VOLVO

VOLVO XC90 ESTATE 2.0 T8 [390] Hybrid Inscription Pro 5dr AWD Gtron

Fuel

FuelPetrol/PlugIn Elec Hybrid

Transmission

TransmissionAutomatic

Acceleration

0 - 62 mph5.8s

EC Combined (mpg)

EC Combined-

Volvo must adapt to survive as an independent car maker. Proof of that has been delivered by this model, now usefully improved, the XC90 Recharge T8 Plug-in hybrid. It's a family-sized luxury seven-seat SUV for a very different world.

ELECTRIC DREAMS

Volvo's XC90 showcases cutting edge technology in Recharge T8 plug-in hybrid guise. Jonathan Crouch checks it out in improved form.

Ten Second Review

Volvo must adapt to survive as an independent car maker. Proof of that has been delivered by this model, now usefully improved, the XC90 Recharge T8 Plug-in hybrid. It's a family-sized luxury seven-seat SUV for a very different world.

Background

The second generation XC90 was a car that fans of the brand anticipated impatiently and what we got when it arrived was worth the wait. Absolutely everything about this MK2 model was fundamentally new and engineered to set fresh class standards. Nowhere is this more evident than with the Recharge T8 Plug-in hybrid petrol/electric variant we're going to look at here. Here, you get the potential of supermini-style running costs. On top of that, there's the sort of proper full-sized seven-seat versatility that few rivals can credibly offer and the kind of cool, authentic Scandinavian charm we haven't really seen from a new Volvo in a very long time. It all sounds promising doesn't it? Time to put this car to the test.

Driving Experience

The 'Recharge T8' badging applied to this car denotes its petrol/electric powertrain and plug-in hybrid usability. In fact there are three engines if you're going to be pedantic about it and count the 25bhp starter motor/generator that pitches in from time to time to smooth any gaps in torque delivery between the two main power sources. One of these is the 303hp turbocharged/supercharged petrol unit borrowed from the conventional T6 model that drives the front wheels. In an XC90 T8 though, it's assisted by a separate engine at the back, an 87bhp electric motor powered by a battery pack neatly packaged away in the transmission tunnel. It's all enough to deliver a set of stats that it's rather hard to get your head around. So, 386hp and 62mph from rest in just 5.8s - the kind of storming performance you'd get in this segment from, say, a Porsche Cayenne S - matched with real world fuel and CO2 readings that could potentially equal those of a frugal supermini. That's assuming you select the most performance-orientated of the five driving settings that T8 owners are offered - the 'Power' mode that sees both petrol and electric units permanently working together. Alternatively, there are four other drive choices: a 'Hybrid' setting that sees the two engines cutting in and out as necessary: an 'AWD' mode that gives you permanent 4x4 traction off road: plus a 'Pure electric' setting that only uses the battery power and can take you up to 26 miles (more than most people's daily commuting distance) on a single charge. There's even a 'Save' option so that on a longer trip, you can hold that charge until you get to the city driving you might have to do at the end of the journey.

Design and Build

The look of this second generation XC90, according to its exterior design manager Anders Gunnarson, needed to be 'timeless'. If, like its predecessor, its model life must stretch across the decades, then you can certainly see why. Hence the considerable depth of thought that's clearly gone into a sense of style reflective of brand values both old and new. So many large luxury SUVs appear bulky and intimidating: this isn't one of them. On the outside, this refreshed XC90 offers subtle upgrades to the original award-winning exterior design, such as new wheels, exterior colours and a revised front grille, among other details. Otherwise, things are much as before, with a sculpted bonnet flowing into LED front headlights with a distinctive so-called 'Hammer of Thor' design. Up-front, the cabin is simple, elegant, very uncluttered and dominated by a huge infotainment colour touchscreen that's presented portrait-style on the centre console. We like the technical niceties too: the CleanZone interior air quality system for example. This automatically switches to recirculation mode if outside conditions change - say in a polluted city centre or when you enter a smoky tunnel. Middle row passengers get individual seats that slide and recline for greater comfort on longer journeys. And even third row folk get decent standards of space. Unlike a rival Audi Q7 e-tron, you can have third row seating in this XC90 T8 model. Out back, there's 397-litres of luggage space with all the seats in place, or 775-litres up to the windowline with the third row folded.

