The fling of a lifetime
There’s a dark, handsome, intelligent Swede in my life mamas (no, it’s not Sassy Mama Sofia’s husband – although he does tick all aforementioned boxes) – I have fallen hopelessly in love with a car. Yes, it’s sad and very unlike me (am not a petrol head) but the new Volvo XC90 has quite literally stolen my heart after a very brief 2 day fling (test-drive).
The XC90 has long been the king of the school-run – it has 7 seats so there’s plenty of room for kids and kit (plus playdate pals), AND it’s been hailed as one of the safest SUV’s on the road! An A380 pilot friend I know says he wouldn’t drive anything else – and if it’s good enough for him then I’m jumping on that wagon (car). In fact safety has always been at the centre of Volvo’s appeal and, with the new model, the company has vowed that no one will die in any of its cars by 2020 – that’s pretty darn impressive – and frankly a good enough reason for every mama in Dubai to want one. But there’s more: the car is cool – I mean it looks nice and it does clever things. Driving it feels much like I’d imagine flying a plane does (will have to ask the pilot friend) – with an awesome interactive display much like an iPad, sensors that tell you if anyone’s getting too close, if the car is drifting across lanes, if you’re in danger of bumping the car in front (we’ve all had that heart-in-mouth moment while dealing with tantrums in the back) and it’s incredibly smooth and quiet. Until you crank up the stereo, complete with Bowers & Wilkins philharmonic orchestra hall surround sound – oh yeah baby!
There are awesome little extras like the built in booster seat, the fact that all 7 seats are configured ‘theatre style’ meaning that everyone gets a good view (important when you have kids fighting over who can see the camel on the side of the road – and amazing for all those epic desert adventures) and there are super sensitive parking sensors with 360 cameras on the back so reversing into Spinney’s spaces is a doddle. It’s so clever that it even knows when you have your hands full with shopping bags and will open the boot for you. What a true gent.
And the car is just gorgeous to look at (yes, it’s fickle but it’s true). I found myself smiling when walking towards it in the parking lot (much to my husband’s amusement – ditto when I just went to check the car was ok before bed) and feeling a little smug at the traffic lights – even when Mr. Lamborghini pulled up alongside. Yes, Mr. Volvo and I were invincible and pretty much the coolest thing on the road… For those 2 days.
Perfect for the school run, and when navigating the adventure that is Sheikh Zayed Road, we decided to have some fun with the Volvo and took him for a spin out to Al Qudra lakes (a teeny bit of safe off-roading), 3 adults, 3 kids and piles of picnic and kit left plenty of room. It was fun. Maybe a bit too much fun (mama got a speeding ticket – oops – should have turned on that speed control detector). I’m not going to tell you about the engine, the cylinders, the 0-100 capability because I really don’t have a clue about that stuff – but I do know that the car is economical, has a decent ‘kick’ when you put your foot down, has a few different driving modes (off-road, dynamic, and so on) – plus cruise-control where the car pretty much does everything – and there’s an eco-friendly hybrid model coming to the UAE soon.
Sadly, all great things must come to an end and my 2 day Volvo fling was no exception. The Volvo XC90 isn’t just the ultimate family car but also one sexy beast. A life-long love affair has begun – and we will meet again. Or as the Swedes say, ‘vi ses’.