Four years ago, the all-new Volvo XC90 arrived in a blaze of ice-cool Scandi glory – if that’s not a contradiction – and a price tag to match: £68,785 for the D5 First Edition. This limited-edition version was a showcase for the new Land Rover Discovery rival and featured air suspension, nappa leather and a 1400W Bowers & Wilkins sound system, in addition to the model’s impressive and appealing roster of standard-fit safety kit.
It was a lot of money, but then Volvo has always had an inflated sense of its own worth. Not so the used car market. It has a different view of the Chinese-owned Swedish brand, and the result is that today you can pick up a one-owner, 2015-reg First Edition with 52,000 miles and a panoramic sunroof for just £33,500. That’s more like it, but it gets better: if you’re happy to forego the First Edition, you can get into a one-owner, 2015- reg D5 Momentum – the entry-level trim – with 63,000 miles and full Volvo service history for £23,900. New, it cost £46,250, so happy days.
The XC90 was made for the used car market, and not just because of prices such as these. There’s the apparently tank-like build quality to enjoy, for a start. A four-year-old 60,000-miler or even one of the many 100,000-mile-plus examples knocking about (we a saw a one-owner D5 Momentum with 112,000 miles and full service history for £22,000) seems like a safe bet.
Or it would were it not for the fact that in the 2018 What Car? Reliability Survey, the XC90 ranked 18th out of 25 luxury SUVs. What’s more, the model has been the subject of a fair number of safety recalls, while software glitches appear not to have been very far away.
At least it’s easy to get your head around the model range. Engines are 2.0-litre four-cylinder units in D5 diesel, T5 and T6 petrol, and T8 petrol-electric hybrid forms, while the gearbox is an eight-speed auto, drive goes to all four wheels and the car has seven seats. Trim-wise, there’s entry-level Momentum, mid-spec R-Design and top-spec Inscription. Adding a Pro suffix to each brings the Winter Pack, plus, on R-Design and Inscription, air suspension.