Costs, insurance groups, MPG and CO2
While not cheap, the XC90 is competitively priced; it’s certainly cheaper to buy than the equivalent Audi Q7, BMW X5 or Land Rover Discovery. This applies whether you’re paying in cash or financing through a PCP deal.
Opting for the T8 makes a lot of sense for company car drivers; its low CO2 output places it in a very low benefit in kind (BIK) tax bracket. However, be warned that the promise of extremely low fuel consumption will only be realised if do most of your driving on electric power. Once the battery is depleted, the petrol engine becomes rather thirsty. It’s also £10,000 more than the B5 diesel.
That engine is a great alternative that still offers improved running costs over a regular diesel but for a competitive price. In fact, it will work out the cheapest XC90 to run for private buyers, and is claimed to be cleaner and use less fuel than most rivals’ diesel units.
Equipment, options and extras
Entry-level Momentum trim is the pick of the bunch. Adaptive cruise control, automatic (LED) headlights and wipers, leather seats (heated in the front), a powered tailgate, 19in alloy wheels and dual-zone climate control all come as standard. It is worth considering the Momentum Pro upgrade, though, which adds a heated steering wheel, nappa leather seat trim and a head-up windscreen display.
Only go for R-Design trim if you really love its sporty looks. It adds privacy glass, 20in alloy wheels and a host of sporty design touches, but it doesn’t really make much financial sense. As with Momentum trim, you can upgrade to R-Design Pro. This includes the same additional luxuries as Momentum Pro, along with 22in wheels (which hurt ride comfort) and adaptive air suspension.
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 four-zone climate control with individual air-con for the third-row seats, as well as a panoramic glass sunroof and the crystal glass gearknob we mentioned earlier.
In the 2018 What Car? Reliability Survey, Volvo as a brand scored rather poorly, finishing 21st out of 31 manufacturers. Not hugely impressive, then. The XC90 didn't do any better, only finishing above the Range Rover and Range Rover Sport in the Luxury SUV class.
All XC90s come with a three-year, 60,000-mile manufacturer’s warranty. The T8 models have their battery packs covered by a separate eight-year, 100,000-mile warranty.
Safety and security
A full five-star Euro NCAP safety rating is what you’d expect from a Volvo. Drill into the details and the XC90 scored very well across all of the test’s categories in protecting adults, children and pedestrians.
That’s due in part to its generous safety equipment, with automatic emergency braking (with cyclist and pedestrian detection), lane-keeping assist, a traffic sign recognition system, six airbags, traction control and Isofix mounts on the outside two middle-row seats all standard. Blindspot monitoring is available as an option.
Security experts Thatcham Research has run the XC90 through its security tests and awarded it top marks for resisting being stolen and good marks for resisting being broken into.
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