Market and Model

The on the road price of this Recharge T8 Plug-in hybrid model lists from around £68,000. That means you can expect to pay a premium of around £10,000 over the comparable B5 diesel version. There are two main trim levels, 'R-Design' and 'Inscription', with iterim 'Pro' variants of each also available. Standard equipment levels are comprehensive. All models get smart alloy wheels of at least 19-inches in size, plus LED headlights that at night can bend with the road and dip themselves automatically. You also get roof rails, rear parking sensors, auto headlamps and wipers and a power-operated tailgate. Inside, there's full leather trim and a powered driver's seat, 2-Zone Electronic Climate Control and a clever 'Sensus Connect' infotainment system you activate via a large 9-inch centre console touchscreen. From here (or via voice control), you can access a 10-speaker 330-watt High Performance Sound system with DAB digital radio. Plus there's a 'Sensus Navigation' system with Traffic Information and European mapping, plus, as you'd expect, Bluetooth 'phone compatibility and USB and aux-in ports. XC90 safety gear includes a run off-road protection package which tightens seatbelts and activates energy-absorbing technology in the seats when the car detects challenging terrain ahead. Another system is the auto-braking feature, which cuts in if a driver pulls out in front of oncoming traffic. Both safety systems aim to bring Volvo closer to its vision of nobody being seriously injured or killed in any of its vehicles by this century's third decade.

Cost of Ownership

What if you could take the conventional XC90 T6 petrol model's very efficient turbocharged and supercharged 320bhp 2.0-litre petrol engine - then mate it to plug-in hybrid technology that included an 82bhp electric motor driving the rear wheels? You'd have the world's most powerful and cleanest SUV. More specifically, you'd have the most desirable variant in the XC90 range, this T8 Twin Engine variant. As with any plug-in hybrid, this car offers the option of charging from mains power. Owners will be able to buy a wallbox from Volvo that will charge their cars on 16-amp power in about two and a half hours. However you charge your T8, once it's powered-up, you can expect up to 28.6 miles of electric-only progress, providing you drive sensibly - more than the total distance most people drive in a day. Theoretically then, you could use an XC90 T8 every day without ever visiting a fuel station unless you needed to undertake a longer trip. This Volvo has quick acceleration too, allowing its driver to use all its 400 braked horses via a special 'power' setting. In everyday use though, most T8 owners will be driving in 'Hybrid' mode, a setting in which the vehicle will automatically alternate between petrol and electric power - and the basis for a faintly incredible-sounding set of WLTP running cost figures: up to 100.8mpg on the combined cycle and up to 63g/km of CO2. These are figures that'll reward a bit of thought if you're just about to blindly sign on the dotted line for a conventional diesel model.

Summary

Volvo seems to be flourishing under foreign ownership and this Recharge T8 Plug-in hybrid XC90 model is a good example of why. You might have expected Chinese company control to stifle the company's Scandinavian character. Instead, what we've been given here is a return to Swedish charisma and an emphasis on all the things that the Gothenburg brand does best - cool restrained style, real-world practicality and class-leading safety. Of course, this Volvo's not perfect. There are still sharper-handling choices and more capable off roaders in this sector. In balancing these virtues though, this XC90 sets its own class standard and in doing so, establishes a family benchmark amongst luxury SUVs that rivals will struggle to match. Add in the astonishingly low running costs that come with Plug-in hybrid technology and it's a difficult formula to resist if you're shopping in this segment. Company founders Assar Gabrielsson and Gustaf Larson would have liked this car. More importantly though, if you're shopping in this segment, we think you will too.

  • Front and rear power windows
  • Rear wash/wipe with intermittent wipe setting
  • Rain sensor with automatic windscreen wiper activation

  • Vehicle deceleration control with Anti-lock Brake System, Electronic Brake Distribution and Emergency Brake Assist
  • Stability and Traction Control with Spin control, Engine Drag Control and Corner Traction Control
  • Power parking brake with auto hold function
  • Hill descent control
  • Hill start assist

  • Luxury floor mats

  • Touring chassis
  • Active four C chassis - four corner adaptive dampers with electronic air suspension
  • Electric rear axle drive

  • Bluetooth hands free telephone connection
  • Wireless internet connection
  • Voice activated control for key functions
  • Volvo on call

