2020 Volvo XC90 T8 review: Energetic, efficient and pretty extravagant

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In particular in array-topping Inscription trim, the Volvo XC90 is a person of the nicest a few-row utility cars offered currently, with tasteful structure, impeccable quality and much more refinement than a white-tie gala. The XC90 T8 builds on all those laurels with an highly developed powertrain that is not only extremely strong and refined, it truly is impressively effective to boot.


  • Interminable inside silence
  • Highly effective drivetrain
  • Attractive inside
  • Strong effectiveness

Will not Like

  • Quirky Sensus infotainment program
  • The ride could be a contact far better
  • Uninspired steering

Offering an advertised eighteen miles of electrical-only array is an 11.six-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery pack. This vehicle’s standard TurboCord allows you to cost it from 110- or 220-volt home stores. Hook it to a standard 110-volt socket and it will get all night to cost. Tap into a 220-volt electricity resource even so and Volvo promises it can be fully juiced in as small as two.five several hours. Many thanks to its J1772-design connector, you can quickly plug your XC90 into general public charging stations for on-the-go replenishment.

The moment its battery pack is depleted, the XC90 operates as a standard hybrid, which implies it truly is nevertheless impressively affordable, returning an EPA-approximated 27 miles for each gallon merged. When driving like a sane human being and fully using that electrical-only array, I was in a position to ordinary around 34 mpg all through my time with this car.

As in other Volvos, a turbo-and-supercharged 4-cylinder engine is nestled below the hood. Displacing two.-liters and matched to an eight-pace computerized transmission, this device provides 313 horsepower and 295 pound-toes of torque, even though it truly is not performing by yourself. A crankshaft-mounted starter-generator throws an added 111 lb-ft of torque into the mix, even though a independent, rear-mounted motor spins the aft tires, supplying both of those all-wheel generate and 87 added horses. Add almost everything up and the XC90 T8’s drivetrain is rated at four hundred hp and 472 lb-ft, figures that review favorably to the Volvo’s major rival, the Lincoln Aviator Grand Touring plug-in hybrid. The Lincoln is endowed with 494 hp and 630 lb-ft of torque, plus it offers an electrical-only driving array of 21 miles. Other plug-in competition incorporate the Land Rover Array Rover Activity PHEV and the Porsche Cayenne E-Hybrid.

This Volvo’s acquired enough kibbles ‘n bits to hit sixty mph in the mid-five-next array and it feels every little bit that quick. Smooth and virtually silent, its electrical motors give a wallop of low-stop torque to get items moving, even though the engine is virtually as refined. Amazingly quiet and virtually vibration totally free, Volvo’s two.-liter is an absolute gem. In fact, the very same could be stated about this complete powertrain, which is so seamless you won’t even recognize it truly is a hybrid. In comparison, the Aviator Grand Touring is nowhere in the vicinity of as properly calibrated, herking and jerking at odd situations. 

Plug-in XC90s come with about half a dozen driving modes. These modify its steering truly feel, braking efficiency, climate management program and much more. Hybrid is the standard mode, which operates this car as, you guessed it, a normal hybrid. The gasoline engine and electrical motors work with each other to provide fantastic efficiency and effectiveness. Simply click the tasteful small roller swap on the center console around to Pure and the XC90 will run solely on electrical energy, even though there is a caveat. This environment additional enhances effectiveness by placing the climate management program in eco mode and lowering the air suspension, if geared up. What is actually the capture? Well, in Pure mode the gasoline engine will kick on in specified circumstances, such as when you request much more electricity than the electrical motors can give or if you exceed seventy eight mph. Prevent flat-footing the accelerator or ripping down the interstate and you will have no trouble preserving this Volvo operating purely off the battery.

Underway, the XC90’s inside is tomblike in its silence. Even at freeway speeds this car remains virtually eerily hushed, which is great for the offered Bowers and Wilkins sound program, a $three,200 added. Crystal crystal clear nevertheless pounding, you can crank the quantity up without the need of any distortion or junky rattling seems to detract from your beloved tunes.

This Volvo’s steering has some heft to it, but it truly is regrettably uninvolving no issue which driving mode you find. Luckily, the brake pedal feels normal, seamlessly switching from regenerative to friction braking as required. It can be entirely transparent and properly weighted, remaining neither mushy nor grabby.

2020 Volvo XC90 T8 eAWD

This powertrain is sleek, strong and affordable. What much more could you check with for?

