By Karen Nduku
A stately luxurious mid-size SUV
The 2023 Volvo XC90 stands tall as a superlative choice in the myriad that is the midsize luxury SUV segment. The XC 90 exudes a striking super-swede styling that epitomizes elegance and sophistication. The XC90’s interior is a masterpiece of automotive craftsmanship and opulence, influenced by the renowned Swedish design philosophy. With its seating capacity for up to seven passengers, this three-row SUV takes on its competitors like the Porsche Cayenne and the BMW X5, rendering its presence felt in the league of prestigious SUVs.
The XC90 offers a range of powertrain options to cater to different needs. The base model comes equipped with a 247-horsepower turbocharged inline-four engine, assisted by a 48-volt mild hybrid system. For those seeking more power, the B6 powertrain with 295 horsepower is available on the Plus and standard on the Ultimate trims. However, the showstopper is undoubtedly the XC90 Recharge, featuring a turbocharged inline-four plug-in hybrid setup with a staggering 455 horsepower. Not only does it impress with its sheer acceleration, it also boasts commendable fuel efficiency, delivering an EPA-rated 66 MPGe.
Volvo’s infotainment system takes center stage in the XC90, featuring a sleek 9.0-inch touchscreen that resembles a tablet. Though generally intuitive to use, it requires some menu navigation, which could be streamlined with more physical shortcut buttons. The infotainment system includes essential features like Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, while a mobile Wi-Fi hotspot is available as an option.
The XC90’s driving performance strikes a harmonious balance between smoothness and agility. It’s all-wheel-drive system ensures stability on various terrains, and its steering response is accurate. The optional air suspension adds to the comfortable ride quality, effortlessly handling most road conditions.
Safety is a top priority for Volvo, and the XC90 reflects that commitment. It comes equipped with a range of advanced driver-assistance technologies, including forward-collision warning, automated emergency braking, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, and lane-departure warning. These features contribute to its excellent safety record, bolstering its appeal among safety-conscious buyers.
Step inside the XC90, and you’re immediately greeted by the pinnacle of luxury. Its interior exudes elegance, featuring high-quality materials and thoughtful design touches. The spaciousness is evident, offering ample legroom and headroom for passengers in the first and second rows. However, the third-row seating is better suited for preteens due to its limited space. When it comes to cargo space, the XC90’s upright silhouette contributes to a generous cargo area, especially with the second and third row seats folded flat.
The 2023 Volvo XC90 has undergone some changes, including revised trim levels and updated engines. The trim levels are Core, Plus, and Ultimate, replacing the previous Momentum and Inscription. Engine choices have been renamed as well, with T5 and T6 becoming B5 and B6, respectively, featuring 48-volt mild hybrid systems. Additionally, the XC90 boasts a new Google-based infotainment system with Google Assistant, Google Maps, and Google Play, enabling over-the-air software updates.
In conclusion, the 2023 Volvo XC90 is a prime example of luxury, style, and performance harmoniously converging into one exceptional SUV. Its super-swede styling, opulent interior, and impressive powertrain options make it a frontrunner in the mid-size luxury SUV segment. While every XC90 variant delivers on luxury, the XC90 Recharge stands out for its electrifying performance, proving to be an enticing option for SUV shoppers who crave both speed and good off-road capabilities.
As the flagship SUV from Volvo, the XC90 embodies the brand’s unwavering commitment to safety and design, making it a compelling choice for discerning car buyers seeking an SUV that exemplifies the epitome of luxury and refinement.