- Complete redesign for 2016
- Luxurious cabin with new styling and a large touchscreen
- Sharp exterior styling with unique “Thor’s Hammer” LED lighting
The Volvo XC90 undergoes a complete redesign for 2016, adding new technology, styling, and safety features that turn the three-row crossover into a full-fledged luxury vehicle.
Exterior styling updates are so extensive, there’s even an updated version of the Volvo logo. Up front, there’s a new “waterfall” style front grille, flanked by headlight clusters with LED headlights and bold T-shaped LED daytime running lights. Volvo calls these elements “Thor’s Hammer” and they give the XC90 a unique look, especially at night. Wheels range from 19 to a massive 22 inches in size, filling out the fenders nicely at all four corners. A hands-free power tailgate and panoramic moonroof, which opens up the cabin to light and air, come standard.
Under the hood, the XC90 is the latest vehicle in the Volvo lineup to make the move to their 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine. Eventually, all of Volvo’s models will feature this engine, either with turbocharging or turbo- and supercharging, as is the case with the XC90 and its T6 version of that engine. In this configuration, it produces 320-hp and 295 pounds-feet of torque, all running through an eight-speed automatic transmission and standard all-wheel drive. Part of the reason that Volvo made this switch is fuel efficiency; smaller displacement engines are more efficient, and the XC90 also features start/stop technology and an Eco driving mode. Fuel economy is estimated at 20/25 mpg city/highway. An air suspension is available which can smooth out the XC90’s ride even more, and even lowers the vehicle by two-inches for easier loading of the rear cargo area.
There are three available trim levels: Momentum, R-Design, and Inscription. At launch, the Inscription and Momentum models will be available, with the R-Design to follow in October 2015.
Inside, the XC90 has transformed into a technological tour de force and also gets new cabin materials and an improved center console design. Materials have been upgraded and are now luxury grade; the front seats in particular are very comfortable and the cabin overall is one of the quietest we have experienced. The star of the show is a new 9-inch screen in the dashboard that is vertically oriented, instead of sideways like in most vehicles. It’s about the size of an iPad but more importantly, operates at tablet speed and with the ability to read multiple gestures, like pinching and zooming on maps, that users of smart phones and tablets will appreciate. The screen also uses infrared technology to detect motions and button presses meaning you can operate the system with gloves on, a big plus in cold environments.
Standard interior features include a 12-inch digital display in the instrument panel, Bluetooth connectivity, USB port, satellite radio, powered/heated front seats, four-zone automatic climate control, navigation, and leather upholstery. Also available are heated rear seats, ventilated front seats, HomeLink remote opener, heated steering wheel, additional 12V power ports, and a Bowers & Wilkins premium sound system.
Volvo’s reputation for safety is well earned and the XC90 also adds safety technology and features for 2016, including two world firsts, an auto braking system that will prevent the driver from making left turns into oncoming traffic and a run-off road protection package that keeps occupants safe when the XC90 leaves the pavement in a car crash. Standard safety features include forward collision warning that can detect pedestrians and cyclists (even at night), driver alert control (detects when the driver is tiring), road sign information, six airbags, antilock brakes, and Volvo Sensus Connect. Also available are adaptive cruise control, blind spot information system, lane keeping aid, rear collision warning, a 360-degree camera system, and an automatic parking system that can handle the steering for both parallel or perpendicular parking.