Volvo XC90 B5 Diesel AWD R-Design review

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Written by Tim Barnes-Clay

If big road presence is your thing then the family-friendly Volvo XC90 is a no-brainer.

Follow motoring journalist, Tim Barnes-Clay, on Instagram @tbarnesclay.

Cars come in all sorts of shapes and sizes, and some are as bland as watery chicken soup. That can’t be said for the Volvo XC90. It’s big and bold – and about as far away from dull as you can get.

The large SUV isn’t for the faint-hearted, though – especially if you’re scared of tight spaces. Yes, it’s that big. Just driving it into a multi-storey car park is enough to get all the parking sensors screeching.

Being big has its advantages, of course. Things like road presence and interior space come to mind. This Swede won’t ever go unseen, and its size allows for seven seats. In five-up mode, the boot is vast, with a couple of fold-away chairs tucked into the carpeted load floor. 

I took my three kids on the school run with just the five seats in place, but when my son’s friend needed a lift, it was easy to pop another seat up for him to sit in. Unsurprisingly, this impacts cargo space, but not by as much as you might think.

The Volvo’s 2.0-litre mild-hybrid diesel engine is quick off the mark, getting from 0-62mph in 7.6 seconds. Efficiency isn’t bad, either, with a real-world figure of 40mpg entirely possible.

The XC90 is a winner when it comes to family transport, then. It’s an enormously comfortable, capacious, and capable car, with the only deal-breaker, for some, being its price. At £56,585, the B5 Diesel All-Wheel-Drive R-Design, as tested here, isn’t something to purchase lightly.

Still, if you do buy this Volvo, it’ll last for years – and you’ll be in one of the safest SUVs around.

Fast Facts – Volvo XC90 B5 Diesel AWD R-Design as tested:

  • Max speed: 137mph
  • 0-62 mph: 7.6 sec
  • Combined mpg: 37.7 – 44.1
  • Engine layout: 1969cc, 4-cylinder turbo diesel
  • Max. power (PS): 235
  • CO2: 154g/km
  • Price: £56,585

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