After more than 15,000 miles and numerous trips away with colleagues, Matt Prior lets us know how the XC90 holds up in day-to-day life

The Volvo XC90 has been on the move a lot, again, to the Alps, to the former RAF Alconbury for an upcoming feature and to Ikea, all with other people. And to work, and back, and work, and back, with me. It’s the default choice for anybody who has a lot of miles to do.

To its skiing holiday occupants, it was superbly accommodating. They liked the same things I do: the ease and comfort of driving it, some luggage space even with seven seats in place and being able to push different seats up or down to squeeze in long loads.

But, like me, they found the odd foible. For example, if you need to pop the XC90’s gearbox into Park and unfasten the seatbelt and open the door — I often need to do it to open a gate, but my colleagues needed to in a French car park — then the car decides that you’ve finished your journey and switches off, even though you actually only wanted to exit the car for less than 10sec, to reach a payment barrier, or bin, or just to see where you’ve parked. So you have to do the whole restart process, which, if the Volvo can’t ‘sense’ the keyless key, as sometimes happens, is a right old nuisance.

Sometimes Land Rovers and Jaguars do this, too. Just let me decide when the journey is over, okay?

The luggage cover, meanwhile, covers things as it should in the boot, assuming you angle its trailing edge into a securing groove. But don’t quite locate it properly, as is possible, and it’ll snap back open a few seconds later — probably after you’ve shut the boot and walked away — and its trailing edge is so wide that it fouls the rearmost seatbelts as it goes.

Despite the odd niggle, though, the mileage is up to more than 15,000 because the fundamentals of this car are superb. A service is due at 18,000 miles, at which point the front tyres will also want changing, which I’m hoping I’ll reach before Volvo wants the car back. It would like us to try six months in a T8 model, having spent six in this D5. More on which, I suspect, next time. 

Overcoming sat-nav issues

I have found a way to cancel the destination on the sat-nav (or, rather, someone at Volvo told me).

Previously I’d only found the ‘pause’ button, but push the destination at the top of the screen and it gives the option to clear the itinerary. The map, incidentally, is one of the clearest and easiest to scroll around of any car sat-nav system. 

Price £45,750; Price as tested £51,770 Economy 36.1mpg Faults Electronic niggles Expenses None Last seen 11.5.16

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Comments
5

11 June 2016
I've never driven a car where you've got to take your eyes off the road so much as this car. This is one of the least safe car you can drive today unless you don't use the central screen at all. All other Volvos got 2 switches on the steering wheel from where you operate the screen from but they got rid of them on this one.
The satnav is very undeveloped giving very little detailing and no idea of topography. You can only modify the cruise control speed by 5 miles increments and what is that blurry sign on the dashboard which hurts you eyes when you look at it?

11 June 2016
thesecretdriver wrote:

I've never driven a car where you've got to take your eyes off the road so much as this car. This is one of the least safe car you can drive today unless you don't use the central screen at all. All other Volvos got 2 switches on the steering wheel from where you operate the screen from but they got rid of them on this one.
The satnav is very undeveloped giving very little detailing and no idea of topography. You can only modify the cruise control speed by 5 miles increments and what is that blurry sign on the dashboard which hurts you eyes when you look at it?

Perhaps you might want to look at the manual before making comments that are 100% false.. Just a thought.

11 June 2016
On a report recently either Autocar or Express said the mpg was in fact worse with the 2 litre engine in the Xc 90 than a 3 litre Range Rover Sport ,so perhaps 3 litre engines are way better in a larger vehicle.they quoted a disappointing 31mpg for the volvo.

12 June 2016
The 'foible' sounds like a good idea as long as the key is in your pocket. a car thieves common tactic is to put a bin in the road and when you get out to move it they jump in a car left running and steal it, this will stop this dead!

12 June 2016
The Apprentice wrote:

The 'foible' sounds like a good idea as long as the key is in your pocket. a car thieves common tactic is to put a bin in the road and when you get out to move it they jump in a car left running and steal it, this will stop this dead!

Agreed it does seem like a good anti theft idea, also, if you really are bothered by this foible could you not apply the handbrake and leave the gearbox in neutral? Would this leave it running whilst you open your gate etc?

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