2015 Volvo XC90 – Square is Pretty

2015 Volvo xc90 front Volvo has been hyping up its new 2015 XC90 for quite some time, and with good reason as it is the first all-new vehicle from this maker in decades under its new Chinese owners. Furthermore, like the MDX for the Acura brand and countless other automakers who rely on their SUVs for daily bread and butter, this vehicle is extremely important to them, and they had to get it right. Designing a proper CUV/SUV or a minivan is a lot more difficult than a sportcars, in my opinion. Simplify and add lightness does not really apply here (but it helps); comfort, space, access, functionality, maneuverability, economy, and cost are huge factors. And it has to look right, too! It has to look imposing but not offending, strong but not vulgar, it has to appeal to women and not repel men. To say that designing a modern SUV is challenging is an understatement. So, did Volvo get the XC90 right? [Image source: Autoblog.nl]

EXTERIOR

2015 Volvo xc90 front headshot 2015 Volvo xc90 rear Remember when Volvos were square? Yes, I do too, and I miss them dearly. At a quick glance Volvo is definitely going back to square-ish design, as it should. Square implies strength, which in the way implies safety. Ask any modern tiger-parent about safety of their kids – they’d keep them in a bubble if they could, nothing is too good, they spend thousands on strollers for crying out loud. Square also implies function: cargo space, headroom, access (note very square doors and hatch), it’s all here. It’s also unmistakably Volvo, with modern cues worked into the square body very nicely. Some may say that it looks a bit like a Honda Pilot, to which I say good. Say what you want about the Pilot, but it’s a sales leader and one of he reasons for its success is its ability to swallow up kids and all their crap with ease. Big windows and door mounted mirrors will yield great visibility, which many modern SUVs do not have. 2015 Volvo xc90 rear headshot  

INTERIOR

2015 Volvo xc90 dash interior seat 2015 Volvo xc90 interior rear seats folded Volvo interior have always been a little different, and that is good, Lord knows that automotive industry could use a little differentiation. While Volvo seats have always been excellent, many of their dash layouts were a sometimes lacking proper ergonomics. Similarly, the most recent infotainment systems were outdated and lacking functionality. Looking at these pics, Volvo is addressing all that, with the giant Tesla-like screen being the only questionable thing. Overall interior design is certainly pretty, simple, Swedish. It seems nice enough to get the people who can’t quite afford Range Rovers into the showrooms and not deter those looking for function over form. Built-in booster seat is page from the old school Volvo playbook. It’s a great idea, but I think that having it in an outboard seat would make more sense – you don’t want your kids that close to each other on longer drives. Hopefully access to the third row seats is easy like in the Nissan Pathfinder. Every parent I know manages to fill up all the available consoles, bins, and trays with crap, so I hope the XC90 has a lot of hidden storage. A vehicle like this cannot have enough cup-holders, either. Volvo XC90 2015 booster seat I have a feeling that this new 2015 XC90 will be a huge success for the Volvo brand. They really seemed to have a great design and they already have great new engines. Competition in this segment is fierce and the right price (read: lease rates) will be the next challenge.  

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