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Volvo XC90 2.5T Refresh Review: Soldiering on

The XC90 receives a ‘refresh’ just when you thought that its replacement is due anytime soon. Mark Yeo finds out what’s new in the mildly updated XC90.
OneShift Editorial Team
OneShift Editorial Team
07 Jun 2012
What we like:
Still a favourite among soccer moms
What we dislike:
Feels and looks its age

it is on the utility front where the XC90 really shines. With its competitors either higher up the premium ladder or in the mid-range market, the big Volvo SUV is the only one in its price point to offer seating capacity for seven inside. The seats can also be easily stored away if load carrying duties is what you need. Legroom at the rearmost row though, can be a bit tight for taller framed adults.

New in the Refresh is a three-spoke steering wheel, aluminium sanded silver décor inlays around the gear lever, new dials with white backlighting, a redesigned load cover as well as a leather grab handle for closing the tailgate. The stereo has also been upgraded with new features like Bluetooth audio streaming.

The overall design of the cabin and driving environment though, feels its age thanks to the majority of switchgear being old and from older generation Volvos. The dashboard lacks the floating centre console design that is present in all modern Volvo models. An obvious afterthought is the switch to activate the new auto headlights feature – instead of being activated via the main headlight rotary knob, a button next to the knob is pressed and there are no visible indications at all anywhere that the auto headlights function is activated.

Despite the Refresh’s new updates and features, there’s no denying the XC90’s age. It certainly feels old in several key areas but school run moms are more into its practical and versatile nature more than anything else – in this respect, there’s still life yet in the nine-year old XC90.

Credits: Story by Mark Yeo Photos by Yang and Mark Yeo

Volvo XC90 2.5T Refresh
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Volvo XC90 2.5T Refresh (A) 2012

Volvo XC90 2.5T Refresh (A) 2012

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