Volvo XC90 D5 AWD Momentum 2015 Review – Super Intelligent SUV

Driven: Volvo XC90 D5 AWD Momentum 2015 Review

Following a week-long test drive of the Volvo XC90 D5 AWD Momentum here are my thoughts on this brand new and super intelligent SUV.

What is the Volvo XC90 D5 AWD Momentum all about?

The Volvo XC90 was re-launched in 2015 and has been rebuilt from the ground up. The car has had some well-needed fresh styling and now incorporates some of the most intelligent technology on the road today.

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The new styling on the Volvo XC90 has brought the car bang up to date. My favourite parts of the styling all come at the front end of the car. The car now has a beefed up front grille, which proudly displays a large Volvo badge with built in front HD camera. The front end has a very square look, but I feel it works really well. One of my favourite pieces of design is the LED headlights that are super bright, and have nice running lights too.

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The car is powered by a 2.0-litre diesel engine that creates 225bhp and 470Nm of torque. The XC90 uses an 8-speed automatic gearbox putting the power to all 4 wheels using a Haldex generation 5 coupling. This means the car will get from 0-60mph in 7.8 seconds.

How does it drive?

Getting into the Volvo XC90 the car feels like a solid full-size SUV, as you would have expected. The ride height of the car gives you that secure feeling, but isn’t too difficult to get in and out of.

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You can get into the car and start it by simply having the key in your pocket. When you pull the handle to get in, the car will check if the key is within range and unlock the door, once inside you can turn the classy start/stop knob located between the front seats to bring the car to life. Knock the car into gear, remove the electrically operated handbrake by pulling up the lever under the steering wheel and then you’re off.

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The visibility from inside the car, even being this large, was good, you can easily see all around you and the large wing mirrors aid visibility too. The XC90 comes with a suite of clever cameras that are able to give you a bird’s eye perspective on the car. Making driving the car through tight obstacles very easy.

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The car is on 19-inch alloy wheels but still feels incredibly soft, even on the UK roads. I was shocked by how small these wheels still looked on the car; I think we may need some 21″ alloys to fill up those huge wheel arches.

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With 225bhp under the bonnet there is plenty of performance to make this car go as fast as you will ever need it to in everyday life, and the brakes are equally capable to cope with a vehicle of this size. Overall the car feels pretty powerful and it is a great fit for those of us looking for a car to meet our more practical requirements.

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This XC90 has some incredible technology that blew my mind. After a week with this car, I really didn’t want to go back to a more primitive car.

Volvo XC90 D5 AWD Momentum 2015 Review

The most exciting piece of technology was Auto Pilot Assist. This gives the car the ability to autonomously drive itself when certain parameters are all in place. For this to work you need to be traveling under 30mph, have a lead car in front of you and have defining paint lines on the road for the car to follow. With all of these in place, you enable Auto Pilot Assist and the car takes control. Wow, this was the first time I had experienced this. The system is designed in a way which means you have to keep a hand on the wheel for it to work, in case the Auto Pilot Assist disengages. I tested this various times and when all the parameters were met, the Auto Pilot worked really well. The car will manage speed, brakes and steering for you. Incredible! I can’t wait to see how this technology develops in the future.

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Another great bit of technology is Park Assist Pilot, this is where the car will scan for a parking space and will either parallel park or reverse park the car for you, which is also very impressive. You simply control the car’s speed using the brake pedal and the car will steer it into the space. This is super handy in the real world, especially with such a large car.

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Volvo also have a brilliant adaptive cruise control system which uses radar to manage the distance between you and the vehicle in front and will slow you down or accelerate as required to take the effort away from the driver. The car will always be kept at a safe distance, and if needed it is possible for the car to bring itself to a controlled and gentle stop. To move off you can literally tap the accelerator again and the car will continue keeping the set distance up to the pre-configured cruise speed. As you can imagine this links in nicely with the Auto Pilot Assist.

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And the list continues, the Volvo is backed with lots of safety equipment that is equally impressive. These include Volvo’s City Safe functionality that can fully auto-brake the car if its intelligent systems believe you’re going to have a collision with a person or another car when travelling at low speed, Blind Spot Information System, Rear Collision Mitigation and Lane Keeping Aid. This car, without a doubt, has your safety in mind.

Video production by: Daniel Barnett

What is it Like Inside?

The Volvo XC90, as you would expect, has had a completely new interior and it looks amazing. Even in base trim it feels like a premium interior. This car is a 7 seater, the front two rows have lots of room and the 3rd row is also not too bad when compared to others on the market. Getting in and out of the 3rd row is made significantly easier because of how much movement you get out of the second row of chairs.

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One of the main talking points is the large touchscreen infotainment system that now houses all the central controls. It has been executed so well; with your first touch of the glass you can tell it is a premium product. The system is highly responsive and you can slide left and right between home screens, allowing you quick access to a lot of functionality. It works like a tablet, but really exceeds what I expected from it.

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The driver’s instruments are now fully digitised, which looks incredible once the car has been started and the seemingly blank screen comes to life. The display is of a high quality and updates instantly giving you the information you want from the dials.

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The interior, without a doubt, has the wow factor and even the smallest touches are impressive. You can see in the picture below there is a nice little touch of a Swedish flag sewn into the driver’s leather seat in plain sight so no one can miss where the car was made.

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The Experience

This car blew my mind with its Auto Pilot Assist technology, I felt I had to tell anyone I thought would listen to me about this technology and how it had been executed to such a fantastic level. Living with the Volvo XC90 really makes you question why we settle for less well designed and more primitive cars.

Volvo XC90 D5 AWD Momentum 2015 Review


The Volvo XC90 D5 AWD Momentum feels so far ahead of other cars at the moment, you could question if Volvo have put a concept car into production by accident. The entire car has the wow factor, the looks are brilliant, the drive is effortless and comfortable, the interior is elegant and the technology is so far ahead of anything else I have seen in this market. The XC90 is undoubtedly going to be a solid choice for a modern SUV now it has been re-launched.

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Video Highlights

Video production by: Sam Mowels


Volvo XC90 D5 AWD Momentum
  • Price: £ 43,140
  • Engine: 2.0-Litre Diesel turbocharged
  • Power: 225bhp
  • Torque: 470Nm
  • Transmission: 8 Speed Automatic
  • 0-62mph: 10.2 Seconds
  • Top speed: 121mph
  • Weight: 1,816kg
  • Economy combined: 44mpg
  • CO2: 169 g/km

Full Gallery

Author: Paul Hadley