The Volvo XC90 is not only one of the world’s safest cars – it’s also one of the most massive. Pick the wrong colour and not only will it be expensive, but there’ll be a lot of it to keep clean, for a very long time indeed.
So before you get the chequebook ready, cast your eye over the options below and choose wisely…
There’s only two solid options for the XC90, both at no cost. However, one of the two is only available if you opt for a specific trim, so beware of limiting your colour options.
Ice White (£0)
White’s becoming something of a default choice now and on all but R Design models it’s the only no-cost option. However this kind of flat white doesn’t really suit the XC90 on two different levels.
Firstly there’s too many large, featureless expanses of metal on the car and white really highlights this. Less significantly perhaps is the use of white on police vehicles – and Volvo being a favoured brand of the thin blue line. You might find this useful while owning the car, but when it comes to selling it on, there’ll be many people who won’t touch a white Volvo – especially if you’ve racked up Space Shuttle mileage on it.
Passion Red (£0)
Available only on the R Design trim level as a zero cost alternative, this striking primary colour is the only red option for any of the XC90s.
It’s a nice red too, avoiding the plasticky looks you find in many cheap solid reds, and it sits well on some of the R Design-specific bits of bodywork. It’s well worth considering.
Magic Blue (£700)
Everyone loves a strong blue option and Magic Blue provides just that. It has a nice depth to it and particularly suits the Inscription specification model, with its extra chrome bits. However, if you’re into the R Design models you’ll have to look elsewhere for your blue fix as it’s not available.
Savile Grey (£700)
Not likely to be popular for many reasons, Savile Grey is another one of those colours that’s just the same colour as the road or the January sky. We don’t know of a single car that any grey suits better than any other colour and the colossal XC90 is no exception – it’s just too bland… Dodgy name, too.
Twilight Bronze (£700)
Every brand needs a brown, it seems, and Twilight Bronze is the XC90’s. Only you will know if you like brown exteriors but, like leather or wood, it lends an air of class that you won’t find elsewhere. It’s well worth considering here, but it’s not open to the sporty R Design buyers.
Bright Silver (£700)
It’s a pretty generic colour to go for, but it’s hard to dislike on the XC90. Available across the range, this silver sits on such creases and curves as the Volvo has reasonably well and will look good from most angles and in most weathers. A safe option for those with one eye on resale values.
Osmium Grey (£700)
The brighter and more silvered nature of Osmium Grey means it’s more of a lustrous shade – but it’ll still be camouflaged amongst 1970s concrete edifices and not a joy to walk towards on dingy winter work nights.
Onyx Black (£700)
Black is hard to beat for lustre but the XC90’s shape lacks clearly defined edges and without something to contrast the black it can, as with the white, look a little featureless. It’d make for a stealthy option on the T8-engined R Design models, but tricky to keep clean on salty winter roads!
Luminous Sand (£700)
This one’s a pretty curious colour – a creamy-beige that leans into an almost gold colour in some lights. It’s not offered on R Design models. The configurator image above doesn’t quite give the best impression of the shade, so don’t dismiss it too quickly.
Bursting Blue (£700)
Available only on the R Design model, this petrol blue isn’t quite as sharp as the Magic Blue but it is nonetheless a good primary colour choice. Again, the extra trim pieces on the R Design are enhanced by the colouring and there’s just enough detail for the shape to pull it off.
There’s three special finishes above the metallic ones that give an extra dimension for a little extra money. Again, they aren’t all available on all trims so, if you have your heart set on a colour, beware of specifying your car out of range.
Electric Silver (£1000)
This kind of silver-blue is a Volvo classic and works for many of the same reasons that Luminous Sand does – combining the detail-flattering silver with a stronger colour. It’s one of the best three shades the XC90 comes in and well worth the outlay.
Ember Black (£1000)
This one is probably our favourite, but R Design buyers will have to find another alternative. Layering black over brown, you get a nice deep shine mixed with a dark orange in direct sunlight. Of course, keeping it clean will be a bit of an issue…
Crystal White (£1000)
Pearlescent whites like this are just about peerless on a bright sunny day, but we don’t get many of those in the UK, so much of the time this will look like the base Ice White. Whether the odd glimpse of just how nicely this sparkles on rare occasions is with the £1000 premium is down to the individual, but we’d look elsewhere.