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Volvo XC90 D5 2007 review



One of the more appalling surprises of growing up and having children is the things you find yourself saying.

Such as: “You'll understand yourself one day”, “I don't know what young people are coming to”, and “I wouldn't mind one of those new Volvos”.

The Swedish safety specialist may be trying to get hip with the new C30 hatch, but the brand remains domestic at heart. And I'm starting to appreciate that.

As in a happy household, little details make the difference. Take the integrated child seat on the XC90. Click up a section of the centre-rear cushion and it becomes a booster seat for kids between three and eight.

It also slides forward to place your young passenger almost between the front seats, and the rear section of the centre console can be removed to give junior more foot space.

Like a parent returning to the workforce, the XC90 has had a bit of a late-career bloom. A 4.4-litre V8 and 2.4-litre D5 diesel version were added to the range late last year, and a 3.2-litre six-cylinder version has recently gone on sale, replacing the 2.5-litre petrol version.

All the new engines come with six-speed automatics. The 2.4-litre diesel accounts for about 70 per cent of the XC90 sales, which are up this year by 24 per cent. With 136kW, the D5 is 18kW less powerful than the disappearing 2.5-litre petrol engine, but its 400Nm of torque is more than 90 per cent of the V8's 440Nm.

It trumps them both with its fuel consumption of 9.0 litres per 100km — something to celebrate these days when, in many parts of the State, the price difference between diesel fuel and petrol is negligible.

In real-world highway use, it did even better, registering 8.2 litres/100km — medium car figures — but did I mention the XC90 has seven seats?

The five-cylinder diesel can be a little gruff at cold idle compared with the V6 diesels of the Mercedes-Benz M-Class, Land Rover Discovery, Jeep Commander and Volkswagen Touareg, or the straight six diesel of the BMW X5.

But it's far from objectionable once under way. Its 0-100km/h time of 11.5 seconds is a little slower than the posted times of rivals but, like all diesels, the XC90 D5 feels stronger on the road than the figures suggest.

The interior is distinctive, with a design language that's more architectural than automotive. It's not quite as showroom-dazzling as an Audi's perhaps, but its functionality grows on you. And the audio system is well above average, with a punch and sharpness that brings old CDs to life.

With not quite so much punch and sharpness on the road, the XC90 is still set up for a comfortable ride and conservative handling. But at least it succeeds in being comfortable, apart from a very subtle diesel buzz and the slight coarseness of big SUV wheels and tyres.

Suspension noise is well abated and the six-speed adds a layer of refinement missing from the old version.

It has the presence of a luxury SUV but, at $72,950, it's verging on affordable by prestige wagon standards, which is why it has become part of more families this year.


Fast facts

Volvo XC90 D5

On sale: Now

Price: From $72,950

Body: SUV

Engine: 2.4-litre 5-cylinder turbo diesel; 136kW@4000rpm, 400Nm@2000-2750rpm

Transmission: 6-speed automatic, all-wheel-drive

Fuel: 9 litres/100km combined claims

Safety: Everything you can think of and a few you probably can't




Pricing Guides

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Range and Specs

3.2 3.2L, PULP, 6 SP AUTO $6,990 – 8,999 2007 Volvo XC90 2007 3.2 Pricing and Specs
3.2 Executive 3.2L, PULP, 6 SP AUTO $6,710 – 9,460 2007 Volvo XC90 2007 3.2 Executive Pricing and Specs
D5 2.4L, Diesel, 6 SP AUTO $3,990 – 14,399 2007 Volvo XC90 2007 D5 Pricing and Specs
D5 Executive 2.4L, Diesel, 6 SP AUTO $6,930 – 9,790 2007 Volvo XC90 2007 D5 Executive Pricing and Specs
Pricing Guide


Lowest price, based on 21 car listings in the last 6 months

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