Last year I declared that the 2016 Volvo SC-90 T6 Inscription was the best vehicle I had ever driven. I know that is saying a lot, but the combination of performance, tech and luxury accouterments made the XC-90 stand out above the crowd. When it was time for me to jump behind the wheel of the 2017 version, needless to say, expectations were high.
The 2017 XC-90 does not disappoint. There are only minor tech upgrades and a few small enhancements, but I’m glad that Volvo was smart enough to not mess with a good thing.
As I had the XC-90 for ten days, I really wanted to put it through its paces with all of the varied driving challenges we face in Southern California. I visited Joshua Tree National Park, Malibu Beach and then took a long weekend driving through Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks. This was the perfect combination of desert, mountain and city driving.
Below are the five killer features that I love about the XC-90.
Built-In Front Seat Massagers
Massagers were available on the 2016 model, but I must have missed them among the myriad of options and settings available through the tablet-style touch screen. This might seem extraneous to you but during my long drives, the massagers combined with the built-in seat ventilators kept me from getting too uncomfortable sitting for long periods and actually helped keep me more alert. You can select the type, intensity and speed of your massage.
360-degree Surround View Camera System
Rear-view cameras are standard now on most vehicles and are a tremendous safety improvement. Volvo takes that one step further by providing a virtual birds-eye view 360-degrees around the entire vehicle. Backing the XC-90 is a breeze and the rear-collision sensors will alert you to any objects approaching the rear of the vehicle, providing an additional level of safety.
Bowers & Wilkens Premium Sound System
The 19-speaker, 1400-watt Bowers and Wilkens sound system turns the interior of the XC-90 into a concert hall. Since this system was custom designed for the XC-90, you get the best listening experience possible. The subwoofer is built into the sub frame so if you’re into bone-tumping beats, you will be well taken care of.
Power Seat-Cushion Extensions
As a tall man, I tend to suffer a little leg fatigue on long drives. Standard car seats are not deep enough to provide me with proper support for the backs of my legs. The power seat-cushion extenders are extra wide and offer better thigh support, particularly for taller occupants.
Adaptive Cruise Control
I mentioned this in last year’s review of the 2016 XC-90, but it deserves to be mentioned again. The idea is that the vehicle uses sensors to maintain a safe driving distance between you and the vehicles in front of you. ACC will not only slow you when necessary but will also brake you to a stop, then accelerate back to your selected speed. This is indispensable if you live in an area with bumper-to-bumper traffic. Also, coupled with the lane departure warning system, you will be alerted to pull over and take a break if you start weaving in your lane.
There is nothing about the 2017 version of the Volvo XC-90 T6 Inscription that would change our minds about this being the best vehicle we have ever driven. It looks, feels and sounds fantastic and you will be proud to be seen around town driving it. If you spend a lot of time on the road, this will be your luxurious and comfortable home away from home.