While not cheap, the Volvo XC90 is competitively priced; it’s certainly cheaper to buy than the equivalent Porsche Cayenne, Audi Q7 or Land Rover Discovery. This applies whether you’re paying in cash or prefer financing through a PCP deal.
Opting for the T8 makes the most sense for company car drivers, thanks to its tiny CO2 emissions that place it in a low company car tax bracket. However, be warned that the promise of extremely low fuel consumption will only materialise if you drive mostly on electric power, which is maximised by short trips in town. Motorway driving depletes the battery quickly, and once it’s gone, the petrol engine kicks in and the MPG figures take a tumble. At this point it’s no more frugal than the juicy petrol T6 model.
The diesel, meanwhile, is the best bet for most people who do a mix of driving that includes a fair amount of time on faster roads. It’s sensibly priced and will work out the cheapest to run for private buyers. In fact, it's claimed to be cleaner and use less fuel than most rivals’ diesel units.
Resale values for the XC90 are among the best in the class, only just lagging behind the slow-depreciating Land Rover Discovery’s. Other long-term costs, such as servicing and insurance, are also very competitive for the class.
Momentum trim is the pick of the bunch. Just look at what you get for what’s a relatively inexpensive price in this class: adaptive cruise control, automatic (LED) headlights and wipers, leather seats, front and rear parking sensors, a powered tailgate with ‘gesture’ opening and closing, sat-nav, Bluetooth, 19in alloy wheels, dual-zone climate control, an electrically adjustable driver’s seat, heated front seats, a DAB radio and automatic emergency city braking. That’s quite a list.
It is worth considering the Momentum Pro upgrade, which adds to those niceties above a heated steering wheel, adaptive headlights with headlight washers, Nappa-leather seat trim, an electrically adjustable passenger seat, heated steering wheel and a 12.3in digital screen in place of analogue dials.
Only go for the R-Design trim if you really love its sporty looks. It adds sports seats with electric adjustment for the passenger, privacy glass, a 12.3in digital instrument cluster, 20in alloy wheels and a host of sporty design touches, but it doesn’t really make much financial sense.
As with the Momentum trim you can upgrade to R-Design Pro. This includes the same additional luxuries as the Momentum Pro, along with 22in wheels (that hurt the ride comfort) and adaptive air suspension.
Inscription trim gets the R-Design’s 12.3in digital instrument display and electrically adjustable passenger seat, along with softer Nappa leather, 20in alloy wheels, swanky ambient illumination throughout the interior and handsome walnut trim. It’s certainly plush, but we still rate the Momentum model as offering the best value for money.
Again, there’s an Inscription Pro that follows the theme of adding extra luxuries that on this version include cooling and massaging front seats, adaptive air suspension and 21in alloy wheels.
It’s not strictly a trim - you can order the T8 hybrid in any of the regular trims - but whichever one you choose with the T8 powertrain installed your car will feature a 12.3in digital instrument display, four-zone climate control and individual air-con for the third-row seats, as well as panoramic glass sunroof and the unique addition of a crystal glass gear knob.
Volvo XC90 reliability
In the most recent JD Power dependability survey the Volvo brand finished in the lower half of the table, and it was a similar story in our last reliability survey, where the manufacturer placed 25th of the 37 featured. Not hugely impressive then, but better than brands including BMW, Audi and Porsche, which were lower still.
All XC90s come with a three-year, 60,000-mile manufacturer’s warranty. T8 XC90’s have their battery packs covered by a separate eight-year, 100,000-mile warranty.
Volvo XC90 safety & security
A full five-star Euro NCAP safety rating is what you’d expect from a Volvo, and drill into the details and the XC90 scored very well across all the test’s categories. That’s thanks in part to its generous safety equipment, with automatic emergency city braking with cyclist and pedestrian detection, lane keeping assist, a road sign recognition system, six airbags, traction control and ISOFIX mounts on the outside two middle-row seats all standard. Blind spot monitoring is available as an option.
Security experts Thatcham has run the Volvo XC90 through its security tests and scored it top marks for resisting being stolen and good marks for resisting being broken into.
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The pick of the bunch. Cruise control, automatic headlights and wipers, leather seats, rear parking sensors, sat-nav, Bluetooth, 19in alloy wheels, climate control, an electric driver’s seats, heated front seats, keyless entry and start, a DAB radio and city braking technology as standard.
Adds a 12.3in digital instrument cluster, larger 20in alloy wheels and various sporty design touches inside and out. It may enhance the look for you, but R-Design doesn’t really make much financial sense, so we’d stick to Momentum trim.
Benefits from softer Nappa leather, different 20in alloy wheels to R-Design trim, an electrically adjustable passenger seat and more illumination throughout the cabin. We think there’s more sense in sticking to Momentum trim.