By Malusi Msomi
As Volvo slowly introduces more electric vehicles, buyers can still enjoy the internal combustion-engined cars like this Volvo XC90 B6 AWD R-Design. The 7-seater SUV recently received a refresh, the keen-eyed will notice that it’s no longer called the T6 but now the B6.
The changes are more on the luxurious interior than the exterior. You’ll find a new CleanZone system that improves air quality, and wireless phone charging. With its 7-seat configuration, it’s geared more towards five adults and two children. The optional panoramic sunroof brings a sense of airiness to the already beautiful cabin of the XC90. Though there aren’t many changes on the exterior, the XC90 remains a good-looking large SUV.
Powering the XC90 B6 is a 2.0-litre turbocharged and supercharged engine that produces 220kW/420Nm. It sends its power to all four wheels via an updated 8-speed automatic. Though it’s a mild hybrid, fuel consumption is not its strongest suit. Volvo claims 7.7 l/100km but we managed a 9.5l/100km with highway driving. Mixed driving saw us achieve 10,5l/100km. Fuel consumption aside, it’s splendid to drive thanks to the combination of its smooth-shifting 8-speed automatic (which is also part of the update) and its imperfection ironing air suspension.
With rumors of the next XC90 being fully-electric, you have to commend Volvo on building a 7-seater SUV that has aged quite well and is still relevant in the current market. It’s good to point out that some creature comforts are not standard and do come at a premium. Pricing for the Volvo XC90 B6 AWD R-Design starts at R1,364,952.
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