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Roseville, Calif. – It was a unanimous decision, one we totally agreed upon, which is not the norm in this family of three. With no hesitation, the beautifully-designed 2017 Volvo XC90 received the thumbs up.

That shouldn’t come as a surprise. During a week of test-driving the XC90, the praise from total strangers was hefty and came from both men and women. And none of them even got behind the wheel of this luxury crossover sport utility vehicle.

There are plenty of reasons to be enamored with the XC90. First off, it’s a very attractive vehicle and the white color made it even more appealing. It has a bold yet sophisticated look that would make any owner proud to have the XC90 parked in the driveway for the neighbors to admire.

For technological geeks, there’s lots to love. And it starts with merely turning on and off the engine, which is initiated from a knob near the center console. The large center console in the elegantly-stylish cabin features a touch screen that uses infrared technology that reportedly improves response time.

Volvo XC90

  • Performance: turbocharged 2.0-liter, four cylinder, 250 horsepower; 2.0-liter supercharged and turbocharged four-cylinder, 316 horsepower; 2.0-liter supercharged and turbocharged hybrid, 400 horsepower
  • Mileage estimate: 22-26 mpg; 20-25 mpg; 24-27 mpg
  • Price estimate: $52,230 to $72,800
  • Warranty: 4 years/50,000 miles; drivetrain: 4 years/50,000 miles; roadside assistance:4 years/unlimited; corrosion: 12 years/unlimited

The XC90 has three rows and seats seven people pretty comfortably. Like all Volvos, this one has an exorbitant amount of safety features that add considerable value and result in peace of mind. Among the features are frontal collision detection with automatic braking (the brakes are applied if the driver attempts to turn in front of an oncoming car). There’s also energy-absorbing seat cushions and self-tightening seat belts if the SUV suddenly careens off the road.

The engines are also a bit novel. The XC90 has an innovative supercharged and turbocharged engine – there are no V6 or V8 options. Take your pick, all three Volvo engines are performance laden and get sufficient gas mileage for an SUV.

The standard engine (T5) is a turbo 2.0-liter, four cylinder that produces 250 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. It goes 0-60 mph in 7.5 seconds. There’s also a (T6) 2.0-liter supercharged and turbocharged four cylinder that generates 316 horsepower, 295 pound-feet of torque, and can travel 0-60 mph in 6.6 seconds.

The quickest of the group is the XC90 plug-in hybrid (T8), that’s also a 2.0-liter supercharged and turbocharged model with 443 pound-feet of torque, and is aided by an 87-horsepower electric motor. The combined horsepower is 400 and the hybrid reportedly goes 0-60 mph in 5.5 seconds. From a standard 120-volt wall outlet, charging takes seven hours. The electric range is a mere 14 miles.

A knock against the XC90 is the overall acceleration is less than some of its leading rivals like the Acura MDX, BMW X5 and Mercedes-Benz GLS-Class. Although the Volvo SUV performs well on nice surfaces, it doesn’t provide as smooth a ride on bumpy roads.

An impressive blend of textures – wood, metal, leather, carbon-fiber accents – gives the XC90 interior a sophisticated look. Both front seat and second row occupants provide a healthy amount of room and comfort. And even the third row won’t feel too cramped for most adults. Cargo space is 15.8 cubic feet behind the third row and when the two rows are folded the capacity increases to 85.7 cubic feet. Some of the technology can be difficult to initially master.

There is plenty of reasons to like the Volvo XC90, starting with its attractive exterior. It’s an SUV with lots of sophistication, the usual tremendous amount safety considerations, and an abundance of modern technology.

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