Swede Emotion: The 2020 Volvo XC90 T6 R-Design

Front 3/4 view of 2020 Volvo XC90 T6 R-Design
The 2020 Volvo XC90 T6 R-Design.
There are those who say that, puns based on Aerosmith song titles aside, the words "Swede" and "Emotion", at least in matters mechanical, should never be next to each other.  That the reputation for safety, precision and perfection force emotion out of the equation.

I can only assume those people have never driven a contemporary Volvo---and certainly not an R-Design Volvo.

Rear 3/4 view of 2020 Volvo XC90 T6 R-Design

Case in point, the 2020 Volvo XC90 T6 R-Design.  The XC90 has been the quiet choice for affluent families since its introduction in 2003.  But much has changed in those 17 years.

Engine in 2020 Volvo XC90 T6 R-Design

Under the hood, there's a two-liter four-cylinder engine that is both turbocharged and supercharged. End result? 316 horsepower, 295 pounds per foot of torque.  It's mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission and all-wheel drive with instant traction and selectable drive modes are standard.  Sixty miles an hour happens from a standing start in 6.1 seconds and fuel economy is a respectable EPA estimated 18 city/26 highway.

Interior view of 2020 Volvo XC90 T6 R-Design

Rear seat in 2020 Volvo XC90 T6 R-Design

Accomodations are, as expected, safe, sturdy and luxurious.

Base price for the 2020 Volvo XC90 T6 R-Design is $56,300 and that brings with it a comprehensive list of standard features:

  • Electric power-assisted steering.
  • Anti-lock braking with hill start assist.
  • Advanced Electronic Stability Control.
  • 20-inch alloy wheels with all-season tires.
  • Nine-inch integrated Sensus touchscreen.
  • Sensus Navigation Pro.
  • Wi-Fi hotspot with complimentary trial subscription.
  • Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
  • 12.3-inch driver display.
  • Volvo On Call with four-year complimentary subscription including mobile app with remote start.
  • 600 watt, 14-speaker Harman Kardon premium audio system.
  • HD Radio.
  • Two USB ports.
  • Bluetooth handsfree with audio streaming.
  • SiriusXM Satellite Radio with free 3-month trial subscription.
  • Collision avoidance by City Safety (detects vehicle/pedestrian/large animal)
  • Run off-road protection and run-off road mitigation.
  • Lane-keeping aid and oncoming lane mitigation.
  • Rear park assist and rear park assist camera.
  • Road sign information.
  • Supplemental restraint system (airbags).
  • Side Impact Protection System.
  • Whiplash Protection System (front seats).
  • Unibody high-strength steel safety cage.
  • Five three-point safety belts with pre-tensioners.
  • Child safety locks in rear doors.
  • Hill descent control.
  • LED headlights with Thor's Hammer daytime running lights and auto high-beams.
  • Seven-passenger seating.
  • Blind Spot Information System with steer assist and cross traffic alert with Autobrake.
  • Pilot Assist-driver assistance system with adaptive cruise control.
  • Laminated panorama moonroof with power sunshade.
  • R-Design Nappa leather sport seats.
  • R-Design leather sport steering wheel and gearshift knob.
  • Heated front seats.
  • Ten-way power front seats and driver seat memory.
  • Keyless entry & drive with hands-free power tailgate.
  • Four-zone automatic climate control with CleanZone
  • HomeLink and compass in rearview mirror.
  • Tinted rear door and cargo bay windows.
  • Auto-dimming interior and exterior mirrors.
  • Heated windshield washer nozzles.
Front seats in 2020 Volvo XC90 T6 R-Design

Gauge cluster in 2020 Volvo XC90 T6 R-Design

Infotainment screen in 2020 Volvo XC90 T6 R-Design

Our tester also had some extra-cost options---$17,440 worth, to be exact:

  • R-Design Features (R-Design exterior elements, R-Design Nappa Leather Sport Seats, Front seats with power cushion extensions, metal mesh aluminum deco inlays, steering wheel shift paddles and sport pedals, black headliner, R-Design 20-inch alloy wheels with all-season tires, park assist front, sunblinds for side rear windows, tailored dashboard, interior high level illumination): $5,700.
  • Advanced Package (Full LED headlights with active bending lights, headlight high pressure cleaning system, 360-degree surround view camera, graphical head-up display): $2,450.
  • Heated rear seats and heated steering wheel: $750.
  • Thunder Grey Metallic paint: $645.
  • Integrated center booster cushion: $300.
  • Bowers and Wilkins premium sound system: $3,200.
  • Park assist pilot: $200.
  • Four-corner air suspension: $1,800.
  • 22-inch five-double spoke wheels with summer tires: $1,100.
Front view of 2020 Volvo XC90 T6 R-Design

Rear view of 2020 Volvo XC90 T6 R-Design

With $995 destination charge, the bottom line on the window sticker reads $74,735.

That last number is more of a shock than it should be, because of the wide gap between it and the base price.  But---if Volvo simply went to a one-price option of $74,735 for a loaded XC90 T6 R-Design---call it "Ultra" or "Ultimate" or something---I couldn't argue that it's not worth it.  

As shocking as it may be if you've been out of the SUV market for a while, 74 grand is not-quite-even-loaded Chevy Tahoe money these days, and the Volvo XC90 is a far more refined machine.