Big body S-Class Benz too flashy for you? Or perhaps you want Range Rover Autobiography ride height and room but without the killer $137,000 USD starting price tag?
Well, oddly enough Volvo may have the answer for you in the new top-step XC90 Excellence. Based on our 2016 SUV of the Year-winning XC90 in T8 plug-in hybrid trim, the Excellence model piles on the luxury. It might sound steep at $105,895 USD, especially when you consider that the XC90 line starts at $44,945 USD, but after spending time in the back seat, we can see where the money goes and tell you that even at the six-figure price tag, it feels like a relative bargain. Especially for someone who wants luxurious amenities but may be shy about advertising her wealth. Check it out.
On the outside it looks like a regular Volvo XC90 in T8 Plug-in Hybrid trim; our SUV of the Year is as handsome as ever.
Seats: Extra Room
Subtract three seats and what do you get? Extra room for your chauffeured passengers and for a center console full lavish features.
Seats: Massaging, Reclining, Heated, Cooled
The seats are covered in soft, perforated leather and feature power adjustable seats that recline, massage, and can be heated and cooled.
To adjust the seats position, temperature, and massage function, there is a slick touchscreen controller that pops out of the center console.
The center console features a large binnacle lined with soft fabric. As you’d expect, there are power points for charging phones and other devices.
Under the lid and nestled into the sides of the center console are two airline-style tray tables that flip up and slide out. They’re small but sturdy with metal frames and circular indentations for holding a beverage.
Speaking of beverages, behind the console and under the Bowers & Wilkins speaker you’ll find a temperature-controlled box. You can use this space to heat and cool food, drinks, anything really, and it is surprisingly deep. There is space for two full-size champagne bottles, stored standing up (or bottles of Ramlsa, one Sweden’s favorite mineral waters).
For drinking, Volvo designers contracted Swedish crystal specialist Orrefors, which also crafted the XC90’s clear shift lever up front. The special glass flutes have no bases, just stems that can be firmly nestled into clever holders ahead of the console and in the refrigerator (for chilling along with the Mot.)
To keep the wind at bay when the rear hatch is open, the XC90 Excellence has a clear partition separating the rear passenger compartment from the cargo hold.
For entertainment, Volvo mounts iPads to the backs for the front seat headrests, which are tethered to the car for power. This is an inexpensive and ingenious solution to the problem of developing your hardware and software.