Volvo XC90

Volvo’s Subzero XC90 has thawed the completion with such an icy-suave exterior, you’d expect to find a welrod pistol in the glove compartment.

Building REALLY SAFE CARS is what cemented Volvo’s reputation, and mitigated those robust, 90-deg jagged edges. But unless you’ve had an airbag stop your face from rebounding off of the dashboard, safety ranks in pretty low. You’re going to care more about the number of USB ports than the airbag count.

This is why Volvo has teamed up with Avicii. For starters, they’re both Swedish, and Avicii’s music library is proliferated by digital technology, just like the XC90’s cabin. For the rest, they’re just two brands wanting to redefine a genre. A warning for an upcoming bad pun; Volvo saw the DJ icon as a way of crowd-surfing to the next “level”.

A thinly veiled estate that redeems bad life choices, this is not! Volvo refers to the T-shaped lights as “Thor’s Hammer,” and the rest of the square gravitas gives another definition to the term “house”. It has the oiled muscle needed to smash through the competition, and exquisite alloys in a 20-inch diameter.

And when the bass drops through the 19-speaker, Bowers & Wilkins system, the XC90 lofts its hands to the beat of efficiency and turbo power. Petrol or diesel, all engines are confined to 2.0 litres, a concern if you live in the capacity-conscious Middle East. But you’d never believe their size from the way they hustle the big Volvo along, through the smoothest eight gears in the business.

And the all-wheel drive is Scandinavian approved, able to plough its way across all textures of snow, thanks to its new, frosted, lightweight materials, which skim 120kg off of the old , so that it transcends lakes layered with precariously thin ice. Should you want to conquer more South African terrain, the optional air suspension raises the height by 40mm.

Tablets will be at home when playing on Volvo’s slick control system, which eliminates countless clutter in the process. Pinch and swipe through menus, and upload music through Apple’s CarPlay or Android Auto before tethering through the on-board Wi-Fi. It’s so much fun, you’ll forget to watch the road, but the XC90 has that covered, maintaining speed and direction, watching out for pedestrians and doing what Volvo does best… be incredibly safe.

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