The upcoming 2024 Volvo EX90 is the brand’s newest vehicle – a handsome and understated three-row SUV that happens to be fully electric.
This electric vehicle (EV) is a technological marvel, with up to 480 km of estimated range, fast-charging capability, as much as 496 hp, and enough cameras and sensors to make a robot blush. And while the powertrain and advanced safety features are sure to impress, a surprising amount of completely analogue, low-tech details make this SUV unique. After poking around a pre-production example at a studio in Toronto, here are seven simple but brilliantly clever features to expect from the 2024 Volvo EX90 when it arrives in the first half of next year.
Headlight and Camera Washers
I love the Swedes behind this brand because they’re very in tune with what features are most helpful for drivers in the wintertime. Every Canadian driver with a back-up camera that’s exposed to the elements has seen the feature become useless when the lens gets covered in road grime and salt in the winter. To combat this issue, the EX90 has washers that pop out to spray both the rear and front parking cameras, as well as the headlights, with washer fluid so they remain useful regardless of how dirty the car is. No, this isn’t a new feature or one that’s exclusive to Volvo, but it doesn’t make it any less novel.
Built-In Booster Seat
This feature isn’t new or unique to the EX90, either, but there’s a built-in booster seat in the second row’s middle seat cushion. When you don’t need it, or your kid outgrows it, it stows away neatly. While the placement in the middle might seem strange, I think it’s the best seat in the house for a kid because it allows them to look out the front of the car, which is a rare treat when you’re young.
Volvo has committed to operate more sustainably. The brand uses recycled steel in parts of the EX90’s structure, but the materials covering the seats are notable, too. Covered in a lovely wool-blend fabric that’s sustainably sourced, there’s also a leather-like material used in some places like the headrests. This material is made from recycled plastic bottles, cork from the wine industry, and pine oils from Sweden, which gives it a soft, realistic feel. Volvo says this material gets softer the more you use it, like a baseball glove. The best part is that it doesn’t feel like it’s made from recycled materials; the fabrics feel luxurious and robust.
Cargo Capacity Cheat Sheet
Instead of breaking out a tape measure or checking the owner’s manual (or Google, more realistically), there’s a cargo capacity and measurements cheat sheet inside the trunk. It illustrates the length behind each row of seats, the liftover height, and the height of the cargo hold itself, but also shows illustrations of what you can fit. Strollers, golf bags, skis, lamps – there’s even a refrigerator. (OK, it’s a sensible European-sized fridge, but I thought this was still a clever and useful Easter Egg.)
Windshield Washer Funnel
This is a highly appreciated but super low-tech solution to a problem every Canadian driver has experienced – filling the windshield washer fluid and having it spill everywhere in the engine bay. Instead of suffering through that, the Volvo EX90 has a built-in funnel, so you’ll never waste a drop or make a mess. Simple and brilliant.
Volvo invented the three-point seatbelt and has been engineering ground-breaking safety solutions ever since. When you ask someone what Volvo is known for, they’re likely to mention something about safety, and the brand works hard to ensure that focus remains its calling card.
We’ve all heard the tragic stories about when a child or pet gets forgotten in a hot car, and Volvo has taken the now-common rear-seat reminder to the next level. So no one gets left behind, the Volvo EX90 uses multiple sensors inside the cabin to detect occupants (Volvo says it can even detect the breaths of a sleeping baby). When the driver leaves without attending to the passengers inside, it will notify the driver audibly and via text, and then turn on the climate control to keep the cabin temperature safe.
Like the feature above, this can’t be classified as low-tech, but it’s certainly unique. A modern interpretation of pop-up headlights, the signature “Thor’s Hammer” LED daytime running lights open robotically to reveal headlights inside. The lights are animated to greet you as you approach the SUV, and it’s a cool feature to show off to your friends. The lights make it look like the SUV is waking up or blinking at you.
Don’t let the Volvo EX90’s understated design or clever, low-tech features fool you: this SUV has massive computing power and will start a new high-tech chapter for Volvo. The EX90 has all the necessary hardware that Volvo claims will allow it to one day drive autonomously, it has a Google-powered infotainment system, can get over-the-air updates, and use its battery to power external devices or even supply power to your home in an emergency. And that just scratches the surface of what this electric crossover is capable of. To be built at the automaker’s plant in South Carolina, Canadians will be able to place an order for the upcoming 2024 Volvo EX90 towards the end of this year.