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

Nancy J. Delong

Table of Contents

Especially in range-topping Inscription trim, the Volvo XC90 is one particular of the nicest 3-row utility automobiles accessible currently, with elegant structure, impeccable excellent and more refinement than a white-tie gala. The XC90 T8 builds on individuals laurels with an state-of-the-art powertrain that is not only amazingly strong and refined, it really is impressively efficient to boot.


  • Interminable inside silence
  • Potent drivetrain
  • Stunning inside
  • Stable performance

Do not Like

  • Quirky Sensus infotainment method
  • The ride could be a touch improved
  • Uninspired steering

Supplying an marketed eighteen miles of electric-only range is an 11.6-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery pack. This vehicle’s typical TurboCord will allow you to charge it from one hundred ten- or 220-volt house stores. Hook it to a typical one hundred ten-volt socket and it will acquire all night to charge. Tap into a 220-volt energy resource having said that and Volvo claims it can be completely juiced in as minor as two.5 several hours. Many thanks to its J1772-design and style connector, you can quickly plug your XC90 into public charging stations for on-the-go replenishment.

At the time its battery pack is depleted, the XC90 operates as a typical hybrid, which signifies it really is even now impressively economical, returning an EPA-believed 27 miles per gallon put together. When driving like a sane human being and completely employing that electric-only range, I was ready to regular around 34 mpg all through my time with this vehicle.

As in other Volvos, a turbo-and-supercharged 4-cylinder motor is nestled less than the hood. Displacing two.-liters and matched to an 8-speed computerized transmission, this unit provides 313 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque, nevertheless it really is not doing work by yourself. A crankshaft-mounted starter-generator throws an extra 111 lb-ft of torque into the mix, whilst a independent, rear-mounted motor spins the aft tires, offering the two all-wheel generate and 87 additional horses. Add everything up and the XC90 T8’s drivetrain is rated at 400 hp and 472 lb-ft, figures that compare favorably to the Volvo’s main rival, the Lincoln Aviator Grand Touring plug-in hybrid. The Lincoln is endowed with 494 hp and 630 lb-ft of torque, moreover it gives an electric-only driving range of 21 miles. Other plug-in rivals incorporate the Land Rover Vary Rover Sport PHEV and the Porsche Cayenne E-Hybrid.

This Volvo’s acquired more than enough kibbles ‘n bits to hit 60 mph in the mid-5-next range and it feels each individual bit that swift. Easy and nearly silent, its electric motors supply a wallop of low-conclusion torque to get matters shifting, nevertheless the motor is almost as refined. Extremely peaceful and nearly vibration totally free, Volvo’s two.-liter is an absolute gem. In actuality, the similar could be reported about this overall powertrain, which is so seamless you is not going to even notice it really is a hybrid. In comparison, the Aviator Grand Touring is nowhere in the vicinity of as nicely calibrated, herking and jerking at odd occasions. 

Plug-in XC90s appear with about fifty percent a dozen driving modes. These change its steering really feel, braking overall performance, local weather handle method and more. Hybrid is the typical method, which operates this vehicle as, you guessed it, a standard hybrid. The gasoline motor and electric motors get the job done collectively to supply good overall performance and performance. Click on the elegant minor roller swap on the heart console about to Pure and the XC90 will operate solely on energy, nevertheless there is a caveat. This setting more improves performance by putting the local weather handle method in eco method and reducing the air suspension, if geared up. What’s the capture? Well, in Pure method the gasoline motor will kick on in sure conditions, such as when you ask for more energy than the electric motors can supply or if you exceed seventy eight mph. Stay clear of flat-footing the accelerator or ripping down the interstate and you will have no issues retaining this Volvo managing purely off the battery.

Underway, the XC90’s inside is tomblike in its silence. Even at freeway speeds this vehicle continues to be practically eerily hushed, which is perfect for the accessible Bowers and Wilkins seem method, a $3,200 additional. Crystal obvious however pounding, you can crank the quantity up devoid of any distortion or junky rattling seems to detract from your favorite tunes.

This Volvo’s steering has some heft to it, but it really is regrettably uninvolving no make a difference which driving method you decide on. Fortuitously, the brake pedal feels pure, seamlessly switching from regenerative to friction braking as desired. It truly is completely transparent and nicely weighted, becoming neither mushy nor grabby.

2020 Volvo XC90 T8 eAWD

This powertrain is easy, strong and economical. What more could you question for?

