A well designed SUV – Volvo XC90 T8 Inscription Plus

When Volvo 1st introduce the Volvo XC90, it was quite a fascinating product from Volvo as SUV are a fairly new concept in the automotive industry. The one thing that the XC90 stand out among its competitors is that it can ferry up to 7 people. Jeremy Clarkson also did mentioned that he actually owns 3 XC90s before, and XC90 are designed by someone who has kids. Now in 2019, we have the facelifted Volvo XC90 T8 Inscription Plus to test out. Let’s see if Jeremy Clarkson’s claim is legitimate.

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The 2nd gen Volvo XC90 continues to bring the large handsome SUV look but in a more refine and elegant way compare to its predecessor. In the latest update, the XC90 now spot an updated front and rear bumpers, and front grille. The signature “Thor hammer” daytime running lights and rear LED taillights have been retain from the pre facelift XC90. The facelifted XC90 also comes with a newly designed rims to match the car’s updated looks.

Luxury is the word you can use to describe the interior of the Volvo XC90. A whole host of materials like unlacquered wood trims and soft leather wrap make the interior of the XC90 feel like you’ve made it in life. The steering wheel is also wrap in that soft leather that is nice to hold and feel, but the icons on the steering buttons requires you to spend some time to learn about the functions.

Moving on to the center console, the center piece of the center console is the beautifully crafted gear lever that is made by Orrefors, that lights up in the night which looks like a beautiful jewelry center piece for the driver to admire. Another thing that stands out around the dashboard area are the large 12.3” TFT displays as instrument cluster, and the 9” infotainment system.

The infotainment is link to the Bowers and Wilkins sound system that provided great listening pleasure to all the occupants within the SUV. The highlights about the B&W sound system is the 19 speakers that is tune to mimic the Gottenburg hall reverb effect, it literally make the occupants feel like they are sitting inside the Gottenburg Hall itself.

One thing that I find that it didn’t fit in to the Volvo XC90 is the candy looking buttons and switches. On the dashboard, it looks decent because the buttons are on the larger side, but the power window switch on the door panels felt a little too small for such a huge SUV. The size of it make it look like a candy that is stuck on to your door panels.

Seating position inside the Volvo XC90 is well sculpted. You are able to get into a good seating position as there is plenty of seats adjustments for both front passengers. The 2nd row seats is a nice place to be, there are no issue about legroom, headroom, and shoulder room. But the comfort level is further enhanced with 4 AC vents to keep you cool and comfortable at the back. The AC vents also extends to the 3rd row seats to further cool down the interior of the large XC90.

The unique thing about the rear seats of the Volvo XC90 is that the rear seats comes with booster seats, it allows kids to seat in the 2nd row seat without the need of child seats and able to use the seat belts. Cargo space in the Volvo XC90 is decent for a 7-seater SUV which rated at 302L with all the seats up. If you fold all the seats down, you are able to extend the cargo space to a carveneous 1856L. Volvo able to achieve that because the hybrid battery is being built within the chassis, so it did not take up the boot space.

As a typical Volvo, the XC90 comes with a very long list of safety equipment to keep everyone inside the car safely. The XC 90 is fitted with 7 airbags, Antilock Braking System (ABS), Emergency Brake Assist (EBA), Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD), Electronic Stability Control (ESC), Hill Start Assist (HSA), Hill Descent Control (HDC), Driver Alert Control (DAC), Road Sign Information System (RSI), Collision Avoidance and Mitigation with Intersection Support Pedestrian, Cyclist, and Large  Animals Detection, Run Off Road Mitigation, On-coming Lane Mitigation, Blind Spot Information System (BLIS) with steer assist, Cross traffic alert (CTA) with auto brake, Pre-prepared Restraint System (PRS), Run Off road Protection, Whiplash Protection System (WHIPS), Post Collision Auto braking, and 2 ISOFIX at the back seats.

To lug this humungous SUV around, Volvo have fitted the XC90 with a 2L inline 4 turbocharged and supercharged engine, mated with a hybrid system, and drive is being delivered to the ground through an 8 speed automatic transmission. The total combine figure that the whole powertrain produces is 407bhp and 640Nm.

On paper, the performance figure for this SUV is quite impressive, but that only happen when you have charge in the battery. If you run out of charge, the engine will have to work harder to carry the weight around. Being a hybrid, the power delivery is very smooth, and the 8 speed gearbox works well with the smooth powertrain to ensure the large SUV waft along.

Being a family SUV, the suspension setup for the XC90 is tuned towards comfort side where the setup comes in the form of front double wishbone and rear multilink setup. Volvo uses air suspension as dampers to control the SUVs ride height and body roll during cornering. The XC90 glide over bumps with ease and keeps the car stable over uneven roads.

The electric power steering is quite light during low speed, and the steering do becomes heavier when you’re at speeds. For a luxury SUV, the interior NVH have been kept to the minimum, this is to ensure anyone travel in the XC90 comfortable.

For RM 409,888, it’s definitely not a cheap SUV that regular folks can go out and buy. If you do have some cash burning a hole in your pocket, the XC90 is quite worth it when you compare it with its competitor. The XC90 is very practical, and it has all the small touches to tell you that the XC90 is designed by someone who have kids. The XC90 comes with 5 years or 120,000km warranty. You can have your desired XC90 in Crystal White, Denim Blue, Maple Brown, Pebble Grey, and Thunder Grey.

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