The exterior is similar to the old XC90, albeit sharpened up, smoothed out and given the latest high-tech detailing. And it works really well, especially as it masks the Volvo’s bulk – the XC90 is almost five metres long, more than two metres wide and 1776mm tall. So it’s not a small machine, but standing next to it, the XC90 doesn’t dominate.
Some of the detailing is fabulous – the ‘Thor’s hammer’ daytime running lights stand out in particular, and are fitted range-wide as standard in the UK. The entire car looks sophisticated and modern, without resorting to complicated or gratuitous design trends. You might say it's very Swedish, in that respect – and like the model it replaces, it shouldn't age too quickly.
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Best of all, it looks good no matter what size wheels it is sitting on nor which trim you specify. At the launch event, there was a beautiful-looking R Design finished in a matte blue paint, but as yet Volvo UK isn’t planning on bringing that finish here. It should do, because it made an already handsome SUV look absolutely fantastic.