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Volvo steps gracefully into tech

Volvo steps gracefully into tech

Past Volvos we've reviewed, the 2005 XC90 and the 2006 S60 R, didn't offer much in the tech department, but the company catches up with the 21st century for the 2007 model year. In a stroll through the Volvo display at the New York Auto Show, I noted the pop-up LCD in the 2007 XC90's dash. This LCD has a rearview camera, complete with animated parking lines, and navigation. There are no navigation controls on the center stack, where you'd usually find them. Instead, they sit on the back of the steering wheel. There is a Back/Enter button, as well as a four-way joystick button. From my quick test of the setup, it seemed to work very well and is easier than reaching over to the stack. Volvo is also offering a premium sound system by Dynaudio, an audio brand name more known in Europe than the United States. In the 2007 S80 that Volvo had on display, the Dynaudio system included a USB cable and an auxiliary input in the console compartment. With a USB thumbdrive plugged in, the stereo displayed song names from MP3s and also sounded really good. Both cars had Bluetooth cell phone integration, but it was better done on the 2007 S80. The 2007 XC90 had it as a separate component tacked to the dash, while it was fully integrated with the dashboard electronics in the S80.