The 2021 Volvo XC90 Recharge T8 inscription was one the most artfully engineered vehicles we drove during the past calendar year. It is a big vehicle capable of carrying seven passengers and their gifts, luggage and sporting gear on a holiday outing.
It also features a unique combination of power and fuel efficiency thanks to its plug-in hybrid powertrain. The Volvo PHEV system delivers impressive fuel economy — 55 miles per gallon — while being driven on the vehicle’s battery, which can be recharged in three hours using a 240-volt outlet.
The seven-passenger Volvo XC90 Inscription T8 is designed to enhance the comfort and convenience of the occupants while they are on the road. It also is built with the very latest in automotive technology for safety as well as entertainment, and it keeps the driver and passengers connected while they are in the car. Volvo’s take on a midsize sport-utility vehicle is quite impressive.
It’s hard to disguise the fact the Volvo XC90 is a midsized sport-utility vehicle but Volvo’s designers have made an effort to give the impressive interior a respectable home. The profile is enhanced by the broad shoulders and tailored roof line with roof rails.
But the real strength of the exterior design comes at the corners with the well-designed light fixtures at front and rear corners of the vehicle, enhanced by the 20-inch wheels and with the distinctive front fascia and grille. The pair is amplified by the bright chrome bar through the grille that comes with the Inscription and the Volvo marque. The “Thor’s Hammer” headlights complete the look of the XC90.
Inclement weather for a significant part of the year means Swedes don’t have much control of the exterior environment around them. But they do prize their interiors and it shows in Volvo’s vehicles such as XC90, which has a lush, well-appointed interior filled with rich material and carefully placed accents such as wood inlays, which serve to enhance the overall design.
The interior is also very quiet, minimizing stress, and filled with easy technology placed for easy use. The interior also is filled with storage spaces, an impressive entertainment system, and comfortable, well-appointed seats covered in Nappa. There are also easy-to-use steering wheel controls and a great view of the road from the driver’s seat and a nicely done lighting scheme for nighttime driving.
The Volvo XC90 Recharge T8 Inscription is equipped with a 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine with a supercharger and turbocharging, couple with an 8-speed automatic transmission with start-stop. The powertrain also includes two electric motors and a high-voltage battery with recharging cables.
The combination of gasoline and electric produces 400 horsepower and 476 pound-feet of torque. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency gives the vehicle a combined gas and electric rating of 55 miles per gallon. The combined city and highway rating for the gasoline engine in the Volvo XC90 is 27 mpg. It also comes with all-wheel drive and several drive modes.
Safety and Technology
The Volvo XC90 is equipped with front- and side-impact airbags as well as whiplash protection front seats. It also comes with blind-spot detection with cross-traffic alerts, lane-departure warning with lane-keeping assistance and driver alert system. It is also equipped with collision avoidance with automatic braking and pedestrian and cyclist detection.
The XC90 also comes with LED headlights, smartphone charging, parking assistance, in-car navigation, 12.3-inch driver’s display, Bluetooth, XM Radio, Bowers and Wilkins sound system and two USB ports in the front seat and two USB ports in the rear seats.
This car is a pleasure to drive. It is surprisingly nimble for a vehicle of its size and its suspension levels out all sorts of road surfaces. The suspension, electric steering and excellent brakes give the vehicle excellent driving dynamics overall. The position of the larger battery for the hybrid powertrain also added to the vehicle’s overall stability, I think.
The driving dynamics are complemented by the vehicle’s impressive power with its turbo and supercharged 4-cylinder engine, which is augmented by the electric motor, producing an additional 87 horsepower to help enhance the pleasure of driving on both short and longer trips where the vehicle’s quiet, comfortable cabin comes into play.
2021 Volvo XC90 Recharge T8 specifications:
|Dimension||L: 194.9 inches/W: 79.1 inches/H: 69.9 inches/Wheelbase: 117.5 inches|
|Powertrain||2.0-liter supercharged, turbocharged 4-cylinder engine with electric motor; 8-speed automatic transmission|
|Fuel Economy||55 MPGe/27 mpg combined|
|Performance Specs||400 horsepower and 476 pound-feet of torque|
|Price||Base price: $63,450; As tested: $81,690 including $995 destination charge|
|On-Sale Date||Available now|
The Volvo XC90 Recharge T8 Inscription is an impressive vehicle outfitted with some of the very latest in automotive technology, including a large array of driver assistance features and safety equipment. The driver assistance features are augmented by a long list of comfort and convenience features, making it a very fine vehicle to use on a long trip, particularly since it also equipped with first-rate connectivity and entertainment elements. But I can also see how some buyers might find this model overengineered and perhaps overpriced at $82,000.
2021 Volvo XC90 Recharge T8 — Frequently Asked Questions
What makes the Volvo XC90 recharge so special?
The XC90 Recharge is powered by Volvo’s latest generation plug-in hybrid powertrain. It delivers high power, smooth electric propulsion and outstanding drivability.
How far can a Volvo XC90 recharge T8 go?
With a full battery, the XC90 Recharge T8 will cover up to a claimed 30 miles on electric power alone by official standards, but in reality, you’ll see more like 20-25 miles depending on the sort of driving that you do. Around town you’ll see the Volvo go further than if you’re on the highway regularly.
What is the lowest price for a Volvo XC90?
The least-expensive 2021 Volvo XC90 is the 2021 Volvo XC90 Recharge Plug-In Hybrid T8 Inscription Expression SUV AWD. Including the destination charge, it arrives with a Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price of $63,450.