Volvo V90 plug-in hybrid long-term test: report 8

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

Volvo V90 lap of lights

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 4478 List price £58,300 Target Price £54,419 Price as tested £66,940 Test economy 47.3mpg

6 January 2022 – Light of my life

Recently, I made a trip to Silverstone, to take in its brilliant Lap of Lights display and visit family, as well as for another chance to assess the Volvo V90 over a longer trip.

Inevitably, my first conclusions focused on the fuel economy, and were dampened by how rapidly the electric range was consumed; it only represented a small percentage of the overall journey, the battery and hybrid tech thereafter becoming dead weight.

Volvo V90 boot

After 222.6 miles, averaging 45mph, the V90 displayed an average of 37mpg according to the trip computer. Not great in isolation when you consider this model is portrayed as a viable alternative to a diesel, but not catastrophic when you consider that my overall figure, including many commutes entirely on electric, is close to 50mpg.

Other impressions remain more positive. The V90 is spacious, comfortable and oh-so easy to live with. It really is one of those cars that is a joy to be in.

So much so, in fact, that to highlight the niggles feels mean spirited. Nevertheless, the digital radio reception isn't great; it has a habit of pausing the radio whenever you use another function, and it's a bit of a pain that the wheel buttons control so few functions; you keep having to go through the main screen as a result. But, as gripes go, these are pretty easy to forgive.

For all the latest reviews, advice and new car deals, sign up to the What Car? newsletter here

Read more on our long-term Volvo V90 >>

Read about more long-term test cars >>

Also consider