The Road Ahead : October 2010
volvo xc90 D5, 2006 onwards REVIEW JOHN EWING The XC90 was an integral part of Volvo's response to the rise of luxury cross-over style SUVs that started back in the late 1990s. JOINING THE RANGE in late 2006, the diesel-powered D5 became the XC90's sales stalwart.The standard grade diesel XC90 provided luxury appointments and plentiful safety features including a roll- over protection system, roll and dynamic stability control, and curtain airbags for the three seating rows. Seven seats, a three-way split, sliding and folding middle row, with integrated child booster seat in the mid position, elevate family appeal. Higher equipment levels will be found on the D5 Executive and, from late 2008, the D5 R-Design with its sporty enhancements including suspension and wheel revisions. XC90 models score a five star ANCAP crash rating. XC90 buyers who preferred a petrol engine had a choice of a 3.2-litre six-cylinder, a 4.4-litre V8 or, in early versions, a 2.5-litre turbo five-cylinder. The 2.5-litre five-cylinder turbo-diesel has claimed outputs of 136 kW and 400 Nm and comes standard with a smooth shifting six-speed Geartronic auto. The economical diesel has plenty of torque and shifts over two tonne of Swedish SUV with reasonable ease, though it's not as effortless as some of its 3.0-litre competitors. Comfortable ride and predictable secure handling are the XC90's stock in trade, unable to match the nimble sportiness of the class's best. The interior is comfortable and thoughtfully laid out. XC90 is more luxury soft-roader than go- anywhere 4WD. And a spacesaver spare wheel isn't ideal for off-the-beaten-track either. There's no low range and XC90 uses an on-demand torque proportioning all-wheel-drive system that transfers drive from the front to rear wheels when slip is detected. Reliability wise, the Volvo is mostly virtuous. Uneven tyre wear isn't uncommon and tyre rotation and wheel alignment every six months is advisable. Av o id vehicles that haven't been serviced as scheduled -- neglected oil changes can lead to sludged engine arteries and damage. A careful check of engine reaction rod bushes for wear is advised. There was a power steering hose recall on specified 2007-2009 cars. UNDER THE PUMP XC90 D5 will use between 8.0 and 13.0-litres of fuel every 100 km, depending on model and driving conditions. PRICE RANGE From $46,300 to $75,800, depending on year and model. visit www.roadahead.com.au/motoring MORE INFO NEED HELP? RACQ CAN HELP WITH CAR FINANCE (CALL 1300 361 316), VEHICLE INSPECTIONS (CALL 13 1905) AND INSURANCE (CALL 13 1905). MOTORING USED CAR REVIEW WWW.ROADAHEAD.COM.AU 52 THE ROAD AHEAD OCT/NOV 2010 COMPETITORS BMW X5 3.0D AND 30D 2007-2010 Beaut turbo-diesel six delivering 160 kW/500 Nm or, from late 2008, 173 kW/520 Nm. Standard six-speed auto. Dynamic excellence, luxury and safety. Handy enough off-road but no all-terrain heavy hitter. Higher used prices than Volvo likely, reflecting new pricing. AUDI Q7 3.0 DIESEL V6 2006-2010 Well built, luxuriously equipped, capable all-rounder. Six-speed auto. Expect higher fuel consumption than Volvo and BMW. Like X5, higher used prices than XC90. Spacious inside and used examples with optional 7 seats may be found. Large vehicle so standard reversing camera handy in car parks. VW TOUAREG 3.0 TDI V6 2006-2010 Shares underpinnings with Q7 and Porsche Cayenne. Muscular turbo diesel, with extra power and torque from 11/07 update. Six-speed auto, plus low range and electronic centre diff lock.