four wheels.
Volvo says the two-tonne (2046kg) wagon will accelerate to 100km/h in 11.5 seconds and hit a top speed of 190km/h. Fuel economy is said to be nine litres per 100 kilometres on the combined city/highway cycle.
Electronic driving aids include rollover stability control, dynamic stability and traction control, ABS anti-lock braking with electronic brake distribution and electronic brake assistance which increases brake pedal pressure in emergency stops.
There are front and side curtain airbags and Volvo’s side impact protection system. Leather upholstery and a sophisticated climate-control air-conditioning system are standard. The six-disc CD player and 12 speakers and an integrated GSM digital telephone.
A brief drive on demanding tarmac roads revealed the Volvo to be nimble and sure-footed. Drivers who had tested the old model said the combination of the six-speed auto and greater engine power and torque turned the wagon into the vehicle it should have been all along.