2016 Volvo XC90 T6 AWD R-Design – Review and Road Test

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The XC90 comes standard as a five-passenger sedan, the T5 version, with an option for a roomy seven-passenger version, the T6 and T8. There are three trim levels, the base Momentum, the plush Inscription, and the sporty R-Design. The hybrid variant is the T8 Twin Engine Plug-In Hybrid and most standard and optional equipment is similar across the XC90 lineup.

Options are mostly available via packages. Momentum Plus provides LED headlights with automatic high beams, LED running lights patterned after Thor’s hammer, and improved interior illumination. The Vision package adds power-folding, auto-dimming side-view mirrors, a very useful surround-view camera system for parking, blind-spot detection, and rear cross-traffic alert.

The Climate package adds a heated windshield and heated windshield washer nozzles – a necessity in Scandinavia – as well as heated front and second-row seats. On Momentum and Inscription models, it includes a heated steering wheel. Finally, the Convenience package adds front parking sensors, automated parking assist, adaptive radar cruise control, lane-keeping assistant, and two of the most useful options ever offered in a car, a grocery bag holder and 12-volt power outlet in the rear cargo area.

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One of our favorite features was the inclusion of Apple CarPlay, an in-vehicle touch-based display interface that functions as an extension of a driver’s iPhone. By connecting an iPhone to the vehicle via a USB cable, I immediately had access to Apple’s maps for navigation, the Apple music app, and the ability to make calls or send messages.  I was also able to access Siri via a voice control button on the steering wheel to control iPhones hands-free, including sending and receiving texts and making calls. I didn’t even have to pair my phone.


The base XC90 T5 is powered by a turbocharged 2.0-liter engine, which develops 250 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque, paired to an eight-speed automatic transmission. It’s capable of bringing the car from a standstill to 60 mph (96 km/h) in 7.5 seconds (front-wheel drive) and is rated at 22 mpg (10.7 l/100 km) in the city and 26 (9.0) on the highway.

Our XC90 R-Design came with a powerful 2.0-liter supercharged and turbocharged four banger that produced 316 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque. Volvo says it will get to 60 mph (96 km/h) in 6.6 seconds. There’s no penalty in city fuel economy and although highway fuel economy suffers slightly at 25 mpg (9.4 l/100 km)

The XC90’s ergonomics are some of the best we’ve seen. All controls are unambiguous and exactly where you’d expect them to be. Volvo orients the 9” very responsive touchscreen in portrait mode, which makes for a very logical layout for menus.

Click here to continue to Page 3Seating, Cargo, and Overseas Delivery

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