Craig Cole/Roadshow

My top rated-shelf Inscription model is geared up with optional 21-inch wheels, an $800 additional. These rollers appear great, but I don’t automatically recommend them. Even when equipped with the accessible $1,800 top-adjustable air suspension, my XC90’s ride is not really as easy as it should really be. No, it really is not brutal by any signifies, but there is a bit more impact harshness than I’d like, possibly since individuals wheels are so weighty.

That a little clopping ride is not the conclusion of the entire world, but there are a pair other annoyances well worth mentioning. For occasion, individuals gorgeous, leather-based-wrapped sun visors do not extend to include the width of the front home windows, a curious safety omission. This is a vehicle that will seem an alarm if you so a great deal as have a soiled believed, but shielding taller drivers’ eyes from glare is just not essential? The XC90’s typical computerized high beams are not good… at all. On various instances whilst driving at night I observed the method switching on when a vehicle was appropriate in front of me and the beams failing to dip when oncoming traffic acquired a great deal much too near. Inevitably, I just stopped working with this function. At last, my tester is equipped with a crystalline shifter, which looks like a minor piece of art mounted to the heart console, nevertheless you even now have to double-click it to decide on the gear you want, which is kind of silly.

Normally, the XC90 T8 contains lots of other driver-help technologies like blind-spot checking, computerized emergency braking and rear cross-traffic inform, to title a couple. They all get the job done effectively, together with Pilot Support, the automaker’s title for adaptive cruise handle with lane centering. On the interstate at larger speeds, this method is rock stable, retaining the XC90 locked in the middle of its lane whilst easily changing speed to match surrounding traffic. Curiously, it really is much much less assurance inspiring on two-lane roadways, where by it can ping-pong from one particular lane marker to the other. 

2020 Volvo XC90 T8 eAWD

There are much even worse destinations to shell out time than the XC90’s cabin.

Craig Cole/Roadshow

If you like a lot of swiping and scrolling, you can expect to possibly really like Volvo’s Sensus Link infotainment method. This is not the worst multimedia providing accessible currently, not by a lengthy shot, but neither is it my favorite due to the fact it can lag from time to time and the menus are quite bewildering. I essentially experienced to lookup the owner’s guide since I could not remember how to conserve radio presets and it really is not clear how you do that. At minimum you can find lots of authentic estate on the nine-inch monitor and Apple CarPlay and Android Car are involved.

As I alluded to earlier, the relaxation of this Volvo’s cabin is amazing. The total structure is super clean and elegant. The Nappa-leather-based upholstery is possibly the nicest you can expect to come across this side of a Rolls-Royce and you can find beautiful stitching everywhere. My tester’s grey-hued, open-pore ash-wood trim is gorgeous to appear at and touch.

Ease and comfort in the XC90 is a bit of a mixed bag. The front chairs are absolutely throne-like, heated, ventilated, adjustable in more methods than you can count and they’re even ready to give you a massage. The next-row buckets are a bit on the slender side and not nearly as soft as the fronts, moreover they’re really complicated to tilt and slide for accessing the third row. Talking of the XC90’s aft-most accommodations, they’re a restricted squeeze for older people, which is no shock, but oddly more than enough the lower cushion is at an fantastic top and provides lots of help, some thing that is really unconventional in this phase.

2020 Volvo XC90 T8 eAWD

See? I told you the XC90 T8 was gorgeous. 

Craig Cole/Roadshow

The 2020 Volvo XC90 T8 is presented in 3 trims: entry-level Momentum, midrange R-Layout and top rated-shelf Inscription. The base cost is around $sixty eight,000, nevertheless my tester drove off the assembly line in Gothenburg, Sweden with an MSRP of $86,790, a total that contains a fairly modest desired destination charge of $995 and $eighteen,295 in selections. If you crave this Volvo’s subtle structure, tasteful inside and enjoyable demeanor but are unwilling or not able to shell out nearly ninety grand don’t fret. You can get a non-hybrid T5 front-wheel-generate variant for about $fifty,000, which should really supply a great deal of the similar basic excellence if not really as a great deal opulence.

This Volvo is an absolutely beautiful piece of get the job done, one particular of the finest of its breed accessible currently. Luxury may possibly be antithetical to environmentalism, but the XC90’s plug-in powertrain goes a lengthy way to increasing the two the driving dynamics and, more importantly, gasoline performance.

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