New Sasol GTC cars set for thrills

The iconic Grand Prix Circuit will present a new challenge to the GTC drivers as they tackle the country’s fastest racetrack on June 16.

Suzuki’s new Swift hatch and sedan in SA

Suzuki kicks off its new model assault with an all new Swift hatchback and standalone sedan called the Dzire.

2004 Volvo XC90 D5, 2.5T

2004-03-08 11:13

Wilmer Muller

The 2.5T petrol and D5 turbo-diesel joins the XC90 T6, which was launched last year.

Volvo South Africa says the launch of these two models will increase overall appeal of the XC90, which is the company's first SUV.

Like the T6 range-topper both new models are available as five or seven-seaters. None of the XC90's rivals such as the BMW X5 and Mercedes ML have the seven-seat option.

The sad news is that Volvo SA tells us there is a very long waiting list of about six to eight months for the XC90 due to overwhelming local and international demand for the vehicle.

All XC90s are also well-equipped and come with more standard comfort features than competitors. Typically Volvo there is no compromise on safety and the vehicle is loaded with all sorts of gizmos to ensure a safe ride.

Despite obvious safety features such as ABS, EBD and EBA, buyers of the XC90 will also find that it has Roll-Over Protection System (ROPS), Roll -Stability Control (RSC), the Side Impact Protection System (SIPS) and the Inflatable Curtain (IC).

Some of the XC90's standard comfort features are:

  • A six-disc CD front loader and a Volvo High Performance sound system
  • Electrical seat adjustment for both driver and front passenger
  • Laminated side windows for extra vehicle security
  • An extended front tunnel console with cup-holders for rear passengers
  • lluminated vanity mirrors in sun visors for driver as well as front passenger;
  • The very popular child booster cushion in the rear centre position
  • Rear headset sockets, volume control and track selection preparation in the C-pillar of all 7-seater models.


    XC90 2.5T

  • 2 521 cm³
  • Light-pressure turbo-charged five-cylinder petrol
  • 154 kW at 5 000 r/min
  • 320 Nm at 1 500 r/min
  • 12 litres/100km in a combined cycle

    XC90 D5

  • 2 401 cm³
  • Transverse five-cylinder turbo-diesel
  • 120 kW at 4 000 r/min
  • 340 Nm at 1 750 r/min
  • 9.1 litres/100km in a combined cycle

    Both versions come with Volvo's 5-speed Geartronic automatic transmission as standard.

    With Geartronic, the driver gets the best of both worlds: on one hand, the transmission can be left to take care of gear changing entirely automatically, or the driver can over-ride the system to change gears manually without a clutch pedal.

    The automatic transmission is adaptive, which means it monitors driving style and adjusts the gear-changing pattern accordingly.

    It also features a "W" setting for winter driving on slippery surfaces. Here, the car starts off in a higher gear to avoid wheelspin and loss of control. Also useful in very muddy conditions...

    Both models impressed with a smooth and refined ride. Despite the smaller engine configuration when compared to the T6 the new derivatives didn't seem lazy or under powered at any stage.

    In fact both the 2.5T and D5 were quite punchy and typical Volvo there are extremely capable on any road surface.

    The 2.5T offers enough pace while the D5 is also strong and refined. There is very little engine and road noise while the D5's noise levels are also kept to a respectable level.

    Whichever engine, the overall driving experience is comfortable. Uneven road surfaces and gravel stretches are child's play for the XC90 and at no stage one will feel unsafe in the car.

    The Geartronic gearbox is also silky smooth.


    The XC90 comes with an intelligent electronically-controlled all-wheel-drive system.

    Developed in close co-operation with one of the foremost experts in this area - Haldex of Sweden - the four-wheel-drive system in the XC90 operates entirely independently of driver input, with power distributed automatically between the front and rear wheels for best possible grip on all types of road surfaces.

    The system is intelligent in that it monitors the vehicle's contact with the road surface and assesses the signals that the driver receives through the steering wheel, brake pedal and accelerator.

    This information then helps determine whether, and if so how, the system should respond. In normal driving on dry roads almost all power is delivered to the front wheels.

    If the road surface causes the front wheels to slip, power is proportionately diverted to the rear wheels.

    With electronically activated four-wheel-drive, AWD engagement takes place quickly, after just one-seventh of a wheel turn, which eliminates wheelspin and ensures reliable road grip.

    What this means in practice is that the car always feels sure-footed, no matter whether on tar or very rough and rocky off-road conditions.

    The car is fitted with Volvo's Dynamic Stability and Traction Control (DSTC) which prevents the car oversteering in high-speed cornering or on loose dirt or ice.

    However, since this works by cutting power and selectively braking the wheels, it can be switched off for off-road use so the AWD system can sense when to switch the power to a non-slipping wheel while still maintaining forward drive.


  • XC90 2.5T (5-seater) - R440 000
  • XC90 2.5T (7-seater) - R470 000
  • XC90 D5 (5-seater) - R450 000
  • XC90 D5(7-seater) - R480 000

    All models come with a comprehensive five-year/100 000km Volvo service and maintenance plan.

  • CLICK HERE to read about the XC90 T6 model.


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