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In-depth reviews

Volvo XC90 review - MPG, CO2 and Running Costs

Four-cylinder engines mean great fuel and CO2 figures, but hybrid claims are over-optimistic

The XC90’s most popular engine has been the D5, so the B5 should continue that trend. Volvo quotes WLTP-tested fuel economy of up to 37.7mpg for the B5. This is poorer than the 49.6mpg quoted for the 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.

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Elsewhere, the T5 petrol has quoted WLTP figures of up to 30.4mpg, while the T6 manages up to 28.8mpg, 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 80.7mpg in WLTP testing. This will be an optimistic estimate in real world driving, but the resulting 52g/km of CO2 will be more useful. That’s assuming you can stretch to the near £67,000 starting price. You’ll need to be a committed eco-warrior - or do lots of miles – to justify the investment. 

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. The official ‘Condition B’ combined figure for the T8 Hybrid (that’s when you start the official test regime with a depleted battery) is 49mpg. That’s still considerably better than the claims for the regular petrol XC90s.

Insurance groups

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.

Our favourite B5 Momentum model is rated at group 41 – which is comparable with the Audi Q7 3.0 TDI quattro S line, although the Land Rover Discovery starts from Group 33.

The more powerful T6 model will cost you more to cover as it’s been rated group 39, or group 40 if you go for Inscription or R-Design trims. The T8 Twin Engine hybrid versions have slightly higher insurance ratings than the conventional models.

Depreciation

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 52-55 per cent area, while the T8 Twin Engine is in the 49-52 per cent range. As you would expect, the thirsty T5 and T6 petrols have the poorest figures, in the mid-40 per cent range.

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Which Is Best

Cheapest

  • Name
    2.0 B5D [235] Momentum 5dr AWD Geartronic
  • Gearbox type
    Semi-auto
  • Price
    £52,875

Most Economical

  • Name
    2.0 T8 [390] Hybrid R DESIGN 5dr AWD Gtron
  • Gearbox type
    Semi-auto
  • Price
    £65,975

Fastest

  • Name
    2.0 T8 [390] Hybrid R DESIGN 5dr AWD Gtron
  • Gearbox type
    Semi-auto
  • Price
    £65,975
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