Sprint Review: Volvo XC90 T5 Inscription

A whole lot of impressions, very few words.

What’s it about? Volvo have got canny with presenting a big SUV with a small 2litre, 4-cylinder engine and making it so stylishly desirable and fantastic to drive that you’ll want one… if you’re happy to pay the hefty price tag that is. We tested the T5 Inscription, an upper power level version of the new XC90 and were suitably impressed.

The question is, who would buy one?

What’s inside? The big 7-seater offers Volvo’s top notch safety standards and a hefty level of comfort with lovely finishes like my all-time favourite rimless rear-view mirror as well as super-soft Nappa leather seats, Park Assist and those über-cool Thor’s Hammer-shaped active LED headlights.

There are a host of other features and top safety features and our test car also included the optional Techno Pack (N$40,500) and Panoramic sunroof (N$16,750) as well as a Magic Blue Metallic paint finish (N$3,350).

What did we do? Trips to Cape Town, a jaunt around the winelands and wine estates, several trips to the stables, the weekly grocery shop and the daily commute to the office. All delivered mostly in comfort and with a fabulous power delivery. Just perfectly balanced.

What did people say? Most people loved our deep Magic Blue Metallic finished XC90. It’s stylish, big and capable of handling most things you’d throw at it. Some comments on the ride were disappointing as the huge 20inch wheels were too large and hard and consequently the ride was worse than you’d expect from such luxurious vehicle.

At N$905,800 for this model (N$965,800 including options) many thought it too expensive for the family SUV and wanted to know where the market lay. I reckon it’s with those individuals looking for a large SUV, capable of cramming the family plus extras into it in style and ease, who are happy to play with funds but who feel they need something a little different, quirkier and less common.

It’s people with style, taste and a need to be different that this Volvo seems aimed at.

Had I the funds and a large family, I’d certainly consider it…. But without the beautiful but wholly impractical cream Nappa leather seats…. Spilt juice on these would make me cry…


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