The FREE Complete Bay Area Auto Enthusiast Guide

A few months ago, Volvo had dispatched over a 2016 XC90 R-Design for us to drive. And recently, we had the one-up 2017 Inscription model parked in our driveway for a test drive. Undoubtedly, both are incredible rides we recommend wholeheartedly to the potential seven-passenger luxury SUV buyer.
The XC90 maintains the status quo power train with a T6 2.0-liter inline-4 turbocharged and supercharged engine cranking 316 horsepower @ 5700 rpm and 295 pounds-feet of torque @ 4500 rpm. The 8-speed auto gearbox in the front-wheel or all-wheel-drive SUV is as seamless as can be possible. And the start-stop feature (automatic engine stop when the vehicle halts) ensures substantial savings in fuel and weight.
The optional $5,600 Inscription trim gets you full LED headlights and Thors hammer-like daytime running lights surrounding a silver-matte grille, 20-inch, 10-spoke alloy wheels, Inscription badge on the tailgate, Nappa leather seats, dashboard, upper door panels and key fob, walnut wood inlays, cooled front seats, among other cool goodies. Volvo Sensus infotainment, with a distinct vertical 9-inch display touch screen, is essentially made up of four tiles: navigation, media, phone and user-defined. Activate one and watch it expand while keeping the other tiles visible for future use.
Standard safety features include dual front and side airbags, driver knee airbag, side curtain airbag, four-wheel antilock brakes, anti-whiplash front seats, rear park assist and camera, side impact protection system, dynamic stability and traction control, City Safety (brakes automatically to help prevent a rear-end collision), tire pressure monitoring system and daytime running lights.
Whether you are testing off-road prowess or on-road capability, the nearly 4,600-pound XC90 is astonishingly quick off the mark, sprightly in traffic and pleasing to drive. It is a smart choice if the steep price tag is within your reach!

XC90 (AWD)
Wheelbase: 117.5 inches
Length: 194.8 inches
Suspension: double wishbone front, integral axle rear
Steering: electric power rack and pinion
Drive modes: comfort, eco, dynamic, off-road, individual
Fuel capacity: 18.8 gallons
City: 20 mpg
Highway: 25 mpg
Base price: $51,600
Price as tested: $72,805
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CALLING ALL VOLVO DEALERS IN THE WEST CENTRAL AREA: if you would like to be listed here as one of the test-drive dealerships, e-mail us at