By Sala Masindane
The festive season is a time to spend with loved ones and possibly traveling. This generally requires a capable vehicle and sometimes one that is spacious. Fortunately, our festive season companion, the refreshed Volvo XC90 T6 Inscription car had all those and more.
The Swedish brand has gone for a minimalistic approach with the upgrades that include new wheels and exterior colours, and a modern new grille. We must mention that the new grille does enough to breathe new life into the car.
Inside, our test car had the standard seven seat configuration. The most striking interior feature for us in the classy cabin is the tablet-like touchscreen control infotainment system with Apple CarPlay/Android Auto compatibility. As if that’s not enough, you can pump top quality sound through the 19 optional Bowers and Wilkins speakers. The sounds system amplifies that experience with crisp sounds flowing around the cabin.
In terms of comfort, the first and second row passengers enjoyed plush ride quality. The third-row seats are more for an emergency or for small children but they came in handy during the Christmas lunch shuttle where we had to ferry a full house of adults. Adding to the practicality of the car which reveals a lot of luggage space with the last row folded down. This space extends with the second row folded down, easily gobbling up a road bike and luggage. The experience inside the XC90 T6 Inscription was made more pleasant by the large panoramic roof as it opens up the car to the lovely summer sky.
The Volvo XC90 T6 Inscription is one of the safest vehicles on Mzansi roads. Its safety credentials are shored up by some of the best active safety features in the market such as Steering Assist; Adaptive Cruise Control; Blind Spot Detection; Lane Keeping Assist; Road Sign Information; Rear Collision Warning; and Driver Alert Control. These actually take the hustle out of driving with Pilot Assist able to steer the car safely within its lane and in bends.
Drive and Engine
Under the hood is a 2-litre turbocharged petrol engine with power outputs of 235 kW and 400 Nm. It is paired with an 8-speed automatic transmission. The XC90 T6 Inscription is not only elegant and luxurious SUV but it also comes with an off-road mode which allows for some exploring off the beaten path.
We drove a bit of distance on a gravel road, the optional air-suspension cushioned the uneven road, and we were impressed by the road-biased SUV’s comfort in these conditions. We did experience a bit of body roll when we cornered too quickly. That said, the Swedish SUV largely feels planted and stable in most cases.
The refreshed Volvo XC90 is priced from R1,150,800.
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