Every few hours, one of the world’s carmakers launches yet another big expensive SUV. And yet, even among this forest of rivals, Volvo’s new XC90 manages to carve out its own distinctive clearing. It doesn’t throw weight and cost at what would be for most buyers a superfluity of off-road ability. Or sacrifice comfort for equally irrelevant Nürburgring horseplay. Or lose space in pursuit of a silhouette aping that incongruous fashion, the sports utility coupe. OK, so you might think a bald list of the XC90’s main advantages doesn’t make terribly exciting reading: roominess, versatility, comfort, safety. Yet it follows those aims with such single-mindedness, humanity and warmth that I ended up finding it beguiling and desirable. There’s a nobility in the doing of simple crafts well and generously.
Photos: Simon Thompson
This review was originally published in the March 2015 issue of Top Gear magazine