Electric Car Awards 2023: Best used hybrid large SUV

With electrified cars now coming in all shapes and sizes – and available to suit every budget – we’ve named the best models in every class. Here we look at the best used hybrid large SUV...

So good an all-rounder is the Volvo XC90 that it has become something of an SUV icon; it’s as adept on the school run as it is on a transcontinental family holiday. It makes particular sense as a used buy, and we think the plug-in hybrid T8 is the standout version.

Consider the stats. Under its bonnet is a supercharged and turbocharged 2.0-litre petrol engine combined with an electric motor. When both are running in tandem, the T8 can gather up its skirts and rocket from 0-62mph in just 5.8sec, which is almost laughably quick.

Volvo XC90 rear cornering

In addition, when running in pure EV (electric vehicle) mode, earlier T8s can officially travel for up to 25 miles on electric power alone, and it’s this electric-only ability that can lead to some excellent fuel economy figures, provided you’re able to charge up regularly and your journeys are mostly short.

Even more impressively, if you plump for a 2016 car, you’ll pay at least £50,000 less than you’d stump up for the price of a new T8. It’s also much cheaper to buy (at any age) than the equivalent Audi Q7 and BMW X5.

But there’s more to the XC90 than just the stats: it’s also very easy to live with. It’s great to drive and very plush inside, with plenty of high-grade materials to delight the senses.

Volvo XC90 interior dashboard

What’s more, unlike hybrid versions of the Q7 and X5, which can carry a maximum of five occupants, the X90 T8 has seven very usable seats. And although the hybrid battery occupies what would otherwise be underfloor storage space, there’s still room for a decent pile of luggage even when all the seats are occupied.

Add that it has all the safety kit you’d expect of a Volvo, along with an impressively strong reliability record, and the XC90 really does have all the answers.

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