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Used hybrids: BMW X5 vs Volvo XC90 verdict

Like the idea of a luxury SUV but can’t stomach the fuel and tax bills? One of these used plug-in hybrids from BMW and Volvo might be the answer...

BMW X5 45e vs Volvo XC90 T8 - rears

Our verdict

As a company car choice, each of these makes a very compelling case for itself, but the BMW X5 is the winner because of its excellent benefit-in-kind (BIK) rate. When you flip the argument over to what private buyers are interested in when purchasing a used vehicle, we just can't ignore the significant expense of each of these plug-in hybrids over the equivalent diesel version. For that reason, most would be better off with an xDrive30d X5, or a D5 XC90.

However, if you are one of the few that's willing to swallow the additional expense to do your bit to lower emissions, and you have easy access to a home charger, which is the better choice? 

Again, costs play a significant part, and the £10,500 you'd save going for the more practical Volvo XC90 makes it our pick as a used buy. True, it doesn't have the same useful range as the BMW X5, but the majority will still benefit from the electric-only motoring it can provide, and that spare cash goes a long way to covering up any additional expense in fuel. Plus, you get the added versatility of two extra seats, which is one of the major reasons people buy vehicles of this size.

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1st – Volvo XC90

Volvo XC90 T8 front studio - 69-plate car

For Seven seats as standard; bigger boot; more flexible rear seats; better for safety
Against Firmer ride; coarser engine; noisier at high speeds; fiddly infotainment

What Car? rating Four stars out of five

Read our full used Volvo XC90 review >>

Find a used Volvo XC90 for sale >>


2nd – BMW X5

BMW X5 45e front studio - 69-plate car

For More cosseting ride; stronger performance; better infotainment; long electric range
Against Thirstier when battery is flat; less agile; rear seats don’t side or recline; hugely expensive

What Car? rating Four stars out of five

Read our full used BMW X5 review >>

Find a used BMW X5 for sale >>


Specifications: BMW X5 xDrive45e M Sport

Engine 6cyl, 2998cc, turbo, petrol
Power 389bhp (total system output)
Torque 443lb ft (total system output)
Gearbox 8-spd automatic
0-60mph 5.1sec
Top speed 146mph
Official fuel economy 166.2mpg (WLTP)
Test MPG (battery depleted) 25.0mpg
CO2 emissions 39g/km (WLTP)


Specifications: Volvo XC90 T8 R-Design

Engine 4cyl, 1969cc, turbo, petrol
Power 385bhp (total system output)
Torque 295lb ft (petrol) 177lb ft (electric)
Gearbox 8-spd automatic
0-60mph 5.7sec
Top speed 140mph
Official fuel economy 113.0mpg (WLTP)
Test MPG (battery depleted) 27.5mpg
CO2 emissions 66g/km (WLTP)