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Go In Snow Review - 2020 Volvo XC90 T8 eAWD Plug-in Hybrid by John Heilig

PHOTO (select to view enlarged photo)
T8 eAWD Plug-in Hybrid

By John Heilig
Senior Editor And Bureau Chief
Mid-Atlantic Bureau
The Auto Channel

Spec-out A 2020 Volvo XC90 (advertisement)

REVIEWED MODEL: 2020 Volvo XC90 T8 eAWD Plug-in Hybrid
ENGINE: 2.0-liter turbocharged 4
TRANSMISSION: 8-speed Geartronic automatic
HORSEPOWER/TORQUE: 400hp @ 5,700 rpm/472 lb.-ft.
WHEELBASE: 117.5 in.
LENGTH X WIDTH X HEIGHT: 195.0 x 76.8 x 69.9 in.
TIRES: P275/40R21
CARGO CAPACITY: 35.0/66.0 cu. ft. (third row seats up/down)
ECONOMY: 18.7 mpg test
FUEL TANK: 18.8 gal.
CURB WEIGHT: 5,134 lbs.
COMPETITIVE CLASS: Porsche Macan, Mercedes-Benz GLE, Buick Envision
STICKER: $86,990 (includes $995 delivery, $18,495 options)T8 eAWD qualifies for tax credit
BOTTOM LINE: The XC90 is a large, luxurious SUV with traditional Volvo safety.

As Volvo’s flagship vehicle and the largest SUV in its lineup, the XC90 T8 Hybrid has a lot to offer. Despite its size, or maybe because of it, the XC90 is a smooth-riding vehicle, probably one of the smoothest I have driven. The four-corner air suspension (a $1,800 option) helps.

As a sport utility vehicle, the XC90 has lots of cargo capacity. For a three-row (six-seat) model, there’s still considerable cargo capacity behind the back row, so the need to lower those seats is reduced.

There’s smooth quiet power from the 2.0-liter turbocharged four under the hood. The only thing you hear in the cabin (besides the Bowers and Wilkins radio) is minimal tire noise. There’s a little engine noise on hard acceleration, but that’s it. The 8-speed automatic transmission shifts smoothly.

The shifter itself is interesting. First, the gear “knob” is clear plastic. To shift, you push it forward twice for reverse, and pull it backward twice for drive. Pull or push it once for neutral. There’s a park button next to the shifter on the console. It’s a little confusing at first, but once you understand it, it works.

The power adjustable front seats are comfortable with good side support. They are heated and cooled. Second row seats offer excellent legroom. The captain’s chairs fold forward easily for third row access (or you can wriggle between the chairs in the narrow “aisle”). Third row legroom is also good. Pull-up privacy shades on the side doors create a nook back there.

Being a Volvo, the XC90 is loaded with safety features. Okay, here’s a list. There’s Collision Avoidance by City Safety. If the XC90 senses the possibility of a collision it alerts the driver with warning lights on the windshield and an alarm. It also detects pedestrians, cyclists and large animals.

Normally I’m not a big fan of lane keeping assist mechanics because when you stray off the driving lane you’re in you’ll get a buzzing, or an aural alert or something else annoying. The XC90 gently nudges you back into the lane.

It also has rear park assist and rear park sensors to keep you from bumping into anything that may be in your way. Front park assists does the same thing up front.

In addition, there are the more standard blind spot monitoring system (Volvo calls it BLIS) and rear cross traffic alert.

In the center of the dash, the infotainment screen is Tesla-like with an iPad style screen well integrated into the dash. It has all the functions from map, audio, phone, fuel consumption through HVAC.

Like the shifter, the start/stop “button” is different. It is a knob in the center of the center console that you twist to either start or stop the engine. It’s easy to use, but different.

The center console/arm rest is deep and useful.

Overall, the XC90 is a very nice larger luxury SUV, but at a price. It offers a comfortable ride for long-distance touring with room inside for the whole (6-person) family and their luggage.

SEE ALSO: Trustworthy Volvo Research Information

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