Report: P.Tharyan; Photography: Mohd Nasir
Some cars are
about powerful engines, some cars are about aggressive looks and some cars are
just about luxury and safety. But if one were to combine all these critical features
and grind them into a winning formula, then what you get is definitely an
XCellent offering. The XC90 SUV gives you the best of all the worlds. Rarely
does a car give such a deadly combination of great features. And I am not exaggerating
when I write that.
The XC90 is
being offered in India in two models—XC90 Momentum and XC90 Inscription. What’s
the difference? The Inscription is the richer model with additional features
like a Special key, super premium Bowers and Wilkins speakers that number 19 in
all and churn out 1400 watts, Head Up Display (HUD), Nappa Leather seats, seat
extenders, interior door sill illumination etc.
We got to
drive the Inscription model in an area located deep in the Sahyadri ranges (Western
Ghats) near Lonavala, a couple of hours drive from Mumbai. The area was basic
forest land and the rough and uneven stretches of road proved to be the best
testing ground for the massive XC90.
This big car or
SUV from Volvo Auto India is not about speed and speed alone. That is taken for
granted when you know it’s the powerful D5 twin turbo diesel engine with a 2
litre capacity. Speed is there for you at the tap of your pedal. It’s the 225
bhp and the 470Nm torque that assure you that the XC90 rules the roads and the
twin turbo 4 cylinder diesel
Suspension on all four wheels
Fuel Tank Capacity
Length x Width x Height
4950 x 2140
x 1776 mm
Price (ex-showroom Delhi)
Rs 77.9 lakh
and safety features are the ones that get you all thrilled. The Swedish magic
from Volvo is quite apparent when you step inside the vehicle. The moment you
gently twist the start knob on the console, you realise that this car is
different from the others from the word Go. Controls with diamond-knurled
finish simply enhance the design and style quotient. You immediately recall
what the company guys have been telling you all along…“we begin by designing
our cars around you…” This is where this seven-seater SUV wraps you in a world
of comfort, elegance, luxury, style and safety.
tablet-size centre display with touch screen allows you to change and set
everything that you want from the car, whether it is the aircon temperature,
the drive modes, the sound effects from the 19-speaker Bowers & Wilkins
system, the suspension settings, Park Assist, your seat temperatures…and the
best part is that you can do all that with the tap of your finger or your nails
or even with your glove on! And you always thought Steve Jobs was the smartest
man on earth with his touch phones.
Have you ever
travelled first class in a plane? Seated in an XC90 Inscription model just
about gives you the exact feel. The only difference is that you are on the
seats offer you immense comfort. Electronically you can do everything, from
moving it up and down to even extending your seats. Power operated lumbar
support, extendable seat cushions, side bolsters…you have it all in the XC90.
The second row consists of three individual seats and they can recline and
slide separately. Those seated on the outer two rear seats can set temperature
and fan speed to their individual taste.
We drove all
along on off-road mode (the terrain was such) and that ensured that the ground
clearance was maintained at 268mm. Or else when travelling on flat surfaces,
this drops down to 238mm. But what blew me off was the Bowers & Wilkins audio
system. The various settings for you to hear the song of your choice are just mind
blowing. I thought the Bose’s and the Bang and Olufsen’s were the best I had
ever heard. With Bowers and Wilkins, it’s an out of the world experience.
I can go on
and on describing the exceptionally sophisticated interior features the car has
to offer. Let me throw some light on the light weight, low friction 2 litre
four-cylinder D5diesel engine that is mated to an eight-speed transmission.
When you drive on the ECO mode it calibrates the gearbox and engine control
systems for the lowest possible fuel consumption. You notice that the throttle
softens. With twin turbos and the i-ART direct fuel injection, the intelligent
engine gets smarter and each cylinder has its own microchip and pressure sensor
for the perfect metering of fuel. Wow! Does that not sound super efficient?
technology that helps the engine and the gearbox to perform according the Drive
Mode one chooses with a simple touch of the roller button (near the start and
stop knob) and the screen. The modes include Comfort (For everyday use),
Off-Road (For rough roads) and Dynamic (For high performance). Features like
the hill start assist function, all-wheel drive and hill descent control makes
driving this car a lot easier.
air suspension on all four wheels includes very advanced, electronically controlled
damper system that ensures great ride comfort. This system also helps you lower
the rear of the car by 50mm by pushing a button inside the load area. This is
ideal when putting in or taking out heavy luggage from the car.
Now let me
talk a bit about the safety the car offers. It’s a well proven fact that Volvo
cars are the safest cars in the world. The XC90 is no different. Ultra-high strength
steel is the cage that protects the occupants in case of the mishap. In a
crash, this protects not just the occupants but other motorists too. There are
loads of safety air bags too. In every crash test conducted abroad by various
agencies, this car has come out with flying colours.
class has now got a lot safer with the XC90 from Volvo.
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