Volvo XC90 (2015) Review

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Volvo XC90 (2015) At A Glance

Honest John Overall Rating
The XC90 is everything a SUV driver could wish for, with impeccable refinement, the latest technology and a smooth drive.

+Incredibly refined and quiet on the move, high quality cabin with room for seven, well equipped as standard.

-Gargantuan size can make parking a challenge, T8 hybrid only does 35-40mpg in normal driving.

Insurance Groups are between 37–44
On average it achieves 57% of the official MPG figure

The Volvo XC90 is a seven-seat luxury SUV that majors on style, sophistication, practicality and safety. Its swish styling marks it out against its conservative-looking rivals, and arguably gives it more character. Generous space and clever seating make it one of the most versatile cars in the class, and it’s also very well equipped. And, being a Volvo, the XC90 is also one of the safest cars in the class. Granted, some rival premium SUVs are better to drive and better on interior quality, but the differences aren’t huge in either area. A brilliant all-rounder that’s worthy of anyone’s consideration.

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Today, luxury 4x4s are immensely popular, and you could argue that  the original Volvo XC90 was one of the trail-blazers of the class. There weren’t many cars of the time that could carry seven people - and lots of their stuff - in comfort, luxury and style. That made it very popular with large, well-to-do families.

These days, however, prestige seven-seat SUVs are absolutely everywhere, so it takes something really special to stand out from the crowd. And yet, the latest XC90 still manages to offer a little something different to the countless others with which it competes.

Arguably, the car’s biggest selling point is its style. Inside and out, this thing looks great. The design is clean, modern and simple, with some thoughtful flourishes thrown in for good measure. Not only does this swish styling make the XC90 look and feel very distinct from its competitors, it also helps make the car every bit as desirable as any of its premium-badged rivals.

Another super-important area for any big SUV is practicality, and again, this is an area in which the big Volvo has most of its rivals beaten. It has seven seats as standard across the board, more space than most rivals and a huge boot. The rest of the cabin, meanwhile, is stuffed with luxury equipment and lavishly appointed, if not quite as lavishly as its very best rivals.

On the road, the XC90 is a very easy-going car, concentrating on wafting its occupants along in comfort, rather than trying to provide any excitement, and it’s all the better for it. When the road turns twisty, though, there’s enough control to keep things feeling stable and assured, so it delivers a good balance of abilities.

An automatic gearbox, four-wheel drive and hill descent control are all provided as standard across the board, but this is very much a road-focused SUV that’s designed to tackle school runs, rather than green lanes. A range of petrol and diesel engines is available, but the most desirable version for many will be the T8 plug-in hybrid variant thanks to its hugely impressive mix of performance and economy.

And, being a Volvo, it goes without saying that the XC90 is among the strongest cars in its class for safety. That’s thanks not only to the Swedish firm’s peerless know-how in this area, but also the vast amount of safety equipment squeezed into the car. And let’s face it, safety has to be one of the top priorities in any car designed to ferry lots of people around.

So, the Volvo XC90 is a really good all-rounder that’s worthy of anyone’s consideration. Class-leading on style, character, safety and practicality, and there-or-thereabouts in every other area.

Ask Honest John

Which SUVs can be started remotely?
"Which SUV manufactures in the UK provide a remotely started engine?"
Most modern automatic Volvos (including the XC40, XC60 and XC90) can be started remotely with Volvo's On Call app. Also, look at Jaguar or Land Rover models with the Connect Pro Pack.
Answered by Andrew Brady
Can you recommend a used, seven-seater that's ULEZ compliant?
"I have a 2015 Land Rover Discovery 4. I live in London and it does not comply with the ULEZ regulations coming into force in October 2021. I need a second-hand seven-seater that does comply. I like the Disco 4 as it is roomy. Are there other makes that are comparable and ULEZ compliant? My budget is around £32,000? "
Skoda Kodiaq, Volvo XC90 or the Hyundai Santa Fe. All are large, comfortable and available with seven-seats. I would also add the Kia Sorento to the shortlist, it's the only model to come with a seven-year-warranty. A budget of £32,000 would get you a near-new Sorento with the majority of its warranty still left to run:
Answered by Dan Powell
Can you recommend a petrol car to tow a heavy caravan?
"Can you suggest a car that can tow a 2000kg caravan? I only commute 10 miles a day so diesel is not an option. Thanks."
A 2000kg caravan is quite a heavy caravan to tow with a petrol car. A big SUV will do it - something like a Volvo XC90, which has a braked towing capacity up to 2700kg with the B6 petrol engine. If you can charge a car at home (i.e. have off-road parking with access to electricity), a plug-in hybrid might work. The XC90 T8 can tow up to 2400kg and has an electric range of around 30 miles, so you'll be able to cover your commute under electric power.
Answered by Andrew Brady
Is a car more valuable secondhand if it's only been serviced by the dealer?
"I've owned a Volvo XC90 from new. It's now nearly six years old and is due its next service. It has so far been serviced by Volvo but if I have it serviced by a non-Volvo garage, will this affect the resale value of the car? I'm thinking of changing the car in the next 6-9 months or so. Thanks."
A premium car with a full dealer-stamped service history will always be more desirable than one that's been serviced by an independent. If you are planning to sell it within six months, I would get it done by the dealer.
Answered by Dan Powell

What does a Volvo XC90 (2015) cost?

Buy new from £44,995 (list price from £54,340)