Best AWD SUV $65k-$125k - Volvo XC90 Inscription D5

RACV RoyalAuto magazine

The market was left waiting 12 years for this new XC90 but it’s been worth it. And it’s in the cabin where it shines. Judges praised its beautiful interior design, ergonomics and seating comfort, and it sprinted ahead in Design and Function. Nice touches are the rimless mirror, the durable cover over the centre storage area and the diamond-shaped impressions on the toggle switches.

Unlike many seven-seat SUVs, where third-row seats are more of an afterthought, Volvo has focused on making sure every occupant enjoys the ride. Each seating row is slightly higher than the one in front, meaning better vision for all occupants and it also helps reduce motion sickness. And the audio is crystal-clear in all rows.

XC90 debuts two world-first safety features: City Safety with Intersection Collision Mitigation, which can stop you turning into the path of an oncoming car, and Run Off Road Protection, which prepares the car if you leave the road. The Inscription also has cross-traffic alert, rear-collision warning and a curtain airbag for all three rows.

XC90 was never going to topple Range Rover Sport for drivability or off-road prowess but nor could any other contender.