  • Front and rear park assist
  • Speed sensitive steering
  • Drive mode settings
  • Driver alert control with lane keeping aid
  • Speed limiter
  • Oncoming Lane Mitigation
  • Adjustable steering wheel force
  • Intellisafe assist - Adaptive cruise control with pilot assist

  • Handsfree power tailgate opening and closing

  • 9" centre console portrait touch screen
  • 12.3" Active TFT crystal driver's instrument display
  • Sensus navigation with European mapping and traffic information
  • Trip computer
  • Service interval indicator

  • Auto dimming interior + exterior mirrors
  • Colour coordinated auto folding and heated power door mirrors

  • Tailored instrument panel and door tops

  • Lithium-ion battery

  • Steering wheel remote infotainment controls
  • DAB Radio (Digital Audio Broadcasting)

  • Visible VIN plate
  • Recharging port located in nearside front wing
  • Chrome door handles deco strip and window surround
  • Chrome lower side moulding trim with Inscription logo
  • Full width chrome detailing strip rear bumper
  • Matt silver front grille with chrome detailing
  • Integrated roof rails in silver
  • Dual integrated exhaust pipes
  • Illuminated front and rear tread plates
  • Roof spoiler
  • Body colour bumpers
  • Roof antenna

  • Home safe and approach lighting
  • Puddle lights
  • Active bending headlights with adaptive shadow technology
  • Adaptive brake lights with high level LED brake lights
  • Automatic headlight levelling system
  • Automatic LED Headlights + Active high beam incorporating daytime running lights

  • 4 Zone electronic climate control + cooled glovebox
  • Air conditioning for 3rd row of seats
  • B Pillar ventilation
  • Pollen filter
  • Auxiliary fuel fired heater with pre conditioning functions

  • 2nd Row centre armrest with storage and cupholders
  • 3 spoke leather steering wheel and illuminated gear knob with chrome trim
  • Driver's side lower dashboard storage compartment
  • Cargo divider with grocery bag holder
  • Front and rear door pocket and front cupholder illumination
  • Illumination lockable glovebox compartment
  • 12V socket in front + rear tunnel console, rear passenger compartment and cargo area
  • Semi automatic load cover
  • Outboard armrest with cupholder and storage for third row passengers
  • Height/reach adjustable steering column
  • Steering wheel audio controls
  • Nappa Leather Key Integrated Remote
  • Illuminated tailgate
  • Charge cable bag
  • Perforated and ventilated nappa soft leather upholstery
  • Bright metal luggage threshold
  • Orrefors Crystal Gear Lever Knob
  • Load protection net
  • A-pillar parking ticket holder
  • Centre console cupholders and storage
  • Underfloor cargo storage

  • Rear footwell and side step illumination
  • Illuminated luggage compartment
  • Ambient door and instrument panel lighting
  • Front footwell and side step illumination
  • Multicolour theatre lighting

  • Front seats SIPS airbags
  • City safety includes pedestrian, cyclist and large animal detection and front collision warning with full auto brake
  • Slippery road and hazard light alert
  • IC (Inflatable Curtains) - Full Length
  • Passenger airbag cut-off switch
  • Run off Road Mitigation
  • Drivers knee airbag
  • Front and rear curtain airbags
  • WHIPS whiplash protection system - front
  • Dual stage Driver/Passenger Airbags
  • Tyre pressure monitoring system
  • 7 three point seatbelts
  • SIPS (Side Impact Protection System)
  • Warning triangle
  • First aid kit
  • Front seat side impact airbags
  • Seatbelt reminder and pretensioners for all seats
  • Run off Road Protection

  • Heated front seats
  • Front headrests
  • Rear headrests
  • Passenger seat electric height adjuster
  • Passenger seat lumbar support
  • Power driver seat with multi directional lumbar support and memory for seat and exterior mirrors
  • Front seat backrest massage
  • Two 3rd row individual folding passenger seats
  • Three 2nd row individual folding passenger seats with fore/aft adjustment
  • Front seat cushion extension and power adjustable front seats side support

  • Private locking for glovebox and tailgate
  • Keyless drive (includes keyless entry and keyless start) with remote tag
  • Locking wheel nuts
  • Anti-theft alarm including immobiliser/volume sensor + level sensor
  • Key integrated remote control central locking + fuel flap with deadlocking system and auto open/close power windows

  • 8 speed automatic transmission with start/stop + manual change functions
  • All wheel drive system

