Volvo XC90 2022 rear right tracking
  • Volvo XC90 2022 front right tracking
  • Volvo XC90 2022 rear right tracking
  • Volvo XC90 2022 interior dashboard
  • Volvo XC90 2022 interior front seats
  • Volvo XC90 2022 interior infotainment
  • Volvo XC90 2022 front cornering
  • Volvo XC90 2022 front right tracking
  • Volvo XC90 2022 front left static
  • Volvo XC90 2022 rear left static
  • Volvo XC90 2022 front static off road
  • Volvo XC90 2022 PHEV charging socket
  • Volvo XC90 2022 interior driver display
  • Volvo XC90 2022 boot open
  • Volvo XC90 2022 front right tracking
  • Volvo XC90 2022 rear right tracking
  • Volvo XC90 2022 interior dashboard
  • Volvo XC90 2022 interior front seats
  • Volvo XC90 2022 interior infotainment
  • Volvo XC90 2022 front cornering
  • Volvo XC90 2022 front right tracking
  • Volvo XC90 2022 front left static
  • Volvo XC90 2022 rear left static
  • Volvo XC90 2022 front static off road
  • Volvo XC90 2022 PHEV charging socket
  • Volvo XC90 2022 interior driver display
  • Volvo XC90 2022 boot open
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In this section:
  • Engine, 0-60mph and gearbox
  • Suspension and ride comfort
  • Handling
  • Noise and vibration

Performance & drive

What it’s like to drive, and how quiet it is

Engine, 0-60mph and gearbox

Starting with the Volvo XC90's B5 diesel engine, it delivers decent low-rev pull and makes getting up to motorway speeds effortless. The equivalent Audi Q7 and BMW X5 – which both have larger engines – are ultimately faster, but not by a great deal.

The entry-level petrol (also badged B5) needs to be worked much harder than the diesel, but when you do so it can manage 0-62mph in 7.7sec (just a tenth of a second slower than the diesel). Overall, though, the diesel is a better fit for the XC90 thanks to its extra urgency at low revs.

The top-spec Ultimate model with air suspension costs quite a bit more than the two lower trim levels on standard springs. While it offers better absorbency over large lumps, such as speed humps, it doesn't improve the ride to any noticeable degree on patched-up city streets. You’ll still feel a harsh thud when you strike something sharp-edged. We’d save the expense and stick to the standard set-up. Meanwhile, the T8, despite the increased weight from its heavy batteries, manages to remain as comfortable as lesser XC90s.

Whichever model you choose, we suggest going for the smallest wheels possible. Essentially, the smaller the wheel, the more comfortable your XC90 will be. We’d stick to 19in or 20in wheels where possible, and avoid the vast optional 22in ones at all costs.

Volvo XC90 2022 rear right tracking

Handling

Wind noise is relatively well suppressed in the XC90, but road roar from the tyres is nowhere near as well contained as in a Defender or Q7. Suspension noise is also an issue, you’ll hear noticeable crashes and thumps over larger bumps, such as potholes and expansion joints. Thankfully, these impacts sound much worse than they feel. All XC90s come with an eight-speed automatic gearbox that responds pretty promptly, requiring much less of a wait than that of the Q7. Under light acceleration it’s smooth, although the changes become much more pronounced when you put your foot down.

New car deals
Save up to £6,411
Target Price from £56,614
Save up to £6,411
or from £584pm
Swipe to see used and leasing deals
Leasing deals
From £542pm