The original XC90 catapulted Volvo’s brand values – safety, practicality, clear-headedness – into new territory.
It worked because it made eminent sense and buyers grasped it immediately. Its replacement, for all the investment and tech push, won’t have them straining their imaginations, either.
In that, Volvo has succeeded admirably. Sound judgement – in performance, spaciousness, efficiency, styling and cabin ambience – is as unmistakable as lacquer on pine. There are niggles, certainly, but no more than you’d expect from a car developed briskly, on a budget and bulging with new features.
Tellingly, 3500 customers in the UK didn’t even need to see a new XC90 to buy one. Volvo, with quiet rationality and no little ambition, has rewarded their blind devotion.