In our latest Sunday Driver series we had the privilege of being in Volvo’s most luxurious Sports Utility Vehicle.
The largest SUV in their arsenal, seating 7, with ample fold down cargo room. And despite the length and weight you need to haul around, fuel economy is hardly an issue. This is thanks to the Recharge feature, so long as you remember to select that option at the start of every drive. Doing so stores up to 50km of fuel-free driving, which had us cruising on a full tank for 2 straight weeks with kilometres to spare. Baring that, you can also utilize the EV pumps with this hybrid. This and all other Volvo mild hybrids recover energy produced when braking, and stores it in a 48V battery. When this stored energy is used, fuel consumption and tailpipe emissions are both reduced.
As for the way the XC90 handles, it harnesses energy for a smoother drive that provides effortless take-offs and precision acceleration, ideal for both in city and highway commuting. We found the driver assist one of the best on the market. It responded well and not as abruptly as we have experienced, from other makes and models. The warnings do breathe caution, but without scaring you with high pitched sirens or jerky motions.
The slew of safety features in the 2024 Volvo XC90 Recharge includes Cross Traffic Alert, Pilot Assist, Blind spot information system, 360° camera, and Head-up display.
Although, as a top of the line luxury vehicle, I do wish I felt more pampered in the cabin. The interior was modern in light colours. A soft taupe leather surrounding faded dark laminate, with a textured and grainy finish. Neat, but doesn’t scream opulence as you would expect from the best of the best of Volvo.
You do get their trademark clear glass gear shifter and twist knob start. Plus panoramic sunroof that seamlessly glides open with a swipe of the touch track. As well as Volvo’s top of the line Bowers & Wilkins, high-fidelity audio system. They are known for their “exhilarating sound reproduction. The 1,410W high-end optional audio system brings exceptional clarity and realism to your music, optimising detail and resolution and letting you hear a song as the artist originally intended.” (As taken from the Volvo website) I especially appreciate: the option to “choose your own room”. This recreates the acoustics of a specific room: ‘Studio,’ ‘Individual Stage’, ‘Concert Hall’ and/or ‘Jazz Club’.
The only thing missing, that left me looking was the massaging seat function, but you do get both a cooling and heated seat option, plus wheel warmer.
And there were get more than enough features to make up for this. Like Google built-in with all data included. This gives you access to your favourite apps like Google Assistant, Google Maps, and Google Play.
And an in cabin air purifier for cleaner breathing. “The advanced air purifier prevents up to 95 per cent of hazardous PM 2.5 particles entering the cabin. You can even monitor particle and pollen levels outside the car.”
The small details were also not lost on us. With the ability to customize your steering between firm and soft for a greater sense of control behind the wheel. The ability to save up to 3 seat preferences on either driver or passenger side. You also get wider front window for decreased blind spots and a more seamless view. The button to release for the glove compartment meant the dash had a more aesthetically pleasing look, without a handle. This was a seamless compartment, much like the centre console. And the rubber floor mats are handy for Vancouver’s wet winters.
And if what you have read is not for you, they also have Equipment levels where you can cherry pick from their distinct set ups, designed to reflect you and how you use your car.
In closing, a truly top notch vehicle, and one we were thrilled to have for the two weeks across Christmas 2023 and New Year 2024.