Volvo V90 plug-in hybrid long-term test: report 4

In theory, a plug-in hybrid estate like the V90 T6 should be ideal for someone living on the edge of a big city. Our editorial director is finding out if it also makes sense in reality...

LT Volvo V90 T6 plugged in on front drive

The car Volvo V90 Recharge T6 Inscription  Run by Jim Holder, editorial director

Why it’s here Can a large plug-in hybrid estate really deliver great fuel economy as well as carry-all practicality?

Needs to deliver A premium experience all round, from interior comfort and capability through to driving dynamics, while also hitting diesel-like efficiency

Mileage 3248 List price £58,300 Target Price £58,300 Price as tested £66,940 Test economy 50.1mpg Official economy 134.5mpg

15 October 2021 – Riding out the storm with plug-in hybrid power

Just 200 miles. That’s what the Volvo V90’s fuel calculator told me I had in the tank when the fuel crisis struck and, with my daughter’s birthday weekend to the beach and back booked, and with 175 miles to cover, I have to admit I was rather worried.

But that was two weeks ago – and I’ve yet to fill up. Charged up at both ends of our long trip, I used just 125 miles of fuel and about 50 of electric. That made the fish and chips back home taste a bit better.

Volvo V90 T6 plugged in

Then, while the queues raged, I just kept plugging in at home and, so long as I did, it became very clear that I wasn’t using any fuel at all. Indeed, it became a source of annoyance when an over-zealous stab of the accelerator would fire the engine even briefly to life.

My economy over these 14 days – counting ‘free’ electric miles – was more than 100mpg. That’ll soon fall to around 50mpg with a long trip, but it does demonstrate how plug-in hybrid power can work out for you.

One caveat though: the majority of fully electric cars could have covered the same journeys hassle-free too, charging from home and never burning  drop of petrol. Something to explore in a future update.

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