Volvo XC90 review - MPG, CO2 and running costs
Mild-hybrid diesel tech offers good economy, but the XC90 T8 plug-in hybrid is the most efficient model in the range
The XC90’s most popular engine was always the D5, and the B5 diesel continues that trend. Volvo quotes WLTP-tested fuel economy of up to 41.5mpg for the latest engine. This is poorer than the 49.6mpg quoted for the old D5, but is a reflection on the tougher test conditions now faced, and means you're more likely to achieve this figure in everyday driving.
Elsewhere, the B5 petrol has quoted WLTP figures of up to 32.4mpg, while the B6 manages up to 30.7mpg, so we'd only really recommend those engines if you have deep pockets.
The XC90 T8 Twin Engine will be a favourite among company car users – its plug-in hybrid tech officially registering up to 104.6mpg in WLTP testing. This will be an optimistic estimate in real world driving, but the resulting 61g/km of CO2 will be more useful. That’s assuming you can stretch to the £65,000-plus starting price, which means you’ll need to be a Benefit-in-Kind tax payer or make lots of short urban journeys to justify the investment on either financial or ecological grounds. .
To maximise the T8's potential, you really need to plug it into a charging point at every opportunity. Volvo does offer a number of charging options, whether they’re at home or at work, and has teamed up with charging specialist Pod Point to provide high-voltage charging installations. This system can replenish the battery from flat in a lot less time than it takes via a standard 240V plug socket.
In reality, the plug-in hybrid will get nowhere near its claimed mpg in anything like ‘normal’ usage – but that’s a common complaint for all plug-in hybrid vehicles. However, Volvo claims the XC90 T8 will travel up to 30 miles on electric drive alone.
A wide range of passive and active safety and security technologies has helped to ensure that insurance costs are competitive for the new Volvo XC90.
The T8 Twin Engine hybrid versions have slightly higher insurance ratings than the conventional models.
The old XC90 proved to be quite stubborn in holding on to its value, so we’d expect this new model to be no different. The diesel XC90 has a depreciation rate in the region of 48-51%, while the T8 Twin Engine is in the 52-55% range. As you would expect, the thirsty T5 and T6 petrols have the poorest figures with around 45-50% range.
In this review
- 1Volvo XC90 reviewRecent tech and style updates have kept the luxurious Volvo XC90 SUV at the forefront of its field
- 2Engines, performance and drivePowerful petrol, diesel and hybrid engines ensure the big Volvo XC90 isn’t short of get-up-and-go
- 3MPG, CO2 and Running Costs - currently readingMild-hybrid diesel tech offers good economy, but the XC90 T8 plug-in hybrid is the most efficient model in the range
- 4Interior, design and technologyHandsome style masks a technical masterclass, as Volvo raises the bar for big SUV efficiency and safety
- 5Practicality, comfort and boot spaceIn spite of its premium feel, practicality is the real strength of the Volvo XC90
- 6Reliability and SafetyVolvo’s reputation looks safe thanks to the XC90's comprehensive technology package and solid warranty