blended into even more complex forms. The beltline and the sharpened shoulders connecting with the distinctive new rear lights are other design signatures that will be mirrored across the range.
The interior is even more boldly-styled, with a massive tablet-like touch screen control console helping to create an interior that is modern, spacious and uncluttered.
Volvo’s clearly put a lot of budget into driving up materials quality and this XC90 gets soft leather and wood with handcrafted details, including a gear lever made of crystal glass from Orrefors, the Swedish glassmaker, and diamond-cut controls for the start/stop button and volume control. All XC90 variants come with seven seats, automatic transmission and AWD and there’s a choice of three main models.
Minority choices include a potent 320PS petrol turbo T6 and the unique T8 Twin Engine petrol/electric plug-in hybrid variant.
Most UK buyers though, will want the volume 225PS D5 diesel version. D5 pricing starts at just over £45,000, while you’ll need a budget from £50,000 if you opt for the T6. There’s a choice of ‘Momentum’, ‘R-Design’ and ‘Inscription’ trim levels.
Top models can be ordered with features like 21-inch Inscription alloy wheels and powered, heated and ventilated seats trimmed in Nappa leather.
Inside, the tablet-like touch screen in the centre console drives the minor controls and a whole host of Internet-based products and services.
XC90 safety gear includes a run off-road protection package which tightens seatbelts and activates energyabsorbing technology in the seats when the car detects challenging terrain ahead.
Another system is the auto-braking feature, which cuts in if a driver pulls out in front of oncoming traffic. Both safety systems aim to bring Volvo closer to its vision of nobody being seriously injured or killed in any of its vehicles by 2020.
The Cotswold set might be disappointed by the extrovert exterior but it’s hard not to love the sheer audacity of the XC90’s cabin, complete with its tablet-style input screen, brilliant safety systems and continuing focus on comfort.
Adapt or perish, now as ever, is nature’s inexorable imperative.
This XC90 is Volvo’s natural progression.