The Volvo XC90 has caused a stir since it first arrived. It was the first new car the brand launched after being taken over by Chinese manufacturer Geely, so it couldn’t afford to be a failure. Critics might swooning over its seductive Scandinavian style but, until now, it might have been too subtle to appeal to more extroverted buyers.
Volvo is seeking to remedy this with the release of a new sporty trim for the XC90. Called R-Design, it brings some eye-catching visual upgrades and enhanced standard equipment to sweeten the deal. The package costs £3,535 on top of the basic £46,250 you’d pay for the Momentum trim on which R-Design is based.
Visually, the car makes much more of an impact than the non-R-Design model thanks to its unique 20-inch alloy wheels, silver-painted door mirrors, black front grille, and tinted windows. The lower front bumper has different inserts to complement the more aggressive front end.
Cabin occupants are treated to leather sports seats, a 12.3-inch driver’s information screen in place of the dials, a leather sports steering wheel and an electrically adjustable passenger seat. Sports pedals, black headlining, upgraded interior lights and a special leather R-Design key fob complete the extra equipment.
Drivers can make use of the driving modes that come standard on the R-Design and also vary the weight of the steering to suit more relaxed or sportier driving. Air suspension is optional and can be set to sport mode on the R-Design.
Safety still takes a top priority, however. You get autonomous city braking, driver fatigue detection, lane departure warning, curtain airbags and a system that prevents spinal injuries should you drive off the side of the road.
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