Volvo XC90 V8 Review

>> Thursday, December 25, 2008

The XC90 boldly goes where no Volvo SUV has gone before: fast.  Porsche salesman Kirk Stingle calls it 'tip in'. It's those initial few seconds of acceleration, when a vehicle's engine tries to convince the stationary mass surrounding it that it's time to hit the road, Jack. A surprisingly large number of SUV's tip in like they're racing for pinks. Not so the Volvo XC90 V8. With a 311hp powerplant mated to a six-speed slushbox, the formerly slothful Swede glides off the line with all the grace and strength of an Olympic figure skater starting her routine. Even the Russian judges give it a perfect ten.

The newly-engined Volvo XC90 shows that the Ford subsidiary understands that the ideal 'soft roader' is nothing more than a luxury car on stilts. It must be comfortable enough so that none of its occupants wants to throttle a fellow passenger (always a plus for family car buyers), tall enough to impart a sense of superiority, fast enough to exercise that authority and nimble enough not to roll over and die when you do. Oh yes, and safe. It's got to be safe.

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