our favourite Swedish SUV on long-term test 

our favourite Swedish SUV on long-term test 

Remarkably, it is almost 16 years since Volvo launched its first ‘adventure concept car’. The XC90 was the model that helped the Swedes steer through a global economic crisis. While Saab sank, Volvo is now building some of the most desirable family cars on the market.

Our second generation XC90 was launched to great acclaim in 2014. With a redesigned chassis, tablet-sized dashboard screen display and electronically-controlled air suspension on most models, it was an immediate success.

Not only that but Volvo must have known that grey is the new black in terms of car colours. The latest survey from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders last week says grey has become the UK’s favourite colour since records began.

The Savile Grey paintjob looks especially smart on our XC90, complemented on the inside with charcoal leather sport seats. Up front, the dashboard is mostly black leather, with some tasteful chrome inserts.

After three months in a Range Rover, I must admit that the prospect of swapping to the XC90 didn’t fill me with joy. But Volvo’s minimalist, modern design is eye-catching and rather beautiful, in a subtle, non-threatening way.

Inside, the large-screen display is fairly intuitive and connecting my phone was simple enough. I’ve also set up Volvo On Call, the telephone app that allows the car to be started and heated by remote – especially handy on cold mornings.

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