‘Nothing will fox this car, not your active lifestyle, nor your ridiculous boat’
Friends of mine already have the Volvo XC90, the previous incarnation, which to all intents and purposes is the same, only not so safe. (When I say “not so safe”, that is within the margin of “extremely safe: I would look as safe to an inhabitant of the 80s or 90s as a Bugaboo would look to a person on a ski lift”.) The new version has its sensors and its autobraking, its blind spot information system, its cross traffic alert (a lane discipline feature, basically) and its intelligent cruise control, which effectively enables you not only to stop driving but also to go to sleep. It’s a progressive version of the mega-car, cocooning its inhabitants but paying more than lip service to the fact that it is also nice not to kill cyclists.
Back to my friends – I asked them what they thought of the previous model, and the man said: “This is really a criticism of myself more than the car – when all you ever do is drive two miles down a gentle hill, and then two miles back up, this is the worst car imaginable.” The woman said: “I like the automatic tailgate, it’s designed so you can sit on it and take your wellies off. But when all you ever walk on is pavement…” It’s not an urban car, or if you think it is – you see them everywhere – then you’re not an urban person.