Review by Veeno Dewan
The facelifted XC90 remains a remarkably likable luxury SUV with PHEV capability. You get awesome Scandinavian design, inside and out in the form of an expensive, looking exterior and a sophisticated interior. There is excellent safety and standard active tech and a range of models in the line-up. The 2022 XC90 is available in a six- or seven-seat luxury format and all models now come with blind-spot steering assist, and standard LED headlights. Wireless smartphone charging and front parking sensors are also standard for 2022. Volvo has also updated its Sensus infotainment suite improving its load time and responsiveness. Few changes on the outside, The waterfall grille is slightly different, and there are some new wheel and paint options, The XC90’s handsome exterior is as unchanged– understated is the word here.
In terms of models there is a base T5 version of the XC90, with a 250-horsepower turbo-4 and front-wheel drive (all-wheel drive optional) and an 8-speed automatic. The T6 version pairs the turbo-4 with a supercharger and all-wheel drive, delivering 316 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque. We tested the top of the- line XC90 Recharge Plug-In Hybrid Inscription “T8” that takes the T6 engine and all-wheel drive and adds on an electric motor and an 11.6-kwh battery to provide approximately 455hp combined and 58 kilometres of miles of all-electric driving when fully charged. The hybrid model is charged through a port in the left driver’s side. A level 2 charger is recommended. Standard 120-volt charge is pretty feeble.
XC90 Momentum models with front-wheel drive. It comes with a power tailgate, synthetic leather upholstery, and Volvo’s 9.0-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility.
R-Design models get black trim and distinct wheels, while the top Inscriptions model as tested has perforated leather upholstery and open-pore wood trim. Other options as fitted to our top Inscription AWD Extended Range tester (Base price from ($90,000) included: 4 zone climate control, 4 Zone Climate Control, Third Row Climate Unit, Clean Zone, BLIS – Blind Spot Information System with Cross traffic alert, Panoramic Sun Roof, Keyless Entry with Handsfree Tailgate Opening, and 12.3” Driver Display.
Additional options included: Lounge Package with Massage in Front Seat, Climate Package, and the Advanced Package. Stand alone options included the Bowers & Wilkins Premium Sound System ($3,750), Park Assist Pilot + Park Assist Front and Rear and a four corner Air Suspension setup.
Once inside, you gain an understated, airy, light filled elegant Our Inscription arrived with wood trim and neutral blonde leather seating. The serene interior features a portrait-style display mid-dash using Volvo’s propriety Sensus infotainment system. I think every car interior designer should take a look at this cabin – it’s that good. The Inscription also offered butter soft leather seats and a wonderful Orrefors crystal shift lever
The second-row bench seat is roomy, but I would go for the two captain’s chairs option. The third-row seat is fairly easy to access with fold-away levers. The XC90 has up to 85.7 cubic feet of space behind the front seats, 41.8 cubic feet behind the second row, and 15.8 cubic feet behind the third row. The XC90 is of course a very safe vehicle with every safety tech you can think of present.
On the road, the XC90 doesn’t disappoint, one of the first thing that surprises you is the serene, hushed ride. The SUV is relaxing to drive with stable, no drama handling. It feels agile, with its firm, comfortable 4 corner suspension system. A high ride height, great visibility and a ride erring on sporty make the everyday driving experience pleasant. The 8-speed automatic transmission is supremely smooth and responsive. With combined torque at 523 lbs ft from the engine and electric motor at maximum output. The switch between the hybrid and gasoline engine is pretty seamless and the regenerative brakes are more conventional in their use with a smooth modulated action.
High points include a, nicely designed hushed luxury cabin, premium materials, and good road manners. Cons include the sometimes-fussy Sensus system and the stingy all electric range at only 58km. Fuel Efficiency is rated at (L/100 km): 9.2 City / 8.46 Highway / 8.9 Combined
Not a lot to complain about. The XC90 is wonderfully built and executed, the interior faultless and is priced well in base from, but options state jacking the price up. A good alternative to the usual German and Japanese premium cohorts and you won’t see many around!
Comes highly recommended
2022 Volvo XC90 Recharge Plug-In Hybrid Inscription: $90,000
Price as tested with all options: $103,150 plus freight and PDI
More info at www.volvo.ca