  • Illuminated vanity mirrors + ticket holder

  • Tyre sealant kit + 12v compressor

  • Battery Charge Slow Time (Minutes): 150
  • Battery Charge Slow kW: 3.7
  • Battery Charge Slow Percentage: 0-100
  • Battery Charge Fast Time (Minutes): N
  • Battery Charge Fast kW: N
  • Battery Charge Fast Percentage: N
  • Battery Charge Rapid Time (Minutes): N
  • Battery Charge Rapid kW: N
  • Battery Charge Rapid Percentage: N
  • Battery Charge Super Charge Time (Minutes): N
  • Battery Charge Super Charge kW: N
  • Battery Charge Super Charge Percentage: N
  • Coupler/Connector Type: Type 2
  • Standard manufacturers Battery warranty - Years: 8
  • Standard manufacturers Battery warranty - Mileage: 100000
  • Battery Capacity in kWh: 11.6
  • NEDC Electricity Consumption kWh/100 km: 18.5
  • NEDC Maximum EV Range Miles: 28
  • Battery Leased: False
  • Battery Type: Lithium-ion
  • WLTP - EC (kWh/100km) - Comb - Min: 16.8
  • WLTP - EC (kWh/100km) - Comb - Max: 18.3
  • WLTP - AER (km) - Comb - Min: 46
  • WLTP - AER (km) - Comb - Max: 37
  • WLTP - Equivalent AER (km) - Comb: 40
  • WLTP - Equivalent AER (km) - Comb - Min: 40
  • WLTP - Equivalent AER (km) - Comb - Max: 37
  • WLTP - AER (miles) - Comb - Max: 23
  • WLTP - AER (miles) - Comb - Min: 28.6
  • WLTP - EC (miles/kWh) - Comb - Max: 3.4
  • WLTP - EC (miles/kWh) - Comb - Min: 3.7
  • WLTP - Equivalent AER (miles) - Comb: 24.9
  • WLTP - Equivalent AER (miles) - Comb - Max: 23
  • WLTP - Equivalent AER (miles) - Comb - Min: 24.9

  • HC+NOx: N
  • CO2 (g/km): 55

  • WLTP - CO2 Weighted (g/km) - Comb: 72
  • WLTP - CO2 Weighted (g/km) - Comb - Min: 57
  • WLTP - CO2 Weighted (g/km) - Comb - Max: 80

  • CC: 1969
  • Cylinders: 4
  • Cylinder Layout: IN-LINE
  • Number of Valves: 16
  • Camshaft: DOHC
  • Fuel Delivery: TURBO DIRECT INJECTION
  • Catalytic Convertor: True
  • Engine Layout: FRONT TRANSVERSE
  • Transmission: SEMI-AUTO
  • Gears: 8 SPEED

  • EC Directive 1999/100/EC Applies: True

  • WLTP - FC Weighted (l/100km) - Comb - Min: 2.5
  • WLTP - FC Weighted (l/100km) - Comb - Max: 3.5
  • WLTP - FC Weighted (mpg) - Comb - Min: 113
  • WLTP - FC Weighted (mpg) - Comb - Max: 80.7

  • Generation Mark: 2
  • Alternative Fuel Qualifying: True
  • Did at least one aspect of this vehicle's safety give cause for concern?: False
  • Coin Series: Inscription Pro
  • Coin Description: T8 [390] Hybrid
  • Standard manufacturers warranty - Years: 3
  • Standard manufacturers warranty - Mileage: 60000
  • Manufacturers Paintwork Guarantee - Years: 3
  • Manufacturers Corrosion Perforation Guarantee - Years: 8
  • Special Edition: False
  • Special Order: False
  • Based On ID: N
  • Insurance Group 1 - 50 Effective January 07: 45E
  • Service Interval Mileage: 18000
  • Service Interval Frequency - Months: 12
  • NCAP Adult Occupant Protection %: 97
  • NCAP Child Occupant Protection %: 87
  • NCAP Pedestrian Protection %: 72
  • NCAP Safety Assist %: 100
  • NCAP Overall Rating - Effective February 09: 5
  • Badge Power: 390
  • Badge Engine CC: 2.0
  • Vehicle Homologation Class: M1

