Volvo's decision to downsize its engine range to four-cylinders or less means the only petrol option (other than the T8 plug-in hybrid) for the new Volvo XC90 SUV is a 316bhp turbocharged and supercharged four. Can it do a big enough job in a big SUV? Yes. Floor the accelerator and there's an instant shove of acceleration that belies the small-capacity motor.
Once you get accustomed to the noise of a four-cylinder engine in a car this big, the clever 2.0-litre motor propels the XC90 with plenty of verve. As petrol engines in SUVs go, it's reasonably efficient, too. We'd still prefer the diesel – you don't lose much in refinement or performance and will save a few thousand on the purchase price. But the T6 is still impressive.
Gearchanges from the eight-speed auto can be a little jerky, while the engine noise is more soprano than tenor and takes a little getting used to. Volvo is strident in its refusal to employ any synthetic help to improve the noise – we think it should bite the bullet on that one.
The D5 diesel remains our choice for its decent performance and impressive fuel economy (mpg takes a bit of a tumble in this T6), and all for a few grand less than the equivalent T6 model.
However, the incredible levels of refinement and comfort the XC90 has to offer are still present. It rides nicely (avoid the biggest 21-inch wheels), while there's superb build quality, space for all the family across three rows of seats and advanced tech to keep them all safe.
The upmarket interior gets close to Audi levels of quality, while advanced connectivity and safety kit give XC90 an advantage over big SUV rivals. The touchscreen infotainment system is just about the best we've seen.
Text Source: AutoExpress