Old-guard Volvo buyers used to seeing its bigger models penalised by the warbling old five-cylinder turbodiesel engine will be in for a pleasant surprise when they compare the new XC90’s costs of ownership.

Our entry-level diesel test car is beaten on CO2-derived company car tax liability only by BMW’s two-wheel-drive X5 sDrive25d. On that front, it’s considerably lighter on the pocket than most direct rivals.

Vicky Parrott

Deputy reviews editor
Our True MPG fuel economy testers produced a real-world average of 36.5mpg, which is commendable for a two-tonne seven-seater

Our True MPG fuel economy testers produced a real-world average of 36.5mpg, which is commendable for a two-tonne seven-seater. An X5 sDrive25d is narrowly more frugal, but it’s rare to see any full-size SUV return better than 35mpg. Over the past few months, the Kia Sorento and Porsche Cayenne Diesel have both fallen short of that particular mark.

The Volvo is not only well priced against its rivals but also well equipped, getting all seven seats, four-wheel drive, LED headlights and Volvo’s excellent 9.0in touchscreen multimedia system as standard.

Fleet drivers looking to keep their tax liability down should stick with Momentum trim, since the upper-level versions emit more CO2. Neither R-Design nor Inscription models get an air-suspended chassis as standard.

Speccing Volvo's Winter and Intellisafe Pro option packs should make your car easier to sell. We'd also add air suspension (£2150), Apple CarPlay for the media set-up (£300), surround-view cameras (£700) and a spacesaver spare wheel.

Residual values should be excellent, following the original XC90 in retaining its value very well indeed. If you want an SUV that holds its value better, you’ll need to buy a Porsche or a Land Rover. No version of the BMW X5 or Mercedes-Benz M-Class is currently a better place to put your money.

Save money on your car insurance

Compare quotesCompare insurance quotes

Top 5 Luxury SUVs

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

  • Jaguar E-Pace 2018 review hero front
    Car review
    20 April 2018
    Can Jaguar’s compact SUV bring flair and dynamic polish to a fast-growing class?
  • Audi TT RS Coupé
    First Drive
    20 April 2018
    The Audi TT RS has the looks, a vociferous engine and the supercar-baiting performance, but is it too uncompromising to use as a daily driver?
  • Lamborghini Urus review 2018 hero front
    First Drive
    19 April 2018
    The supercar maker's new 4x4 is massively capable wherever it goes, while being extremely conspicuous and costly while it does it
  • Skoda Kodiaq
    First Drive
    19 April 2018
    High-spec seven-seater Kodiaq begins its family life with a lot to prove — for Skoda and SUVs
  • Ford Focus RS Race Red Edition front
    First Drive
    18 April 2018
    Ford drafts in some tasty extras for this limited-run Focus RS swansong edition