What Car? says...
The original Volvo XC90 was something of a trailblazer. Big, graceful and with seven seats as standard, it was heaven-sent for well-heeled families who’d been crying out for an upmarket way to ferry around people and paraphernalia.
Naturally, it sold by the bucketload. However, there are now a host of rival luxury SUVs aimed at those with large families, including the Audi Q7, BMW X5 and Land Rover Discovery. To up the ante, this second-generation XC90 comes packed with even more features that are designed to make family motoring safer, less stressful and more entertaining.
On top of this, while the XC90 is available with the choice of two 2.0-litre petrol engines, there’s also a mild-hybrid diesel engine, named B5, which uses an electric motor to ease the load on the engine and thus improve fuel economy.
Confusingly, the XC90’s turbocharged 2.0-litre petrol and a 2.0-litre diesel engines are both badged B5. Both use mild hybrid assistance to reduce CO2 emissions and to give a little performance boost, too. If you want more power at your disposal, there’s always the T6 petrol, which swaps the mild hybrid system for a supercharger.
To go one step further, while its predecessor could be bought with petrol or diesel power, the latest car, which was subtly facelifted in 2019, is also offered as a plug-in hybrid called the Volvo XC90 T8. This model combines a supercharged and turbocharged 2.0-litre engine with an electric motor for official CO2 emissions of just 66g/km, and an electric only range of up to 29 miles according to official figures.
Is the Volvo XC90 a better all-rounder than its rivals, though? And is the T8 the best version, or would you be better off choosing one of the much cheaper engines?
That's what we'll be exploring in this review. And, if this – or any other new car – takes your fancy, head over to our New Car Buying pages to see how much you could save.