Craig Cole/Roadshow

My prime-shelf Inscription product is geared up with optional 21-inch wheels, an $800 added. These rollers glance fantastic, but I never always advocate them. Even when fitted with the offered $1,800 top-adjustable air suspension, my XC90’s ride is not very as sleek as it ought to be. No, it truly is not brutal by any implies, but there is a little bit much more impression harshness than I’d like, almost certainly mainly because all those wheels are so significant.

That a little clopping ride is not the stop of the world, but there are a pair other annoyances worth mentioning. For occasion, all those beautiful, leather-based-wrapped sunshine visors do not extend to protect the width of the entrance windows, a curious safety omission. This is a car that will sound an alarm if you so substantially as have a filthy thought, but shielding taller drivers’ eyes from glare is not critical? The XC90’s standard computerized significant beams are not good… at all. On multiple instances even though driving at night I found the program switching on when a car or truck was suitable in entrance of me and the beams failing to dip when oncoming traffic acquired substantially also shut. Ultimately, I just stopped making use of this attribute. At last, my tester is fitted with a crystalline shifter, which seems like a small piece of artwork mounted to the center console, even though you nevertheless have to double-click it to find the equipment you want, which is form of silly.

By natural means, the XC90 T8 contains lots of other driver-help systems like blind-location checking, computerized unexpected emergency braking and rear cross-traffic warn, to name a handful of. They all work very well, which include Pilot Aid, the automaker’s name for adaptive cruise management with lane centering. On the interstate at higher speeds, this program is rock stable, preserving the XC90 locked in the middle of its lane even though efficiently changing pace to match bordering traffic. Curiously, it truly is much a lot less self esteem inspiring on two-lane streets, the place it can ping-pong from a person lane marker to the other. 

2020 Volvo XC90 T8 eAWD

There are much worse areas to commit time than the XC90’s cabin.

Craig Cole/Roadshow

If you like a lot of swiping and scrolling, you may almost certainly really like Volvo’s Sensus Join infotainment program. This is not the worst multimedia providing offered currently, not by a lengthy shot, but neither is it my beloved considering the fact that it can lag from time to time and the menus are very puzzling. I truly experienced to search the owner’s manual mainly because I couldn’t recall how to help you save radio presets and it truly is not apparent how you do that. At the very least there is certainly lots of actual estate on the 9-inch monitor and Apple CarPlay and Android Car are bundled.

As I alluded to previously, the relaxation of this Volvo’s cabin is breathtaking. The in general structure is super thoroughly clean and tasteful. The Nappa-leather-based upholstery is almost certainly the nicest you may obtain this facet of a Rolls-Royce and there is certainly lovely stitching just about everywhere. My tester’s gray-hued, open up-pore ash-wood trim is beautiful to glance at and contact.

Comfort and ease in the XC90 is a little bit of a mixed bag. The entrance chairs are unquestionably throne-like, heated, ventilated, adjustable in much more approaches than you can rely and they are even in a position to give you a massage. The next-row buckets are a little bit on the narrow facet and not virtually as soft as the fronts, plus they are very complicated to tilt and slide for accessing the third row. Talking of the XC90’s aft-most accommodations, they are a limited squeeze for older people, which is no shock, but oddly enough the decrease cushion is at an exceptional top and gives lots of assist, some thing that is really unusual in this segment.

2020 Volvo XC90 T8 eAWD

See? I explained to you the XC90 T8 was beautiful. 

Craig Cole/Roadshow

The 2020 Volvo XC90 T8 is made available in a few trims: entry-level Momentum, midrange R-Layout and prime-shelf Inscription. The foundation cost is around $sixty eight,000, even though my tester drove off the assembly line in Gothenburg, Sweden with an MSRP of $86,790, a whole that contains a fairly modest desired destination cost of $995 and $eighteen,295 in alternatives. If you crave this Volvo’s refined structure, tasteful inside and pleasurable demeanor but are unwilling or unable to shell out virtually ninety grand never fret. You can get a non-hybrid T5 entrance-wheel-generate variant for about $fifty,000, which ought to provide substantially of the very same essential excellence if not very as substantially opulence.

This Volvo is an unquestionably lovely piece of work, a person of the ideal of its breed offered currently. Luxury may be antithetical to environmentalism, but the XC90’s plug-in powertrain goes a lengthy way to bettering both of those the driving dynamics and, much more importantly, gas effectiveness.