Let’s talk fashion for a second: we all strive to wear the “right thing,” but we’ll tear out of the room if our friend shows up wearing the same T-shirt. Yet for some reason, it’s totally fine that everyone drives the same car. Moving forward, I propose that we get a bit more clever about our rides—black BMW drivers, I’m looking at you—starting with what I consider to be the best crossover on the planet, the all-new 2016 Volvo XC90.
I suspect that if you’ve gotten even this far into this story, the XC90 in the photos has caught your eye. Trust me, it gets even more attention on the road. People are constantly taken aback by the XC90’s stately stance and cool details, all hewn without any sense of contrivance. Particularly in the case of the Inscription, with its 21-inch wheels and LED head- and taillamps, the XC90 proves you don’t have to have a blue-and-white roundel or a Three-Pointed Star on the hood to be in vogue. Volvo is on-fleek, bitches. Believe it.
It gets even better inside. The loaded Inscription test model I tested but came loaded with herringbone-oriented, open-pore linear walnut trim, Bentley-grade leather, and enough chrome jewelry—including elegant faceted knobs—giving Audi a run for its interior design money. Despite being a Chinese-owned company since 2010, Volvo is still run by Swedes, and ergonomic perfection rendered elegantly with minimal fuss is everything to these folks.
The XC90’s motivation comes courtesy of a supercharged and turbocharged four-cylinder, yielding V-8 power from half the cylinders. It also offers a nifty “Pilot Assist” mode that autonomously accelerates, brakes and lane-keeps for you under 30 mph, with a brilliant (ie: not-jerky) adaptive cruise control system for speeds higher than that.
Now, I realize that I’ve probably insulted about half of my readers, who may be staring out the window at a black BMW in the driveway, and I certainly don’t look down on anyone who drives one. But I’m not apologizing for saying that’s not exactly an inventive choice, especially when vehicles as stellar as the 2016 Volvo XC90 are an option. Even at its as-tested price of $66,855, the XC90 is a certifiable bargain next to comparably equipped German competitors. The money you save could buy a lot of backup T-shirts you can keep in the XC90’s secret under-floor cargo stash. You know, just in case.
2016 Volvo XC90
Base Price: $50,795
Power: turbocharged and supercharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder (316 hp, 295 lb-ft of torque)
Transmission: 8-speed automatic
Fuel Economy, city/hwy mpg (EPA est): 20/25
Or you could buy: