Published on March 11th, 2019 | by Subhash Nair


Volvo XC90 T5 Short Review: Spacious, Safe, Superior

We’re in the midst of testing quite a few cars back-to-back for our VOTY 2019 awards. Here are our thought on the Volvo XC90 T5 that we tested a couple of weeks back.

Less Bling, Same Substance

We’ve tested the T8 Inscription variant of the XC90 before. Getting into the T5 Momentum spec showed us the real character of the car. Turns out that at its core, the XC90 is still a fundamentally well-packaged vehicle that’s great to drive. You might miss things like the Bowers & Wilkins sound system, the digital air con controls in the rear, the more upmarket look of the Inscription model. The Momentum package still looks proud and professional – something befitting the garage of a doctor, lawyer or engineer.



Maximum Utility

If you want a premium car that gives you your money’s worth in terms of utility, the XC90 is peerless. Whether you’re moving 7 people, 4 tyres, or a whole sofa bed, the XC90 is more than capable of getting the job done. The third row of seats is reasonably bolstered, with enough legroom for children or small adults. Even with full occupancy, there’s room enough in the boot for a few suitcases. Plus, seats fold down to give you an extremely flat loading area with narrow gaps.



Drives like a dream

The XC90 was one of the most enjoyable highway cruisers we’ve ever experienced. It glides over imperfections in the road. And if you know how to take advantage of Pilot Assist, the car does most of the thinking for you. Of course, you’re still the one in control and making decisions, but the system is smart enough to keep a safe distance from the car ahead of you and steer the car through bends.



Safety Uncompromised


There is no compromise to safety on the Momentum spec. You still get the Intellisafe package with pedestrian and cyclist detection, 7 airbags, a booster seat built in. It’s great to see Volvo stick to their values and not put safety behind a price gate.

What are you losing?

An RM30,000 difference between this and the T8 doesn’t seem like much. Indeed, at RM403,888, the XC90 T8 is technically better value-for-money with its complex plug-in hybrid system, Inscription kit, air suspension and other ‘nice-to-have’ amenities. That being said, I have a feeling the XC90 T5 will age better over time. In this day and age, the fewer complications to a car the better. This model keeps the XC90 simple and reveals that under all that bling, it’s still the best in its segment at this moment.



Volvo XC90 T5 Specifications

Engine: Inline 4, Turbocharged, Petrol
Capacity: 1969 cc
Gearbox: 8-speed Conventional Automatic
Max power: 254hp @ 5500rpm
Max torque: 350Nm @ 1500rpm
Top Speed: 215km/h
0-100 km/h: 7.9 seconds
Price: RM373,888

About the Author

Written work on @subhashtag on instagram. Autophiles Malaysia on Youtube.

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