Large SUV of the Year 2015: Volvo XC90

The Volvo XC90 is the 2015 Auto Express Large SUV of the Year, with the Kia Sorento and Range Rover Sport commended

Volvo has shaken up the large SUV class with a premium seven-seat off-roader that offers superb luxury and cutting-edge tech at more affordable prices. After winning our Design Award last year, the firm is going through a purple patch when it comes to styling, and the XC90 is a crisp and clear evolution of Volvo’s vision.

Cool details such as the Thor’s Hammer daytime running lights and the bluff but bold front end mean this SUV is setting the latest design trends. Inside, it’s a similar story, as the minimalist cabin is beautifully trimmed.

Volvo XC90 vs Land Rover Discovery

The XC90 is undeniably a top-quality product, and the dash-mounted iPad-style tablet that controls the multimedia, climate control and sat-nav systems is the icing on the cake.

The engine line-up ensures that there’s substance to go with the style. There’s one 222bhp diesel – which is smooth, refined and perfectly adequate – a 316bhp petrol and a 401bhp petrol hybrid with a great turn of pace.

Practicality is paramount for a large 4x4, and the Volvo combines plenty of room for seven with lots of comfort. It’s versatile, too, as each chair in the middle row slides independently, while the folding mechanism is simple. Plus, the extra two seats fold flat for a huge 1,102-litre boot.

Then there’s the next-generation safety kit. Volvo is known for pioneering new innovations, and with clever tech to help avoid a crash and keep you safe, the XC90 is one of the most advanced cars when it comes to protection. 

In all areas the Volvo excels, making it one of the most desirable cars on sale.

Our choice

XC90 D5 AWD Momentum (£45,750)

Entry-level trim doesn’t scrimp on kit or quality. The new XC90 is a big step up for Volvo, and even this bottom rung of the ladder can rival BMW, Mercedes and Land Rover’s best. Standard kit includes adaptive LED lights, climate control, nav and leather. Volvo’s full range of safety kit is also featured, including City Safety braking, lane departure warning and road sign recognition.

Commended

Kia Sorento KX-2 - front static

Kia Sorento

Building on its rugged image, the new Sorento adds a new sense of style to the mix. It still boasts impressive four-wheel- drive ability, but with decent efficiency from its new diesel engines and an upmarket styling makeover inside and out, Kia’s seven-seat off-roader is threatening the premium brands with its new-found luxury and versatility.

Range Rover Sport - front tracking

Range Rover Sport 

Price might hold the Range Rover Sport back in this company, but a sumptuous cabin and a serene ride, thanks to standard-fit air-suspension, mean it’s still a brilliant SUV. That suspension gives incredible off-road ability, but the Sport is also surprisingly capable in corners. A useful seven-seat layout is offered as an option, too.

Auto Express New Car Awards 2015 

For complete, in-depth coverage of the New Car Awards 2015, buy your collector's edition copy of the Auto Express magazine now...  

Mag cover awards 2015 issue

in association with

 

Recommended

Volvo XC90 review
Volvo XC90 front
Volvo XC90

Volvo XC90 review

Recent tech and style updates have kept the luxurious Volvo XC90 SUV at the forefront of its field
12 May 2021
Used Volvo XC90 review
Volvo XC90

Used Volvo XC90 review

A full used buyer’s guide on the Volvo XC90 covering the XC90 Mk2 (2014-date)
23 Nov 2020

Most Popular

New 2021 Vauxhall Astra teased for the first time
Vauxhall Astra teaser 1
Vauxhall Astra

New 2021 Vauxhall Astra teased for the first time

The new Vauxhall Astra will get electrified powertrains and a more premium image
8 Jun 2021
‘Our switch to electric will soon make driving manual cars a lost art'
Gearknob
Opinion

‘Our switch to electric will soon make driving manual cars a lost art'

Want to drive a manual car? You need to take your test in a manual car. So what happens once all driving-school cars are automatic EVs?
8 Jun 2021
New Vauxhall Astra prototype review
Vauxhall Astra prototype - front
Vauxhall Astra

New Vauxhall Astra prototype review

A new Vauxhall Astra is on the way and we've driven a prototype ahead of its official arrival
14 Jun 2021
'The hydrogen underdog disruptor is back in town'
Toyota Mirai opinion
Opinion

'The hydrogen underdog disruptor is back in town'

Mike Rutherford says hydrogen-powered cars could still be a frequent sight on UK roads
13 Jun 2021
UN report highlights ethical problems with electric cars
Electric car charging
News

UN report highlights ethical problems with electric cars

Analysis reveals lithium refining takes 65 per cent of Chilean region’s water, while 40,000 child miners dig for cobalt in DRC
14 Jun 2021
New Porsche Macan facelift prototype review
Porsche Macan prototype - front
Porsche Macan

New Porsche Macan facelift prototype review

We get behind the wheel of a prototype version of the facelifted Porsche Macan SUV
13 Jun 2021
Illegal car modification hotspots revealed
Volkswagen Polo exhaust
News

Illegal car modification hotspots revealed

Gloucestershire has the highest proportion of illegal car modifications, with altered number plates the most common breach
14 Jun 2021
'Factories are at a standstill because they can’t get the parts to finish cars'
Car manufacturing
Opinion

'Factories are at a standstill because they can’t get the parts to finish cars'

Steve Fowler points out the fresh issues facing global car manufacturing
9 Jun 2021
Volkswagen Golf GTI Clubsport vs Cupra Leon 300
Volkswagen Golf GTI Clubsport vs Cupra Leon 300
Car group tests

Volkswagen Golf GTI Clubsport vs Cupra Leon 300

The capable Volkswagen Golf GTI Clubsport goes up against its new Cupra Leon 300 sibling in this hot hatch battle
12 Jun 2021
New Nissan Qashqai production begins in Sunderland
Nissan Qashqai - front static
News

New Nissan Qashqai production begins in Sunderland

Nissan will offer every school child in the North East of England a place on the Nissan Skills Foundation course to mark 35 years of manufacturing in …
14 Jun 2021
New 2021 Volkswagen T7 Multivan replaces Caravelle
Volkswagen T7 Multivan - front
Volkswagen Caravelle

New 2021 Volkswagen T7 Multivan replaces Caravelle

The Volkswagen T7 Multivan MPV switches to the MQB platform and adds plug-in hybrid technology
10 Jun 2021
New 2021 Tesla Model S Plaid launched with 1,006bhp
Tesla Model S facelift - front
Tesla Model S

New 2021 Tesla Model S Plaid launched with 1,006bhp

Range-topping version of the Tesla Model S officially unveiled, with a sprint time of 0-60mph in less than two seconds
10 Jun 2021
New hydrogen-powered Land Rover Defender prototype in development
Land Rover Defender
Land Rover Defender

New hydrogen-powered Land Rover Defender prototype in development

The Land Rover Defender FCEV prototype will be assessed for off-road and long-range zero-emission motoring
14 Jun 2021
New Skoda Enyaq iV 2021 review
Skoda Enyaq iV 80 Sportline - front
Skoda Enyaq

New Skoda Enyaq iV 2021 review

The new Skoda Enyaq iV is the Czech firm’s first bespoke electric car and we've tested the full range on UK roads
10 Jun 2021