The 2016 Volvo XC90 could be easily considered both a triumph and a surprise, as it rekindles Volvo’s place among the top luxury players in crucial markets – China, the United States and Europe.
The large new sport utility vehicle is something of an oddball – the XC90 is the first product developed by Volvo since it was acquired by China’s Geely from Ford and is a testament that Chinese automakers are finally out of their infancy and can be considered serious global players. The model also introduces a whole new architecture and a host of new engines that will form the backbone of the entire model lineup of the Swedish brand. It turns out, the model was so important to Geely and Volvo the carmaker decided to help Volvo’s out of practice (when it comes to new designs) engineers via Lotus and Porsche engineering consultants – though so far these are only rumors. Fortunately, they nailed the model and the new Scalable Product Architecture will deliver to customers an all new XC90, which is safe, advanced and mostly enjoyable.
In the US, the largest luxury auto market, Volvo – which lacked new models for a while – has been losing market share for some time now. But that might change, as the XC90 arrives amid an incredible SUV boom. On the market it competes with models such as the Acura MDX, BMW X5 or even luxury family-haulers like equally new Audi Q7 or the Buick Enclave, Infiniti QX60 and Mercedes GL450. Prices start just under $50,000 and the model will also become available as a plug-in hybrid later this year, packing a respectable 394 horsepower assembly.