The 2016 Volvo XC90 is the freshest new product to come out of Volvo in years, and with all of its tech and innovative features, there were bound to be a few things to surprise us. Here are 10 things we learned about Volvo's flagship SUV from the press event in Sweden.
1. Unlike some of its competitors (talking to you, BMW X5), the XC90 offers a third row suited for people other than children. Volvo claims folks up to 5’7” in height can lounge in complete comfort.
2. Volvo invited audio experts Bowers & Wilkins to participate early on in the XC90’s development. Thus, placement of the optional system’s 19 speakers were optimized, evident in the fittings of the tweeters and midranges high on the doors as well as the “tweeter on top,” a center-mounted dash speaker that helps minimize acoustic reflection from the windshield.
3. The XC90’s prominent grill features a fresh take on Volvo’s signature iron mark, whose iconic arrow now aligns with the diagonal slash. Along with the T-shaped “Thor’s Hammer” DRLs, the new grille will spread across the Volvo lineup.
4. Stronger and lighter materials such as composite transverse rear leaf springs and hot-formed boron steel – the latter comprising 40 percent of the body – contribute to a weight savings of around 280 pounds versus the outgoing XC90.
5. Despite its large size, the XC90 boasts a sleek drag coefficient of 0.30, making it more aerodynamic than a Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT coupe.
6. In “Offroad mode,” the XC90 offers up to 10.5 inches of ground clearance. Standard clearance is an impressive 9.3 inches.
7. XC90’s “Safe Positioning” feature, part of the vehicle’s Intellisafe suite of technologies, aims to prevent severe injury or death in road-departure accidents, which account for roughly half of all traffic fatalities in the U.S. When the vehicle detects it’s leaving the road, the seatbelts are tightened and remain tight while the vehicle is in motion, keeping occupants securely in their seats.
8. “Queue Assist,” the XC90’s new autonomous driving feature, controls the throttle, brake, and steering when enduring stop-and-go traffic. Still, don’t text!
9. Go big or go home: The new XC90 can be had with 22-inch wheels, the same size rims used on the Cadillac Escalade and Lincoln Navigator.
10. The top-line XC90 T8, which sports a twin-charged 2.0-liter I-4 paired with an electric motor, touts a combined torque rating of 443 lb-ft, or only 27 lb-ft shy of the output from the Escalade’s 6.2-liter V-8.