Motoring: Volvo XC90 Recharge is an expensive beauty but worth the money - The Stratford Observer

Motoring: Volvo XC90 Recharge is an expensive beauty but worth the money

Stratford Editorial 25th Jun, 2021   0

Volvo XC90 Recharge Plug-in Hybrid T8 AWD Inscription

Test Drive by Tony Yates

WHEN I first got a glimpse of the new updated XC90 Recharge – I was jumping for joy because Volvo had made good on all its promises of producing something bold and new and what you now see before you is something that I can only describe as a thing of beauty which will have the hairs on the back of your neck standing up for some time to come.

Another little secret: I now own a Volvo XC40 Recharge its smaller brother as to say, so I am now finally classed as being cool and hip – and like a Cruise Missile, many of my friends are now locked onto the path of the nearest Volvo dealership.

Power and Efficiency:

Power & Performance is a key part of the XC90 Recharge.

Volvo claims a 5.5sec 0-60mph time and I would agree with that because it feels immense when you push the big pedal and when you think about that for a second, that’s sports car beating territory.

Also, if you own a Porsche, think twice about a race from the lights against the Volvo for sure.

So, what does the T8 stand for? T8 = (petrol and electric) 303hp+87hp. The XC90 Recharge also has 640Nm of torque which means it’s no slouch either. There are also 6 selectable drive modes: Constant AWD, Pure, Hybrid, Individual, Power & Off-Road. I prefer the power of the engine and the electric motor – so I would keep it in either ‘Hybrid or ‘Power Mode’ most of the time.

To explain further, The XC90 Recharge Plug-in Hybrid T8 uses a system in which the petrol engine powers the front wheels and the electric motor drives the rear axle. The two power sources can work independently of each other or together to provide all the traction and stability benefits of all-wheel drive whenever required.

On the road:

The XC90 is comfortable and is agile enough to keep up with the demands of most of what you throw at it – but to be honest, you don’t drive around in a luxury XC90 with your hair on fire – you simply glide.

If you do decide to push the car a bit ‘gung-ho’ down a smooth country lane or even around some twisty curves you will find it’s very smooth and very controlled.

My test vehicle was also fitted with; Active Four-C Chassis (option) The Active Four-C Chassis equips the XC90 with electronically controlled air suspension in place of the front coil springs and rear transverse leaf spring, with separate air chambers for each wheel. Adaptive dampers are also included.

Interior & Technology:

The XC90 is a car that stands out from what everybody else is driving around you. It is very futuristic looking, but it does keep some of the standard Volvo appearances that I loved so much about the older model – such as being Big & Bold.

Inside is a real pleasure to behold.

It’s well equipped and has some very nice touches around the centre console.

To be honest, sitting in here is like sitting in the Royal Suite at The Goring, where everything you will ever need is just a button push or arm’s reach away.

Volvo has done a brilliant job of making you feel like it was made just for you.


Inside the cabin is a big plus point for the XC90, it has plenty of room for everyone. Boot space is brilliant and even better with its split-folding seats.

There is more than enough space in here for your entire family, even with the use of the seven seats, there is still enough room for a few bags etc… not like some seven-seat cars I have come across in the past, where you see the third-row passengers faces being contorted against the glass in the rear window due to lack of rear seating space.

Standard equipment on the New XC90 starts with; Nine-inch centre console touchscreen with voice-activated control, Volvo On Call with the app – available for your smartphone, smartwatch or tablet, this enables you to control various car functions remotely, and also acts as an emergency and tracking service, Sensus Navigation – full European mapping with traffic information and lifetime map updates, Sensus Connect – allows you to access a range of web apps, Data SIM card – provides up to 100GB of data for 12 months, City Safety – includes pedestrian, cyclist and large animal detection, and front collision warning with fully automatic emergency braking, including at junctions (a world first) Pilot Assist and Adaptive Cruise Control – this driver-assistance technology helps with the steering (up to 80mph) and takes care of the accelerator and brake inputs required to keep the car within lane markings and at the desired cruising speed.

Plus, Oncoming Lane Mitigation – automatically provides steering assistance if you unwittingly drift out of your lane, guiding you back into your lane and out of the path of any oncoming vehicles, Run-off Road Protection – automatically tightens the front seatbelts should the car inadvertently leave the road, while front seat frames with a collapsible section (a world first) reduce vertical forces to help prevent spinal injuries, LED headlights with active high beam, Two-zone climate control with CleanZone air-quality system, Power-operated tailgate with hands-free opening, Rear parking camera, Front and rear parking sensors, 12.3-inch active TFT crystal driver’s information display, Seven seats – three second-row individual folding seats with fore/aft adjustment and two third-row individual folding seats and Heated front seats.


Well, let’s just say it’s a Volvo and it has you and your family fully covered. No worries there then.

To sum up:

Would I buy one? A big fat YES, but I can’t afford one which is why I opted for its smaller brother, the brilliant XC40 Recharge – but as a man – I, really, really do want to own an XC90 all of my own.

Price: (from) £68,820

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