2016 Volvo XC90 T6 AWD R-Design – Review and Road Test

By Jonathan Spira on 13 June 2016
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Ever since I saw the new Volvo XC90, in particular the sporty R-Design model, I knew I wanted one. I’m not an SUV or crossover person, although I have a fondness for station wagons, but this was different and had my attention. The previous generation XC90 had been around since 2003 and was overdue for a complete overhaul.

Little did I know, however, that the XC90 not only represents the future of the sole remaining Swedish automaker but the future of cars in general.

The new XC90 is clearly a Volvo, albeit one with a very modern look.


The XC90 R-Design makes a dramatic impression, starting with a unique grille and front fascia, continuing with unique window trim, matte-silver mirror caps, special R-Design exhaust tips, and sporty R-Design wheels. Inside, it gets futuristic with the R-Design leather sports seats, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, and R-Design logo floor mats, pedals, and lighted doorsills. Lest you forget you are driving an R-Design XC90, the Nappa leather key fob and instrument cluster are R-Design specific as well.

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Volvo, whose name to many is synonymous with safety, given its invention of the three-point seatbelt in 1959, innovative use of airbag technology, and early deployment of blind-spot detection, includes a collision avoidance system, pedestrian and cyclist detection, lane departure warning, and run-off road protection. The latter a feature that helps prevent spinal injuries in the event of an unexpected hard landing.

The XC90 R-Design offers other futuristic elements as well. One of my favorites is the Active Bending Light feature with the LED headlights. ABL follows the movement of the steering wheel to provide illumination in turns and curves.


Regardless of the trim level, the XC90’s combination of elegant wood, fine leather, and, in one model, Swedish Orrefors crystal drinking glasses, combined with the optional and amazing Bowers & Wilkins 19-speaker audio system, puts the car in an entirely new class.

Click here to continue to Page 2Driving the 2016 Volvo XC90

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