Back at the beginning of 2017 we were lucky enough to road test a Volvo XC90 on holiday in Scotland and both my husband and I fell in love with this practical family car.
The Volvo XC90 is classed as an SUV and has the benefit of having 7 seats as well as a decent sized boot space when all the seats are in use, unlike most 7 seater vehicles, so was the perfect car for us to take on our recent holiday to North Wales.
We managed to squeeze 3 kids, the teen and all our luggage into the car for our 5 hour journey to North Wales and back again and although it was a bit of a squeeze, everyone was comfortable and happy during the journey.
Once the luggage had been unpacked, we had much more room to spread out, with the kids taking it in turn to sit in the rear two seats.
The difference between this model and the one we tested previously is that the T8 Twin Engine is a plug-in hybrid.
The only way you would know from the outside though is by the filler flap on the passenger side front wing, T8 badging on the back and the Volvo charging cable in the boot.
The car runs in Hybrid mode by default, which automatically manages the energy stored in the battery and recharges through engine and road braking, showing you what type of energy you are using on the dashboard.
You can also save the battery for later use, or recharge the pack on the move, however, doing this will see your fuel economy plummet so it is best to charge it using the charging point. Spare charging cables are available from evcableshop.co.uk
The infotainment system in the central front panel allows you to control the air temperature both on the driver and passenger side, has a digital radio and sat nav option and parking cameras which give a view from above the car, not just at the rear as I have seen before.
It is using this tablet like system that you can also change your Hybrid engine settings, activate the heated steering wheel and control the massage facility in the two front seats (perfect for when you have just climbed a mountain).
Driving a Hybrid doesn’t feel any different to driving another car, apart from the fact that it is much quieter – almost silent, however, the T8 performs exactly like any other XC90 when you need to accelerate and handled brilliantly on the Welsh mountain roads as it did on the motorway. For a big car, its steering is light and there’s lots of grip and traction thanks to its four-wheel-drive system.
Because the Hybrid system eats into the space normally taken up by the fuel tank in conventional XC90’s, this car has a smaller 50-litre capacity which meant we had to fill up more than we expected to, however, we didn’t charge it as had no access to a charging point during our holiday.
Another feature of the car we loved was the sunroof, which can either be tilted open or opened back to really let the fresh air in.
The XC90 also has lots of clever technology fitted as standard to help avoid crashes, including IntelliSafe, a system that warns of hazards ahead and brakes for you if needed, it can brake and steer itself if it senses you’ve left the road and it can even drive itself with pilot assist technology, which is the most bizarre experience but great if you are sat in heavy traffic.
For those wanting to know if it passes the three car seat challenge – it doesn’t quite, however, with the children’s accessory pack, it has integrated booster cushion which conveniently folds up to provide safe and comfortable seating for children over 3 years on the middle seat, which would be perfect for us as Isaac only uses a booster now.
We are looking to replace our ageing cars and the Volvo XC90 is now top of the list as we have found some brilliant leasing offers on it.
The Volvo XC90 price start from £52,135 for an entry level model and prices rise depending on specs.
Disclaimer: We borrowed the Volvo XC90 T8 for the purpose of a review. All thoughts and opinions are our own.