• Performance
  • Comfort
  • Interior Design
  • Exterior Design
  • Fuel Economy

by: Mike Ginsca, MGReviews.com

The Volvo XC90 was among the first luxury SUVs to be offered in a hybrid powertrain. Granted, it wouldn’t get you very far. Only about 20 km or so. But over the years as battery technology improved, Volvo increased the range of the XC90.

Performance

The only engine that Volvo offers across its entire model range is a 2.0L inline-4. Everything from the S60 to the V90 to this XC90 has it. But depending on trim, it can be turbocharged, turbocharged & supercharged, or a hybrid with the supercharged & turbocharged variant of the 2.0L engine. This particular Volvo XC90 is the latter with a combined output of 400 hp and 472 lb-ft of torque. Due to the instant torque of the electric motor, there is little hesitation when setting off from a stop or overtaking traffic.

Of course, being a hybrid, it can be driven purely on the engine alone or on the electric motor. While the maximum range on electricity alone has improved since 2016, it’s still not the greatest. The 2019 Volvo XC90 can go as far as 32 km on a single charge. Depending on how long your commute is, the 32 km range may be enough. But for most it’s not which means having to plug it in when getting to work and then again when getting back home.

Thankfully charging it back to 100% from 0 is relatively quick. From a level 2 charging station, it can be done in about 2 and a half hours. You’ll be looking at roughly twice as long from a regular 120V wall outlet and level 3 charging is not available.

The XC90 was never meant to be a sports SUV like the Jaguar F-Pace SVR for example. That said, the 275 wide tires all-round offer enough grip to let you take the three-row SUV fairly quickly around corners. Steering feel is also not too bad for an SUV of this size and class. Again, it doesn’t have the same feel as in a sports SUV but it isn’t completely numb feeling either.

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Comfort

Although this demo vehicle does not have the optional air suspension, it still provides a relatively smooth ride over rough city streets. The seats further add to the comfort by providing a supportive seating position and soft leather cushion.

Front and rear occupants have a good amount of leg and head room but if you’re an adult, the third row is not a place you want to find yourself. Space for your legs and head is extremely tight. Fold the third row however, and cargo space is very generous for this class of vehicle.

When in full electric mode, the Volvo XC90 is quiet as one would expect. However, when driving on a highway, there is quite a lot of road noise from the tires. Engine noise is relatively subdued when it does kick in but as far as 4-cylinder engines go, this one doesn’t produce any nice sounds. It’s just some noise.

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Odds and Ends

The iPad-like touchscreen controls every feature of the vehicle. While it does keep the design looking timeless, it can be frustrating to constantly go into a menu then a submenu just to change the fan speed. Happily though, the XC90 can respond to voice controls. Using the voice command button on the steering wheel, you can verbally say what you want changed like the driver temperature or the radio station or navigation to a specific destination.

This being the top T8 engine option, you’d expect it to be fully loaded. But it isn’t. New for 2019 is the addition of the base Momentum trim with the hybrid powertrain. This means that the starting price of a luxury hybrid Volvo 3-row SUV is $74,950 CAD. $7,500 less than the next trim up, the R-Design. While it is a base trim, you still get lane keeping aid, forward collision alert with emergency braking, a slew of airbags, panoramic sunroof, heated and power front seats, power tailgate, and full LED headlights to name a few. But if you want some optional features, you’re limited to just the Momentum Elite package that costs $9,500 CAD. It includes just about every optional feature that is available on Volvo models but you can’t choose to have just the surround view cameras or just ventilated seats for example. You must have all of it or none of it.

Overall the Volvo XC90 can still hold its own in a very crowded SUV market. It looks great inside and out, is available with every feature one would ever need, and is a bit less expensive than the comparable German rivals.

Thank you to Volvo Canada for providing the vehicle. www.VolvoCars.com/ca

Read the full article and view more pictures at: MGReviews.com/2019-Volvo-XC90-T8

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