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Volvo XC90 Recharge

Written by Allan Noble · 09/08/21

The new Volvo XC90 SUV is Volvo's biggest car, and therefore is set to benefit most from the addition of a plug in hybrid system, improving fuel economy while maintaining the performance expected of a big luxury SUV. This Volvo XC90 review will find out whether this big seven seater hits the spot for family buyers.


The Volvo XC90 is the ultimate family SUV. Safe, stylish and sure-footed on the road, the XC90 is surprisingly good at disguising its size through its svelte, elegant lines. It has four wheel drive, seven seats, a class-leading safety record and is well regarded for reliability, but its size has prevented it from being an especially economical or environmentally friendly car until now.

SUVs have been in vogue for a number of years now, but buyers are starting to turn away from traditional petrol and diesel versions due to the taxation and environmental issues which are now becoming apparent.

This is where the Volvo XC90 Recharge comes into its own. Sitting at the top of the XC90 range, it is charged (no pun intended) with delivering a luxurious and dynamic experience for owners, while benefiting from both a 2.0 litre turbocharged and supercharged petrol engine, and a battery-driven electric motor to deliver a combined power output of almost 400bhp. The XC90 promises a relaxing and powerful experience for the driver, as well as comfort and space for passengers.

The XC90 is not a cheap car anyway, but the plug in hybrid technology only serves to increase the price further to over £65,000 before you even look at the options list, which means that the cost of a new Volvo XC90 may be prohibitive for many. In this Volvo XC90 review we will find out how the Volvo XC90 T8 measures up against rivals such as Land Rover and BMW.

Range, Charging, & Emissions

Volvo XC90 Range

You can operate the Volvo XC90 SUV in electric-only mode, which will give you a range of up to 30 miles in optimum conditions, without the petrol engine firing up at all. You can toggle between driving modes to give an electric bias, hybrid power with regenerative braking to charge the battery as you go along, or a more performance focused drive. Running around town will make the most of the electric range, but your battery will drain more quickly on higher speed motorway trips.

Volvo XC90 Battery

The XC90 is fitted with the same 11.6kWh battery pack that can be seen across the Recharge range including its smaller V60 and V90 siblings. This keeps the extra weight to a minimum but also offers useable range and a manageable charging speed. Ideally, it would have a bigger capacity to give a better range, but then the battery would have started to intrude into the cabin or boot space in the rear. As it stands, the battery is neatly hidden away under the floor.

Volvo XC90 Charging

If you plug the Volvo XC90 into a standard three-pin domestic socket, it will take around six hours to charge, and a 3.6kWh rapid charger will do it in around three. Purchasing a home charger may help keep you in the habit of charging it up quickly to make the most of the electric range, but the Volvo's capacity to charge is limited so that it will take at least three hours regardless of what charger you use. You might find that plugging in overnight will suffice. If you don't want the hassle of charging, the Volvo XC90 also comes in mild-hybrid versions that don't need to be plugged in.

Next: Running costs