Volvo Special: XC90 First Drive Report

Thread Starter #1
Aug 22, 2009
  • Car Tested: Volvo XC90
  • Variant: D5
  • Transmission: 6 Speed Automatic
  • Fuel Type: Diesel
  • Indian Price: Rs.45,00,214* (Est. Ex. Showroom)
  • Official Website: Click Here!
The Automotive India's Volvo Special

The Automotive India has bring a "Volvo Special" series for its members as well as visitors where we will Test the current two Models available from Volvo India's Stable - The S80 Sedan and XC90 SUV to give you a completely Detailed and Un-Biased First Drive Reports. Surprised Reading this much only? Real Action is Below, Just check it Out!

How It Looks?

Volvo XC90 is a robust and muscular machine. Its huge stance will make you easily distinguished on the road. The XC90 has a wide stretched front and a big hood with twin bold lines which smoothly submerges well with the head lamps. In this Volvo we observed the headlamps to be designed much aggressive than in the sophisticated S80 Sedan sibling. Powering these headlamps is Bi-Xenon which adds striking presence during night to this SUV. What smarter feature we discovered is that, these headlamps turn 18 degree direction wherever the car is put on the corners so that you don't miss any of the dark spots.

The front grill proudly carries a diagonal “Volvo” Monogram which simply speaks that you’re driving the safest vehicle on road. Front bumper is big and has an under body protector, letting you know that XC90 can go Off-road as well. Half black color of bumper camouflages the puny Fog Lamps.

Move to the side, XC90 may look more like an Estate at first glance to few due to its long profile and short body height. The OVRM are sufficient enough to provide the clear view of rear and comes with traditional integrated turn indicators, Pull-type door handles bear plain looks and are nothing exciting to hold. Also, the bulgy wheel arches were missed.

Rear pose of this SUV is crafted well which holds long tail lamps, starting from bumper and touching the roof lining, similar to the one we see in Mahindra Scorpio. Moreover, these long tail lamps prove to be helpful at highways and look attractive during dark. Rest of the boot is plain and has a bold letters saying “Volvo”. The car features a dual split boot gate which is already seen in other SUVs like Mitsubishi Outlander and BMW X5. However it proves to be very useful when loading/unloading heavy baggage or even your kid’s bicycle in that acre of space.

Overall, we can not call Volvo XC90 to be the most modern SUV in the segment, in terms of looks among rivals because the big brothers like Audi Q7, BMW X5, Land Rover etc sitting against to compete with it which are leaps ahead of XC90 on style or designing part. So, the style conscious ones may be disappointed, though not to forget you get top-class safety and ultra luxurious interiors, let’s check 'em out as well.

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Thread Starter #2
Aug 22, 2009
What's Inside?

You immediately feel that luxury once the doors of XC90 are open. The car offers nice quality plastic and strong build. The huge wind shield area provides more airy and roomy feel, so one may not mind spending overnight in a XC90. Once seated on driver’s seat, you’ll easily find perfect driving position at play of electronic seat control buttons.

Even though you feel ride high always, the basic design concepts doesn't let you feel the edge of the car, which hurts sometimes in congested areas. The front seats have an option to heat to make your drive warm at winters.

Slim A-Pillars doesn’t affect the inside visibility much on roads which reduces the blind spots to a greater extent. Volvo gave us a model for Road Test which had beautiful beige and chestnut brown combination of interiors. If you plan to buy one, there are dozens of Interior color options available to suit your choice. The Volvo is plentiful of spaces all around, from the door pockets to the hidden compartment under the arm rest which couple with twin cup holders.

The dash board is not so futuristic but still impressive yet the confusing button on center console remains (Recall our S80’s Report!). This safety packed beast comes with Dual Zone Electronic Climate Control system [ECC] which is really powerful to freeze the complete room in seconds, complete cabin temperature can be adjusted at just few touches. Behind the Steering wheel, though the Instrument console dials are easy to read but plain and simple looking which one will not expect in a car of this cost.

