The XC90: a sneak peek inside the latest from Volvo
You’ll have to wait till autumn for an exterior view of Volvo’s new large SUV, but meanwhile here’s a tempting sample of what’s inside the cabin
Volvo hopes to woo buyers away from the German Big Three with the high-tech new XC90
We won’t get to see the outside of the new Volvo XC90 until August, when the Swedish company will unveil it in the run-up to this year’s Paris Motor Show, but Volvo has chosen to reveal the car from the inside out. From what we have seen here, it looks if the new XC90 represents a quantum leap for Volvo’s interior design. Indeed, this car may well leapfrog it above Audi when it comes to making a car cabin.
The biggest and most obvious change is the lack of buttons on the centre console. There are just a few multi-function switches; the rest of the car’s systems are controlled by a big iPad-style touchscreen in the centre of the dash. The XC90 is one of the first cars to come to the marker with the new CarPlay software from Apple. Thus far, cars which have done away with buttons in favour of touch screens have come in for some flak for making things too difficult to access and control on the move, but Volvo claims to have cracked the problem with its new system.
Once again, the XC90 is a seven-seater, and Volvo claims that the third row will be the easiest in its class to get in and out of. Best of all, though, is the detailing of the interior, the little touches that make it look and feel special, such as a tiny Swedish flag sewn onto the sides of the front seats, and a steering wheel boss reminiscent of the grille of a 1960s Volvo 144, along with truly high-end touches such as diamond-machined switches and a gear selector made from crystal, supplied by Swedish firm Orrefors, a famous glass maker.
Volvo desperately needs to expand its sales if it is to keep its Chinese owners happy, and carve a successful niche for itself as an independent car maker. The XC90 will be massively critical to that plan. With that in mind, expect it to be rather more expensive than the current car. The outgoing XC90 can, at the moment, be had for a little over €40,000. This new one could well be the most expensive series production Volvo yet.