Week 10: Volvo XC90 T5

Time is nigh for our long-terming Volvo to depart, so do we still think it was worthy of the 2016 Car of the Year gong?
By Amit Benjamin, Editor
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November 28, 2016
Photo: Fadi Takieddine

Ten weeks of mostly unerring service and over 1,500km trod under its tyres, it’s time for our long-term Volvo XC90 to depart from the wheels long-term garage. If you’ve been following the Volvo’s stint with us, you will be aware that, with the sole exception of features writer Imran Malik, every one on the team has been deeply impressed with the XC90.

Over the past two and a half months, it’s despatched school-run duties, undertaken long drives to far flung locations across the country carrying unfeasible amounts of photography equipment, and done everything in between. And it never put a foot wrong.

Yes there were some minor annoyances along the way. The AC fan for example, which worked perfectly well during the peak of summer, but on a couple of occasions decided it didn’t want to be a fan anymore. The stop-start system, which is switched on by default every time you restart the engine, requires a ceremonial procedure to turn off —what’s wrong with a simple button? But that’s where the moaning stops.

On the upside, and there are many, this is a car that does everything you could ever hope from an urban family hauler. It’s very, very comfortable, ultra-safe, spacious and that turbocharged engine in the base Momentum model is actually smoother than the more powerful twin-charged unit.

It’s not ponderous either. Off the line acceleration is brisker than what you’d expect from a tiny four-cylinder unit, especially when it is tasked with powering a vehicle as generously proportioned as the XC90.

The biggest draw, however, is the price; at Dh250,000 for our tester it is blinding value. The same sort of money gets you much smaller cars like the Porsche Macan or the Mercedes GLC, and the XC90 doesn’t feel lacking in anyway whatsoever in comparison with the aforementioned. We got the XC90 to find out if we had indeed made the right choice awarding it our 2016 CotY award. Three months in, I’m happy to report that it was truly deserving of the accolade. Well played Volvo. Well played.

 

The progress

Week 8
Features writer Imran Malik says that the XC90 wasn’t the right choice for the CotY gong. Group motoring editor Amit disagrees.

The XC90 yet again impresses with its safety credentials, with the base model getting the same amount of safety kit as the top-end version.

Highs: Loads of safety kit, even in the basic model

Lows: AC fan is becoming less reliable

Week 9
The XC90’s parking sensor is sporadically finding obstacles where there are none and going buzz happy.

It’s still a left-field choice that offers stellar value over its Germans counterparts.

Highs: Superb value

Lows: Parking sensors are going crazy

Inside info

Driven by:Amit

Start mileage:1,570km

Recent cost:Fuel

Average fuel economy:12 litres per 100km

Highs:one of the most well-rounded family cars around

Lows:erratic ac fan operation