For the back seat drivers, Second row benches are really comfortable; the center armrest area can be removed to accommodate an extra passenger in-between. XC90 has an option to choose from 5 or 7 seats with bonus options, mentioned below;

  • Textile/Vinyl upholstery
  • Leather upholstery
  • Inscription Soft Leather upholstery
  • Executive Soft Perforated Leather upholstery

Not this but these option comes with nearly 7+ colors & stitches so that your car remains exclusively handpicked for you.

All the seats can be folded to make a flatbed and the second row seats can be individually adjusted including the center seat up to 300mm.

Astonishingly, the last row of luxury seats has their own set of controls. You can adjust the climate controls manually & the specially tinted windows help avoid the sunlight scorching inside the cabin.

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Thread Starter #3
Aug 22, 2009
How It Moves?
Let’s check out what recipe Volvo has used to make XC90 spicier?

Volvo has a beefed up a 2400cc diesel engine which churns out 185bhp raw power & 400Nm of torque. The 5 Cylinder Turbo charged all-aluminum diesel engine unit is the main source of power. Common rail direct injection (CRDi) and variable turbine geometry (VT) assures quick and comfortable response with a superior fuel economy and cleaner exhaust.

All Wheel Drive system with Instant Traction has an electronic management system that constantly monitors the speed of the wheels, the throttle, engine torque, engine speed and the brakes. Depending on the terrains, the power to the wheels are distributed, wheels with the best grip get the most power. When a tire loses traction, power is reduced to that wheel and instantly transferred to the more sure-footed wheels.

XC90’s heavy torque provides remarkable flexibility and drive in any situation. Let it be a traffic packed Bangalore or a free Mumbai-Pune National Highway, you need not worry with this car. Move the gear stick to "P" mode and crank the engine, well with an absolute silence & no vibration the XC90 churns out for a quarter mile.

The 6 Speed gear box is blazing fast. Volvo claims 0-100 in respectable 11.5 second which is quite impressive compared to the size & weight of the vehicle but the speed limitation of 190 is not surprising figure for an enthusiastic driver.

Well, don’t be let down with diesel engines; Volvo doesn't turn down true sprinters. We get an option of petrol engines too! Inline 238 BHP, 6-cylinder petrol unit with top speed of 210kmph sprints under 9.5 Seconds. Also a compact super sport V8 engine bangs a 315bhp of power with 7.3 sec
Thread Starter #4
Aug 22, 2009
How It Performs?

With power packed engines and stunning interiors, should you be completely dumb by now. But wait there are few more surprises waiting!

XC90’s great speed sensitive steering with short turning diameter allows taking almost any tight turns. The six-speed all-synchromesh manual gearbox gives precise gear selection. The auto clutch is really smooth & engages properly with no delay depending on your driving style.

Ground clearance of 218mm signs that you shouldn’t experiment off-Road adventures regularly. The XC90 helps you take the rough terrains and a sunny beach drive. Suspension setup is really great & you hardly feel bumps of roads.

In corners, the rear wheels also have slight steering action for more traction & stability which gives enough confidence on road. DSTC (Dynamic Stability and Traction Control) & RSC (Roll Stability Control) helps in maintain a perfect blend of luxurious & safety drive in any road conditions. DSTC enhances driving stability in slippery conditions by comparing the rotation of the drive wheels and if needed by varying the power supply.

RSC monitors the vehicle's speed and lean angle to determine the risk of body roll and at predefined risk-level, the RSC system will step in and either brake or cut the power, helping the XC90 regain its poise and keep you in control. Automatic leveling adjusts the rear shock absorbers to maintain the ground clearance and headlight angles.

This big vehicle comes with big tires as well, The Michelin 235/65 R17 tires perform the duty here but a size bigger would have proved to be the icing on cake.
Thread Starter #5
Aug 22, 2009
How safe is it?

As we told in our S80’s Road Test Report – It is a Volvo and you want us to speak about safety? Volvo badge says it all.

