Review: Volvo XC90 plug-in hybrid charges into lead
Detroit Free Press
Mark Phelan - June 8, 2016
With vehicles like the 2016 XC90 T8 Inscription plug-in hybrid SUV, Volvo could give the rest of the auto industry an inferiority complex. After all, the Swedish brand famous for boxy looks and stellar safety essentially took five years off after Ford sold it to Chinese automaker Geely.
So where does Volvo get off, taking a half-decade sabbatical between new vehicles and then introducing SUVs that make other luxury brands’ best efforts seem barely relevant?
The XC90 seven-passenger SUV mopped the floor with Germany, Japan and Detroit’s best efforts last year. It won a shelf-full of accolades, including the Detroit Free Press Truck of the Year and North American Truck of the Year awards.
As other automakers went back to their drawing boards, Volvo followed up this year with a model that sets the benchmark for plug-in hybrid family haulers.
The XC90 T8 — T8 designates the hybrid powertrain, which Volvo also calls “twin engine” — adds a lithium ion battery and a pair of electric motors to the conventional model. The result is higher power and fuel economy, but significantly more weight and cost. The hybrid is only available in all-wheel drive. Prices for the T8 start at $68,100. The hybrid compares best to the up-level $55,400 XC90 T6 Inscription, a stinging price premium.
I tested a loaded XC90 T8 Inscription. Features included voice recognition, wood and leather trim, a simple iPad-style touch screen, pedestrian and cyclist detection and avoidance, automatic low-speed braking, Bowers & Wilkins audio, navigation, blind-spot alert, head-up display, adaptive cruise control, lane-departure assist, Bluetooth phone and audio compatibility, Apple CarPlay and much more. It stickered at $83,010. All prices exclude destination charges.
In many ways, the XC90 T8 has no competition...
More + video...