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Another facelift for Volvo XC90

Big Swede: Another MY12 XC90 has emerged in Europe, but is unlikely for Oz.

Volvo’s ageing XC90 family SUV gets a tweak, for European markets at least

8 Sep 2011

VOLVO has given its nine-year-old XC90 a small, mostly cosmetic facelift for the 2012 model year, but the changes are unlikely to apply to Australia’s version of the seven-seat luxury SUV in the near future.

It’s pretty hard to spot the changes brought about by this facelift from the outside, with only subtle tweaks having been made to the large wagon’s familiar wedged, high-shouldered appearance.

The revisions include new daytime running lights at the front, a redesigned silver metallic bumper, standard silver-effect roof-rails for all models and new colour-coordinated lower door mouldings.

The rear gets freshened tail-lights and turn indicators as well as LED brake lights, while new six-spoke matt-silver 18-inch wheels are also available.

Changes to the interior are similarly subtle, although Volvo says it has refined the three-spoke steering wheel, made aluminium décor standard in all models and tweaked the watch dial-inspired instrument design.

The rear tailgate, which is divided into an upper and lower section, gets a colour co-ordinated leather grab-handle, while the load cover has come in for a redesign. As in previous models, all the passenger seats still fold to make a fully flat loading area.

The sporty R-Design variant, which is one of the two specification levels offered by Volvo Cars Australia, also gets redesigned upholstery, inlays, door panels and brand-new 19-inch wheels.

18 center imageThe latest facelift brings no changes to the current engine line-up, comprised of a naturally aspirated 3.2-litre petrol six-cylinder with 179kW of power and 320Nm of peak torque (at 3200rpm), as well as a 2.4-litre D5 turbo-diesel with 147kW and 420Nm (between 1900 and 2800rpm).

European models also get an upgraded mobile application as part of the Volvo On Call communications system that allows the owner to access a range of car-related data on their mobile phone.

Features include a car locator, the ability to start the heater remotely, access to vehicle information such as remaining range and average fuel consumption, and a ‘car health check’ that gives status updates on basic maintenance issues such as coolant level, oil level and light bulb life.

XC90s with this update do not look like appearing here in the near future, however, since it is fewer than two months since Volvo Australia announced a different MY12 update for the XC90 that also involved streamlining the size of the range.

The company axed the slow-selling V8 petrol and entry-level versions from the local line-up, while adding more equipment and cutting the starting price of remaining Executive and R-Design variants.

Since Volvo still has a few MY11 cars in local stock and the MY12’s arrival in Australian showrooms in this guise is imminent, Europe’s latest facelift is unlikely to become available here for a while, if at all.

Beyond that, US reports have quoted senior Volvo executives as confirming the Swedish luxury car-maker will produce a new-generation XC90, which should appear within a few years.

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