Tested: Volvo XC90 vs Range Rover Sport vs BMW X5
If everything really is all in the details, I rather like that Volvo elected to name the new XC90’s daytime running light signature ‘Thor’s Hammer’. It is but one instance of the sheer attention to minutiae that has clearly been lavished on this very modern interpretation of the SUV.
The stakes are particularly high because new XC90 is not only the follow-up to an SUV so well received it was still selling strongly when death finally reconfigured the production line 12 years after its original launch, but also quite literally the embodiment of new Volvo, the first fruit of the firm’s own Chinese-backed labours since being freed from the chattels of Ford. That handsome face, punctuated by an illuminated double-homage to a divine smack-down tool and a more prominent version of the ‘iron mark’ logo, will soon be appearing across an entirely new range of Volvos, all based on the brand spanking Scalable Product Architecture (SPA) that debuts beneath the XC90’s steely visage. This every-which-way-resizable platform is the major output of an $11bn investment programme, and comes packaged with stellar safety equipment and an interior rethink centred around a tablet-like touchscreen infotainment unit. In isolation, the new XC90 felt pretty hopeful; can the likely best-selling D5 turbodiesel engine bring the hammer down on a pair of key rivals?