WHENEVER THE annual Tourism Indaba is about to take place in Durban, everyone and everything that matters get prepped up.
Having said that another mode of transport that we all prefer comes along as well: cars.
The bosses at the Swedish car manufacture decided to lend us their exclusive Volvo XC90 SUV, to test drive this beau and attend this showpiece that contributes billions into the coffers of KZN province GDP.
Once you realise Volvo has created premium sedans throughout its history, you sit up and take notice. Volvo knows how to build big cars but the automaker never knew how to make them look really good. The S90 fixes that problem because this latest model looks exquisite!
Sporting the optional 21″ twisted five spoke alloy wheels draped in comically slim low profile rubber, this Volvo S90 looks menacing, as we wandered through the hills and mountains of Drakensberg- it played along.
The Swedish it must be pointed out are not here for games, having earlier this year unleashed the CX40 SUV that goes to show it’s officially the new benchmark for seven seat premium SUVs.
The S90 is low, wide and lengthy, and my Gran was worried about the parking space, complemented by a huge boot that seamlessly packed a two-week traveling luggage, etc.
It comes packed in leather all over, wood, posh plastic and dull, but expensive looking metal bits. The Thor’s Hammer headlights and full LED and somewhat awkward looking tail lights make another appearance as per modern Volvos but some new features include a 360 degree camera system to help you avoid those curbs with those enormous wheels.
The 19-speaker Bowers & Wilkins audio system is practically religious in its performance and quite frankly the Volvo S90 puts its competitors to shame.
Not only is it larger than the competition (Mercedes-Benz S-Class or BMW 7 Series), it also betters them on standard features as well as fuel consumption and emissions. It uses 5.0-litres of diesel per 100km. We did not visit any petrol station (except when nature called) as it came full tank until our arrival in the bustling and hustling Durban CBD, were the Indian Ocean awaited us.
It clocked 7.2 litres per 100km a satisfactory for the performance.
S90 tipped over the R1 million mark with all its extra parking gadgets, driving aids, safety systems and creature comforts, but in this form it easily stands shoulder to shoulder with similarly BMW 530i and Mercedes E250 models in terms of pure poshness and perceived quality.
As we left ‘Kingdom is Calling’ the marketing tag, Durbanites were still wondering what hit them as we snaked along the famous beach in silence the Volvo S90 is synonymous for.
The S90, D4 is powered with the 140kW/400Nm engine.
It retails for R680 000.
Volvo sells their own insurance for under R1000 a month with all S90s.
1-10 (Performance) 8
1-10 (Diesel) 8