VOLVO

VOLVO XC90 DIESEL ESTATE 2.0 B5D [235] Momentum 5dr AWD Geartronic

Fuel

FuelDiesel

Transmission

TransmissionAutomatic

Acceleration

0 - 62 mph7.6s

WLTP - CO2 (g/km)

WLTP - CO2178 g/km

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 start assist
  • Hill descent control

  • Floor mats

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

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

  • Handsfree power tailgate opening and closing
  • Remote engine start

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

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

  • Iron ore inlays

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

  • Chrome door handles deco strip and window surround
  • Piano black waterfall front grille
  • Integrated roof rails in silver
  • Dual integrated exhaust pipes
  • Visible VIN plate
  • Body colour bumpers
  • Roof spoiler
  • Roof antenna

  • Home safe and approach lighting
  • Puddle lights
  • LED front fog lights
  • Adaptive brake lights with high level LED brake lights
  • Automatic headlight levelling system
  • Automatic LED Headlights + Active high beam incorporating daytime running lights

  • B Pillar ventilation

  • Steering wheel audio controls
  • Load protection net
  • Height/reach adjustable steering column
  • Leather faced upholstery
  • Centre console cupholders and storage
  • Underfloor cargo storage
  • Bright metal luggage threshold
  • Front and rear aluminium tread plates
  • 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
  • Semi automatic load cover
  • Outboard armrest with cupholder and storage for third row passengers
  • 12V socket front tunnel console, rear passenger compartment and cargo area
  • 2nd Row centre armrest with storage and cupholders
  • Illumination lockable glovebox compartment

  • Front and rear reading lights, Theatre lighting and centre armrest storage illumination
  • Front footwell and side step illumination
  • Illuminated luggage compartment

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

  • Two 3rd row individual folding passenger seats
  • Three 2nd row individual folding passenger seats with fore/aft adjustment
  • Power driver seat with lumbar support and memory for seat and exterior door mirrors
  • Power passenger seat with lumbar support
  • Power folding 2nd row headrests
  • Heated front seats
  • Front headrests
  • Rear headrests

  • 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
  • Keyless drive (includes keyless entry and keyless start) with remote tag
  • Care key with user defined top speed
  • Private locking for glovebox and tailgate

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

  • Illuminated vanity mirrors + ticket holder

  • Tempa spare wheel and jack

  • CO2 (g/km): 154
  • Standard Euro Emissions: EURO 6
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Comb: 178
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Comb - Max: 199
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Comb - Min: 178
  • HC: N

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

  • EC Directive 1999/100/EC Applies: False
  • WLTP - MPG - Low - Min: 33.2
  • WLTP - MPG - Low - Max: 31.3
  • WLTP - MPG - Medium - Min: 40.9
  • WLTP - MPG - Medium - Max: 37.6
  • WLTP - MPG - High - Min: 47.8
  • WLTP - MPG - High - Max: 42.1
  • WLTP - MPG - Extra High - Min: 40.9
  • WLTP - MPG - Extra High - Max: 35.7
  • WLTP - MPG - Comb - Min: 41.5
  • WLTP - MPG - Comb - Max: 37.1
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Low - Min: 8.5
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Low - Max: 9
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Medium - Min: 6.9
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Medium - Max: 7.5
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - High - Min: 5.9
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - High - Max: 6.7
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Extra High - Min: 6.9
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Extra High - Max: 7.9
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Comb - Min: 6.8
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Comb - Max: 7.6

  • Generation Mark: 2
  • Alternative Fuel Qualifying: True
  • Special Edition: False
  • Special Order: False
  • Based On ID: N
  • Insurance Group 1 - 50 Effective January 07: 41E
  • 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: 235
  • Badge Engine CC: 2.0
  • Vehicle Homologation Class: M1
  • AdBlue: True
  • Standard manufacturers warranty - Years: 3
  • Standard manufacturers warranty - Mileage: 60000
  • Manufacturers Paintwork Guarantee - Years: 3
  • Manufacturers Corrosion Perforation Guarantee - Years: 8
  • Did at least one aspect of this vehicle's safety give cause for concern?: False
  • Coin Series: Momentum
  • Coin Description: B5D AWD

  • Engine Torque - MKG: 48.9
  • Engine Power - BHP: 235
  • Engine Power - PS: True
  • 0 to 60 mph (secs): False
  • 0 to 62 mph (secs): 7.6
  • Top Speed: 112
  • Engine Power - KW: 173
  • Engine Power - RPM: 4000
  • Engine Torque - LBS.FT: 354
  • Engine Torque - NM: 480
  • Engine Torque - RPM: 1750

  • Emissions Test Cycle: WLTP

  • Wheel Style: 5 DOUBLE SPOKE
  • Tyre Size Rear: 235/55 R19
  • Tyre Size Spare: SPACE SAVER
  • Wheel Type: 19" ALLOY
  • Tyre Size Front: 235/55 R19
  • Alloys?: True
  • Space Saver?: True

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

  • Luggage Capacity (Seats Up): 356
  • No. of Seats: 7
  • Max. Roof Load: 100
  • Luggage Capacity (Seats Down): 1856
  • Turning Circle - Kerb to Kerb: 11.8
  • Minimum Kerbweight: 2101
  • Gross Vehicle Weight: 2840
  • Fuel Tank Capacity (Litres): 71
  • Max. Towing Weight - Braked: 2700
  • Max. Towing Weight - Unbraked: 750
  • Max. Loading Weight: 739

  • Laminated rear and side windows: £750
  • Dark tinted windows for rear side windows and cargo area: £400

  • Touring chassis: Included
  • Active four C chassis - four corner adaptive dampers with electronic air suspension: £2,250

  • Wireless Mobile Phone Charger: £250

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

  • Head up display in windscreen: £750
  • Smartphone integration with Apple CarPlay and Android auto: £300

  • Sensus connect with high performance sound, connected service booking, 2x USB Type A in front and 2x USB Type C in rear, 10 speakers/220W output: Included

  • Power glass tilt and slide panoramic sunroof with sun curtain: £1,495
  • Premium metallic paint: £1,000
  • Metallic paint: £700
  • Solid paint: Included

  • Air conditioning for 3rd row of seats: £600
  • 2 zone electronic climate control with Clean zone air quality system + pollen filter: Included

  • Climate pack without heated windscreen - XC90 Momentum: £725
  • Climate pack - XC90 Momentum: £725
  • Lounge pack -XC90: £2,250
  • Tech - Harman Kardon sound pack - XC90: £850
  • Driver assist pack - XC90: £500

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

  • Solid - Ice white: £0

  • Premium metallic - Crystal white: £1,000

  • Road sign information display: Included
  • Power child locks on rear doors: £85
  • Mechanical rear door child locks: Included

  • Isofix outer rear child seat preparation in 2nd row: Included
  • Second row integrated child seat for centre seat: £175

  • Retractable towbar: £1,125

  • Leather - Charcoal: £0
  • Leather - Slate: £0

  • 19" 5 double spoke diamond cut black alloy wheels: Included
  • 19" 6 spoke sparkling silver alloy wheels: £0
  • 20" 5 multi spoke diamond cut/matt graphite 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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