Safety Feature list is almost similar to S80, but let us have a look again what protects the occupants of XC90 - Dual Xenon lights, Active Bending Lights (ABL), DSTC anti-skid system, RSC active stability system, Water-repellent side windows, Anti-locking brake system with Emergency Brake Assistance (EBA), Alcoguard, Side-Impact Protection System (SIPS), Roll-Over Protection System (ROPS) & Whiplash Protection System (WHIPS).

How Much It Returns?

In Cities XC90 may deliver somewhere near 7-8 KMPL and around 13KMPL on Highway drives.

68 Liters of Fuel Tank capacity isn’t much big but lets you travel an easy 700kms, though the real big 80liter tank drops in at V6 & V8 engines. XC90 maintains a strict emission norms & 239 g/km is a great figure for a huge diesel mill.

What We Liked In XC90? [thumbsup]

  • Refined Engine
  • Safety Feature List
  • Acres of Space
  • Customization Options
  • Variety of Engines
What We Dis-Liked In XC90? [thumbsdown]

  • Simple Design Compared to Rivals
  • Plain Instrument Console.
  • No Sat-Navigation System
  • Bigger Tires would have been preferred
The Automotive India Star Ratings

  • Design - (3.5/5)
  • Quality - (4.5/5)
  • Comfort Levels - (4.5/5)
  • Performance -(4/5)
  • Ride Quality - (4/5)
  • Handling - (4/5)
  • Fuel Efficiency -(3.5/5)
  • Safety - (5/5)
  • After Sales Service - (3/5)
  • Value For Money - (4/5)
Thread Starter #6
Aug 22, 2009
Which Models Does The Volvo XC90 Competes in India?

Audi Q7

3.0 TDi Quattro
Price: Rs.53,40,000
Engine: V6
Transmission: Tiptronic
Displacement: 2967cc
Power: 236BHP
Torque: 500NM
  • Height: 1697mm
  • Length: 5089mm
  • Width: 1983mm
  • Wheel Base: 3002mm
  • Boot Space: 775Liters
  • Fuel Tank: 100 Liters

Mercedes Benz M-Class

Model: M320
Price: Rs.55,22,000
Engine: V6
Transmission: 7 Speed Automatic
Displacement: 2987cc
Power: 234BHP
Torque: 535NM
  • Height: 1779mm
  • Length: 4781mm
  • Width: 1911mm
  • Wheel Base: 2915mm
  • Boot Space: 833 Liters
  • Fuel Tank: 95Liters


Model: X5 3.0d
Price: Rs.62,90,000
Engine: 3.0liter i-6
Transmission: 6 Speed Automatic
Displacement: 2993cc
Power: 218BHP
Torque: 420NM
  • Height: 1776mm
  • Length: 4854mm
  • Width: 1933mm
  • Wheel Base: 2933mm
  • Boot Space: 615 Liters
  • Fuel Tank: 85 Liters
Thread Starter #7
Aug 22, 2009
The Automotive India's Verdict

The Volvo XC90 will not interest buyers who look in for design and style as priority due to other modern rivals out there like Audi Q7. However XC90 makes a great blend of Luxury, Performance and Safety. This car is best suited and practical for the upper-middle class people who need to carry their joint family safely as well as luxuriously but Volvo's weak service network in comparison to Mercs, Audis & BMWs still needs to be widened to match their levels and survive in this cut-throat competition.

Variants & Pricing

D5 > Rs.45,00,214
3.2 Liter I-6 > Rs.46,00,184
4.4 Liter V8 > Rs.52,00,000

Color Choices

  • Gold Pearl
  • Oyster Grey Metallic
  • Amber Black Metallic
  • Willow Green Metallic
  • Electric Silver Metallic
  • Blue Metallic
  • White Metallic
  • Ice White
  • Red
Detailed Specification

Engine :
- 2.5 Liter, D5(Diesel)

No. Of Cylinders:

- 5

- 2400cc

- 182BHP


- 400NM

Transmission :
- 6 Speed Automatic

Brakes :
- Ventilated Discs

- Ventilated Discs

Suspension :

McPherson Struts with Anti-Roll Bars

Independent Multilink

Min. Turning Radius:
- 6.1 M

Wheels & Tires:

7"x17" Michelin Tires and w225/50 R17 Alloy Wheels

Dimensions :

  • Length - 4807mm
  • Width - 1898mm
  • Height - 1784mm
  • Wheel Base - 2857mm
  • Kerb Weight - 2080Kgs
  • Boot Space - 483 Liters
  • Fuel Tank Capacity - 68 Liters
From Where To Bring Home a Volvo XC90?

