Expert view on design Volvo XC40 R3Q exterior detail and giff option
2:30 AM | August 29 2018

Stunning. Captivating. Brave. The word on Volvo Cars’ design revolution

From the Volvo XC90 luxury seven-seater SUV to the Volvo XC40 premium compact SUV, automotive experts have been charmed and mesmerised by Volvo Cars’ bold new styling philosophy.

Beautiful proportions. Stunning details. Contemporary, yet traditional.

Volvo Cars’ strikingly bold design language – introduced on the ground-breaking 2015 Volvo XC90 luxury SUV and now permeating the company’s product portfolio – is not just turning heads but resulting in multiple awards and widespread acknowledgement.

They include the notable 2017 achievement when hugely influential UK car magazine Autocar voted Volvo Cars’ chief designer Thomas Ingenlath an automotive Design Hero.

“Great design is what brings the car industry to a wider audience, and Thomas [Ingenlath] has turned a mainstream product into a fully-fledged luxury brand,” wrote Autocar editor Mark Tisshaw. “Volvo’s products are now among the most desirable, distinctive and best looking on the market, and are true rivals to the established German luxury car makers.”

As Volvo styling continues to win admirers across the world and throughout the automotive industry, I Roll collates just some examples of global expert views on Volvo Cars’ revolutionary exterior and interior design.

Expert view on design - Volvo XC90 Excellence_1
Above: Volvo XC90 Excellence

Tangible craftsmanship – Car and Driver (USA) on XC90

“As with the exterior, Volvo has taken another bold step away from conservative and toward understated. Whereas craftsmanship has always been a brand value, the company is now more interested in your seeing and feeling it. The leather is of a distinctly higher quality and stitched neatly to nearly every surface. What's not leather is interestingly textured metal trim or wood, with a spot of soft-touch plastic here and there. It's stylish, it's upscale, it's modern, it's functional, and it's spacious.”

Intelligent designGQ (UK) on XC90
“The XC90 is one of GQ's cars of the year, not least because it's wholly modern in approach and has been intelligently designed from the inside out.”

Captivating work of art – Motor Trend (USA) on the XC90
“The Volvo XC90 is functional, elegant, and above all different. This is an entirely new vehicle from a car company that has taken a step back and reinvented both itself and the luxury three-row SUV. The XC90 isn't just our SUV of the Year—it's also a captivating work of art, inside and out.”

Expert view on design - XC60 interior_1
Above: Volvo XC60 Inscription. (Overseas model shown)

Oozing class – Autocar (UK) on the XC60

“Volvo’s impressive recent design form continues with the XC60, which oozes class inside and out. It’s also nicely proportioned to allow it an airy, spacious cabin inside while striking a sleek, understated, Nordic-chic exterior that isn’t particularly flashy, but neither is it emotionless and bland like many of the snoozefest SUVs in the class.”

Special feel – Car magazine (UK) on XC60 interior
“Given the general excellence of the cabin on the bigger [90 series] cars, you can’t blame Volvo for inserting a slightly shrunken version into the XC60. It feels just as special in here as you’d hope, with a soothing sweep of the dash which is pleasingly clutter-free. Just the bare essential few buttons poke through the fascia, leaving the rest of the functions to be handled by the portrait-oriented nine-inch touchscreen. Tastefully discreet and seamlessly functional; it’s hard not to be impressed.”

Expert view on design - Volvo XC40 T4_1
Above: Volvo XC40 T4 Momentum.

Refreshingly brave – What Car (UK) on XC40

“Considering the huge number of cars they sell, it’s hard to argue that German prestige brands are wrong to give their cars ‘Russian doll’ designs. And yet it’s still refreshing when a rival is a bit braver, as Volvo has been with its smallest SUV.”

Wallpaper magazine on the XC40
“The elegance of the Concept 40 form, which came in both SUV and saloon variants, has been ably translated into the production car, with details that are bolder.”

Flair and sensuality – Wheels magazine (Australia) on the XC40
“Bringing some much-needed Scandinavian styling flair to the premium small SUV sector, the XC40 excels at both utility and sensuality.”

Expert view on design - Volvo S90 R-Design_1
Above: Volvo S90 R-Design.

Stunning elegance – (Australia) on the S90

“Volvo’s designers are genuinely going from strength to strength. Having first created the imposing-yet-elegant XC90, they applied the same basic design principles to achieve the stunning S90. The unexplainable witchcraft that goes into the design clearly pays dividends though, with the S90 managing to look restrained, elegant, and imposing all at once. One could even call it cool.”

Wow factor – (Australia) on the S90
“Wow. Just look at this thing. We don’t review cars based on their styling and appearance here at CarAdvice, but it’s hard not to be won over by this stunning Swede.”

A stand-out – AutoExpress (UK) on the S90
“Distinctive, stylish and nicely finished. Volvo has a reputation for square, boxy styling, but the S90 uses the evolution of that design principle to stand out from the rest of the executive [sedans] on the market.”

Expert view on design - Volvo V90 Cross Country studio birds eye_1
Above: Volvo V90 Cross Country. (Overseas model shown)

Handsome. Gorgeous – Car and Driver (USA) on the V90 Cross Country

“Handsome exterior, gorgeous interior. As the latest in a long line of Volvo wagons, the V90 Cross Country combines style and practicality as few luxury cars can.”

Beautiful interiors – Australian Financial Review (Australia) on the V90 Cross Country
“Volvo makes some of the most beautiful interiors in the car industry — this regardless of whether you're including "luxury" brands. Its cars have cabins filled with so much light and warm wood that at this point comparing them to a Swedish sauna is just cliché.”


Click here to read the rest of our August I Roll stories.