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Volvo's mission on emission costs; FIRST DRIVE Volvo XC90 and XC60.

Byline: By Steve Hughes

VOLVO'S four-wheel drive XC90 SUV model is running low on gas and the company is delighted.

The latest D5 Geartronic versions have CO2 emission figures that are getting lower and lower, which puts the vehicle into a reduced tax band.

The XC90 becomes the only premium-standard, seven-seat SUV with a CO2 figure under 225g/km in both manual and automatic transmission guises.

This means that the D5 Geartronic falls below the key Band G threshold for Vehicle Excise Duty, saving owners pounds 570 in road tax over three years. This model will now also avoid the daily pounds 25 London Congestion Charge that begins in October whilst qualifying for the 90 per cent discount for residents.

Volvo has also introduced the sports-inspired R-Design package for the XC90 along with new paint colours, alloy wheels and extracost options.

The new range is available to order now, with the vehicles due to arrive next month at prices starting from pounds 32,845 for the D5 S.

Prices of some models rise by up to pounds 150 whilst others fall by pounds 210.

The R-Design package maintains many of the prominent features of the SE Sport variant it replaces, such as the Sports chassis, details in silk matt finish, sill mouldings in brushed stainless steel and instrument dials with metal chronograph watch-style faces and blue lighting.

There is a re-tuned chassis, stiffer anti-roll bars, firmer shock absorbers and speed-dependent steering plus 19-inch alloy wheels as standard, with new 20-inch alloys as an option, quad exhaust pipes and a skid-plate. There are no roof rails although these are available as a free option.

Inside, the seats are covered in either an off-black leather-faced material with cream inlay or calcite with an off-black inlay.

Other R-Design interior details include a leather-trimmed steering wheel, aluminium pedals, a specially-designed aluminium centre stack and door inlays, gear selector and tufted dark floor mats with contrasting leather piping.

The Rear Seat Entertainment system has also been given an update and now features larger eight-inch screens at a lowered cost of pounds 1,350.

The system has an integrated DVD player, eight-inch flat-screen monitors built into the back of the front seat headrests, wireless headphones and remote control. An extra socket means it is possible to connect an additional DVD player or video game so the two screens can be used independently.

A Digital TV option is now available to supplement the RSE system.

Priced at pounds 400, this enables passengers to watch Freeview channels as well as providing a card slot that can be used for subscription services.

A new entertainment support pack has been introduced which includes the RTI Navigation System with RDS-TMC, remote-control and map data on hard disk, a blind spot alert system and rear seat entertainment with a DVD Player in the front centre armrest, two screens and wireless headphones, remote-control and tinted windows.

This pack costs pounds 2,850.
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Coventry Evening Telegraph (England)
Date:Sep 19, 2008
Words:489
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