Impressed with our Report and XC90? We'll help you to Locate the Dealers.

Auto Kashyap India
20, Okhla Industrial Estate, New Delhi 110020
Tel: 011-26848388, 26848377, 26848378

Shreenath Motors
Plot No.626, Windsor Building
Behind Laxmi Industrial Estate
Andheri Link Road, Andheri (West)
Mumbai 400 053
Tel: IN +91 2226359100​

Liv Cars Private Limited
B-18, 1st Main Road,
Ambattur Industrial Estate,
Chennai – 600 058, Tamil Nadu
Mobile: +91 (0)9940011336​

Living in some other location? Contact Us and our team will help you to locate a dealer in your area or take advice to choose a right car for yourself. Also, When inquiring from a dealer, Please mention "www.The Automotive" and help us to spread the word.

Once you've bought the car, We're still here for you, Post your auto-related queries in forums to get the right answers.​

Report Credits:
Road Test & Photography : Adam Aniz (Zinam)
Text & Format: Vibhor Tyagi (350Z)

Note: Article/Pictures can not be reproduced in any form without written permission of The Automotive India's authority. (2008-2010)
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Sep 18, 2009
Wow!! I was knowing something is coming.
Great report once again. Keep it up.

Interiors doesn't excite and exterior also looks just OK for its segment. Tough fight. But volvo is good brand outside, especially in Europe. They must have some future plans.

The tyres looks small in pictures.
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Thread Starter #10
Aug 22, 2009
Thanks RSM!

Interiors doesn't excite you ? uh!! this is one of the most spacious SUV in the class.

The comfort levels are high & you go mesmerized when you see the optional choice of leather, trims.

Tune in for more action!
Aug 23, 2009
London, UK
i sat in this car in Bkk and it was amazing
but i wonder why the car looks simple in pics only?
i mean in real it is a stunner!
Thread Starter #13
Aug 22, 2009
Yes. obviously you can't feel the smell of luxury online!

it comes at a cost [;)]

Do check out with your nearest dealer & you will be stunned!
Aug 24, 2009
Dubai / Mumbai
great report zinam, you seem to be getting better day by day! and you seem to be testing more & more expensive vehicles now! when are you doing a comparo test between the maybach & phantom? or maybe the R8 & gallardo?!!!

coming to the XC90, i fell in love with this vehicle after i saw amir khan's move 3 idiots! yes, they have showed this vehicle for quite a long time. when this SUV was launched, i never really liked the looks, but after watching the movie, i realized that this car has something different/unique/special about the way it looks.

somethings i noticed:
1) alloys are too boring. cmon, even my scorpio has a better design!
2) dashboard & instrument console needs to be more futuristic.
3) i love the inside of the rear door & the AC vents on the B pillar.
4) rear legroom seems to be a bit tight for such a huge SUV.
5) performance is more than adequate, nobody buys a volvo for racing ahead in every signal. infact a volvo is meant to be driven sedately & with pride!

finally, all said & done, if i had the money, i would go for the audi Q7! there is nothing special about the volvo! their buses look better!
Oct 23, 2009
Hey great report again Zinam! The car looks to be spacious and luxurious! Exterior design i find it to be far better than S80. FE is decent for a car of this size. What impresses me most is the variety of interior colors we can choose to suit our taste! Hey can somebody explain alcoguard , SIPS and WHIPS?? Also are these features not available in any of the cars??

BTW is the bonnet covered with some kind of plastic cover??

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