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Volvo V90 Review

Written by Allan Noble · 02/08/21

The 2021 Volvo V90 estate is Volvo's archetypal big estate car, ideal for families and company car drivers alike. The V90 T6 Recharge now features plug-in hybrid technology, giving it added appeal against rivals such as the BMW 5 Series Touring and Audi A6 Avant. Is this enough to make it the best on the market?


The Volvo V90 tops the Swedish manufacturer's range of estate cars, with only the XC90 SUV measuring any larger. Volvo has always been very good at making big estate cars with seemingly endless boot space, but to stand the test of time it has had to adapt to modern tastes and avoid making uninspiring square boxes. The new Volvo V90 is rakish, sculpted and elegant as a result. So too must it adapt to the market's move away from the traditional petrol and diesel fuel, and towards hybrid and electric motors. Volvo's answer is the V90 T6 Recharge plug-in hybrid, which replaced the previous T8 version in 2020.

The V90 Recharge features a turbocharged four-cylinder 2.0-litre petrol engine driving the front wheels, and an 86bhp electric motor powering the rear wheels, making the V90 all-wheel drive. The electric motor offers up to 35 miles of all-electric driving and helps deliver up to 134 miles per gallon and reduce CO2 emissions in the process.

Combined with Volvo's mission to make the safest cars on the market today, this all makes the Volvo V90 Recharge a tantalising package. However, Volvo struggles for market share against similar cars from the likes of Audi, BMW and Mercedes. This Volvo V90 review will put it through its paces to see how it fares against its German rivals.

Range, Charging, & Emissions

The Volvo V90 is equipped with an 11.6kWh battery pack, which powers the 86bhp electric motor on the rear axle and works seamlessly with the petrol engine at the front. Electric-only range is up to 35 miles, so city commutes can be done in Pure mode without the engine firing at all, maximising range.

The charging capacity of the V90 is limited to 3.7kWh and takes just over three hours to charge using a home wallbox or public charger. It will take around six hours to charge using a standard domestic plug, so with a little patience you may be able to do without the extra cost of installing a wallbox. However, it is advisable to keep the battery fully charged, otherwise, all you'll have is a heavy front-wheel-drive petrol car that will struggle to reach 40mpg.

Next: Running costs