  • Engine Power - BHP: 390
  • Engine Power - PS: True
  • 0 to 60 mph (secs): False
  • 0 to 62 mph (secs): 5.8
  • Top Speed: 140
  • Engine Power - KW: 287
  • Engine Power - RPM: 6000
  • Engine Torque - LBS.FT: 295
  • Engine Torque - NM: 400
  • Engine Torque - RPM: 2200
  • Engine Torque - MKG: 40.8

  • Emissions Test Cycle: Second Act

  • Wheel Style: 8 MULTI SPOKE
  • Tyre Size Rear: 275/40 R21
  • Tyre Size Spare: TYRE REPAIR KIT
  • Wheel Type: 21" ALLOY
  • Tyre Size Front: 275/40 R21
  • Alloys?: True
  • Space Saver?: False

  • Length: 4953
  • Width: 2008
  • Wheelbase: 2984
  • Width (including mirrors): 2140
  • Height: 1776
  • Height (including roof rails): N

  • Luggage Capacity (Seats Up): 316
  • No. of Seats: 7
  • Max. Roof Load: 100
  • Luggage Capacity (Seats Down): 1816
  • Turning Circle - Kerb to Kerb: 11.8
  • Minimum Kerbweight: 2259
  • Gross Vehicle Weight: 2980
  • Fuel Tank Capacity (Litres): 70
  • Max. Towing Weight - Braked: 2400
  • Max. Towing Weight - Unbraked: 750
  • Max. Loading Weight: 721

  • Heated front windscreen: £0
  • Laminated rear and side windows: £750
  • Dark tinted windows for rear side windows and cargo area: £400

  • Rear park assist camera: Included
  • 360 degree surround view parking camera: £525

  • 4.5m Type 2/mode 3 charge cable: £50
  • 4.5m Charge Cable with 3 pin plug: Included

  • Intellisafe surround (Blind Spot Information System (BLIS) with Steer Assist, Cross Traffic Alert with auto brake and Rear Collision Mitigation): £500

  • Grey ash inlays: £0
  • Black ash inlays: Included
  • Linear walnut inlays: £0
  • Metal mesh inlays: £0

  • Sensus connect with high performance sound, connected service booking, 2x USB + 10 speakers/330W output: Included

  • Premium metallic paint: £1,000
  • Metallic paint: £700
  • Solid paint: Included
  • Power glass tilt and slide panoramic sunroof with sun curtain: £1,295

  • Integrated sun curtains in rear doors: Included

  • Winter pack including Head up display - XC90: Included
  • Xenium pack - XC90: £1,600
  • Bowers and Wilkins sound pack - XC90: £3,000
  • Harman Kardon sound pack - XC90: £850
  • Family pack with child pack - XC90: £275

  • Metallic - Osmium grey: £700
  • Metallic - Onyx black: £700
  • Metallic - Savile grey: £700
  • Metallic - Bright silver: £700
  • Metallic - Denim blue: £700
  • Metallic - Thunder grey: £700
  • Metallic - Maple brown: £700
  • Metallic - Pine grey: £700
  • Metallic - Birch light: £700
  • Metallic - Pebble grey: £700

  • Solid - Ice white: £0

  • Premium metallic - Crystal white: £1,000

  • Mechanical rear door child locks: Included

  • Isofix outer rear child seat preparation in 2nd row: Included
  • 2nd Row heated outer rear seats: £300

  • Retractable towbar: £1,100

  • Perforated and ventilated nappa soft leather - Blond: £0
  • Perforated and ventilated nappa soft leather - Charcoal: £0
  • Perforated and ventilated nappa soft leather - Amber: £0
  • Perforated and ventilated nappa soft leather - Maroon Brown: £0
  • Perforated and ventilated nappa soft leather - Slate: £0

  • 22" 20 spoke diamond cut/black alloy wheels: £1,000
  • 21" 10 spoke turbine/tinted silver alloy wheels: £0
  • 21" 8 multi spoke diamond cut/black alloy wheels: Included
  • 21" 5 V spoke diamond cut Glossy black alloy wheels: £0
  • 22" 6 double spoke diamond cut matt black alloy wheels: £1,000
  • 22" 6 double spoke alloy wheels: £1,000

Whilst every effort is made to verify and ensure the accuracy of the data, the information should only be used as a guide and no purchasing decision should be made without verification of the data from either the manufacturer or franchised dealer. Our offers may be on a different model year to that represented by this data and so specification may differ accordingly.

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