The Volvo XC90’s infotainment system is less than user friendly


I’ve nothing against Capital FM but when it keeps interupting my session of Radio 4 on DAB, I take exception. and when it’s in a super-safe Volvo XC90, well that’s even more serious.

Traffic Annoucements are off, so that isn’t the reason. Unless Lady Gaga is working for the station.

To get back to Radio 4 again means a lot of faffing around on the infotainment system. Volvo has gone to every effort to load the latest XC90 with safety kit but it’s actually the simple technology that let’s this SUV down.

For example, the big screen sat nav is excellent. Except for some reason, the screen isn’t moving to follow my direction of travel. Why?

And to complete my grumpiness, the hybrid Volvo is averaging 30.5mpg on a motorway drive.



The annoying art of turning Traffic Alerts off in a Volvo XC90 T8


Volvo – famed for building super-safe cars. The well-used line that ‘nobody will die in a Volvo by 2020’ has been gathering momentum since I was first regailed of it in Sweden by a proud company man three years ago.

Well, that might be the case but I could have murdered the guy who put together the over-complicated infotainment system. A vertically-shaped iPad affair, it works very well at many things.

However, Volvo has decided to dispense will a paper owner’s manual and put it all on screen instead. I’m all for progress – except when I want to turn off those annoying Traffic Information inserts on the radio.

When I’m listening to a crucial part of The News Quiz, I don’t want some presenter from ‘Wurzel radio’ interupting to tell me a cow has escaped and is causing chaos on the A44.

Last night it took me 20 minutes to work out how to turn the alerts off. I could have managed it in two had there been the option of a paper manual.

So, you see, Volvo can make cars that nobody will die in by 2020. But I’ll still want to strangle that fecking techy designer…

The Volvo XC90 T8 is kind to large animals – but what about wasps?


Look away now if animal cruelty makes you mad. My ancient Land Rover has developed a fault. Well, not so much a fault as an infestation.

Last summer, a bunch of wasps took up residence in the ventilation system – and now they are waking up and appearing out of nowhere.

This usually happens when the engine is getting warm, so I get a bundle of unwanted passengers in the cabin when I least expect it. Terrifying but the old paper instruction manual finally has a use.

Just issues won’t happen in the 2017 Volvo T8. It’s friendly to everything, especially pedestrians and, for some reason, large animals.

I don’t know why small animals aren’t included but changes to the Pilot Assist system – the one that drives the car for you – means it now features Large Animal Detection.

That’s right. If it spots something large in the road, the XC90 drops anchors and comes squealing to a halt.

Brilliant but what about wasps?

The Nissan GT-R is the Ugly Betty of supercars


Massive power, huge grip. The GT-R offers more performance per pound that any other supercar.

It may not have the looks of an Aston Martin or McLaren but just consider the price – it’s an absolute bargain flying machine.

After a week in Nissan’s rocket coupe, it’s difficult not to be impressed. Is there a quicker way to get from A to B across country? I doubt it.

Unfortunately, the 2017 model still hasn’t shaken off some inherent GT-R issues. It’s a heavy car, the interior trim quality is dubious and as an Ugly Betty, it will never win a beauty contest.

Overll though, the GT-R is very desirable. I just hope that by 2018 Nissan can sort out some of the build quality issues that have tainted our time with the car.