If you tend to buy your furniture from Ikea the chances are you will love Volvo’s newest large SUV with its modern, clean cut Scandinavian styling.
The latest Volvo XC90 is an up-market vehicle which offers seating for seven people, acres of internal space and the reassurance of four-wheel-drive.
If ever there was a car for the larger family it’s the XC90.
The new generation model – the original was launched in 2002 – is a more upright, slightly squarer version ensuring there is no headroom problem for even the tallest of drivers.
Inside it’s a class act with quality leather seating, trendy brushed metal panels and minimalist styling with few buttons or switches on view.
Most of the functions are carried out via a nine-inch touchscreen which works like a tablet and controls everything from the internet to your radio station choice.
It’s all very clever stuff and you soon get used to the format, although I couldn’t help thinking at times it was not as intuitive or quick to use as a clearly labelled dashboard button.
The XC90, however, is a hi-tech machine for the modern motorist. My test car was the basic Momentum model – there are three spec levels – but still came with everything from a head-up display to a self-parking system and automatic dip/main beam headlights, not to mention a long list of Volvo’s safety features and satellite navigation with European mapping.
And if that wasn’t enough it had a built-in modem turning the car into a Wi Fi hotspot so all passengers could connect their mobile devises.
This is a car which even recognises when it’s due for a service and automatically books itself in with your local dealer.
Given the size of the XC90 – and it is a big car – it would be easy to assume it’s powered by a large engine. But Volvo’s policy of using nothing larger than a 2.0-litre engine even extends to this giant of the road.
Don’t be put off, however. The 235 bhp engine has enough grunt to power this 4x4 from 0-62 miles per hour in just 7.8 seconds and on to a top speed of 137 mph.
Mated to an 8-speed automatic gearbox it’s quick off the mark and excels at mid-range performance.
In fact the XC90 is at its best cruising on the motorway where, if you are not careful, it’s easy to unwittingly creep well above the speed limit in the blink of an eye.
It’s a car which soaks up the miles with relaxed ease, ensuring you arrive as fresh as when you started your journey.
In the case of my test car this was helped by the optional air suspension, which will set you back an extra £2,150.
For the most part the XC90 is operated as a front-wheel-drive vehicle but the moment any loss of traction is detected drive can be split instantly to both front and rear wheels.
And – again via the screen – you can set the car up to run in eco, comfort, off-road or dynamic modes.
The cavernous boot area will cope with up to 1,868 litres of luggage and when not in use the rear row of seats folds into the floor to give a perfectly flat load surface. And the size of the XC90 means that – unlike most seven seaters – the third row has enough leg room to accommodate adults and not just children.
This is hardly a budget priced car but you do get a lot for your money and it really is a car it’s impossible not to like.
Model: Volvo XC90 Momentum
Mechanical: 1,969cc, 235 bhp four cylinder diesel engine driving all wheels via 8-speed automatic gearbox.
Max speed: 137 mph
0-62mph: 7.8 secs
Combined mpg: 49.6
CO2 emissions: 149 g/km
Insurance group: 33
Warranty: 3 years/60,000 miles