Plug-in hybrid version of our Car of the Year hits Britain
Verdict: 4 stars
The XC90 T8 is a technological showcase for Volvo, and the way it drives hasn’t been compromised at all. But like other plug-ins, you’re only going to make the most of its efficiency by charging it from the mains. While it’s a superbly refined and comfortable luxury SUV, as soon as you start using the petrol engine, economy figures plummet. If you don’t have regular access to a plug, the D5 diesel is likely to be a more efficient choice.
The Volvo XC90 has already made an impact here at Auto Express. It earned our coveted Car of the Year award last year, and it’s the first in a range of new models that the brand is launching to propel itself to the top of the luxury car market.
While Volvo is renowned for its safety features, it’s also making a concerted effort to demonstrate its eco-friendly credentials. On top of introducing more efficient diesels across the range, it’s ventured into plug-in hybrids – first with the diesel-electric V60 Plug-In estate, and now with this: the XC90 T8 Twin Engine.
The new model is based on technology from the V60, but it has been refined and updated for the SUV. Power now comes from a 320bhp 2.0-litre turbocharged and supercharged petrol engine, instead of the V60’s diesel, and it’s joined by an 87bhp electric motor. These combine to deliver a claimed total output of 376bhp (factoring energy losses in the drivetrain), although a rotary selector on the centre console allows you to choose how you use the energy of the petrol-electric set-up.
Read more: Auto Express