On-Call a popular feature in the Volvo XC90 Uplift

Recently the Scandanavian brand unveiled its Uplifted XC90 in Cape Town, and to lead the innovations and systems featured in the car, was none other than Charmagne Mavudzi – Head of Marketing and Communication for Volvo Cars South Africa.

The latest XC90 follows in footsteps of the all-new XC90, launched globally in 2015.

Upon landing in the overcast and rainy ‘Mother City’ from the Cape Town International, we were directed to the cars inside the airport to fiddle.

Fiddle we did as we traversed from one destination to another, trying to establish what’s the fuss all about the refreshed product.

Aha, the techno-savvy 2020 XC90 comes standard with Volvo On Call, an innovative app-based service that helps motorists to communicate with their cars, as we realised upon approaching the car from the parking lot.

It facilitates a multitude of tasks: with Volvo On Call, motorists can lock or unlock the doors to their car, check the fuel level and cool or heat their car – and they can do this all via their smartphone, smartwatch, tablet or desktop. Aha.

Yes, cos’ it’s a new app it was bound we were going to encounter some minor glitches- but from then onwards it was LETS PLAY! The app is already available internationally.

According to the likeable Greg Maruszewski, Managing Director of Volvo Car South Africa, Volvo on Call is a key to the digital world. “One app gives Volvo drivers control over their car’s functions. It also provides access to a world of convenient services,” he reveals.

He explains that, with Volvo On Call, a car becomes far more than just a means of travel. “It becomes your personal assistant. It can tell you about the best coffee spots in town and send the destination to your car’s navigation system. It knows when you have appointments, where they are and how to get you there.”

Apart from the new app, it comes fitted with new wheels, new exterior colours and a modern new grille- so is new six-seat configuration. Yep, boys being boys we opted to travel in four to test the leg-room, of which for the tallest guy it meant he had to do a bit of squeezing!

The interior combines materials such as soft leather and wood with handcrafted details, including a gear lever made of crystal glass from Orrefors, the famous Swedish glassmaker, on the T8 Inscription and diamond-cut controls for the start/stop button and volume control. The superlative and award-winning interior design now includes two USB ports as standard as well as a telematics unit with a P-Sim card slot.

As well as ample space for passengers, there is a flexible load compartment with up to 1 856 litres of space.

On the safety front, it features Adaptive Cruise Control, Distance Alert, Lane Keeping Aid, Run-Off Road Mitigation/Protection, Driver Alert Control, Road Sign Information, Electronic Stability Control, Emergency Brake Light, Brakes with Hill Start Assist and Automatic Hold, Automatic braking after a collision, Roll-Over Protection System, Roll Stability Control, reinforced passenger compartment, SIPS™ side impact protection system, collapsible steering column, side and dual-stage airbags (for the driver and front passenger), inflatable curtain, WHIPS™ whiplash injury protection system and City Safety with Autobrake (which recognises pedestrians, cyclists and large animals).

However, the take off was a bit of a turn-off especially were hills and Mountains came to play!

The turbocharged diesel engine XC90 D5 Geartronic AWD delivers 173 kW at 4 000 r/min and 480 Nm of torque at 1 750 – 2 250 r/min. Fuel consumption – at 5,7 litres per 100 km (combined) – is frugal and the XC90 T5 AWD is equipped with a 187 kW petrol engine, which features a high-pressure turbo. It delivers 350 Nm of torque at 1 500 to 4 800 r/min. Fuel consumption is a commendable 7,6 litres per 100 km (combined).

The outside of the car is distinguished by 20-inch diamond-cut alloy wheels, black door mirrors and a gloss black mesh front grille.

Having joined the company last year, and already hitting the ground running- the immaculate Mavudzi pointed out although the brand is loved in South Africa, they intend to sustain the momentum by acceding to the demands of the market, ‘without losing ball’.

“We’re happy with our brand sales in SA considering the premium segment we’re in, also noting the sales decline globally, etc.”

Having joined the male dominated industry, Mavudzi says her role and the company will be different hence the launch of the new app-of which according to her, will be convenient to use by clients.

“Its human eccentricity hence our marketing strategy or approach is to partner with celebrities who are authentic and will deliver the right message to the right market,” she alluded during audience on the side-lines at our host for the evening- Gorgeous George Hotel, a new establishment with only three-months in the hospitality industry- perched in the heart and beat of Cape Town CBD.

This is the very first SUV to boast six-seater in mzansi- according to Mavudzi.

All Volvos come standard with:

  • 5 year / 100 000km Warranty and Maintenance Plan (Volvo Plan).
  • 5 year / unlimited mileage Roadside Assistance.
  • DataDot application.

For pricing visit www:

Images SLM (The Scandanavian XC90 uplift launch in Cape Town backed by astounding overcast weather and pulsating mountains).

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