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.

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