2022 Volvo XC90 Recharge T8 Inscription - Review by David Colman +VIDEO
Stunning looks and stellar performance
Special Correspondent to THE AUTO CHANNEL
Remember when Volvo was a synonym for safety? Back in the day, you didn't buy one for its boring looks, or its marginal performance. You bought one because it was the first car to offer seat belts and a padded dash. Our test model 2022 XC90 still has seatbelts and a padded dash. But its looks are stunning, and it's performance is stellar. Volvo's Inscription interior sets a new industry high water mark for good taste and smart design. And if you select the 400hp Recharge power system, your Volvo will be one of the quickest sports utilities on the road, capable of posting a 4.9 second 0-60mph run, and a quarter mile sprint in 13.6 seconds at 102mph. Volvo lists top speed at 140mph. Those performance numbers would be stunning for any 2-door sports coupe. For a 6-passenger, 5-door vehicle weighing in at 5,142 pounds, the tale of the tape is barely comprehensible.
Volvo offers three models (XC40, XC60, XC90) in its SUV range. The entry-level XC40 carries a base price of $35,100. The XC60, a diminutive version of the XC90, starts at $42,650. The XC90, with a base price of $50,900, is the only Volvo to offer a third seating row. So how did our test model manage to post a "Suggested Retail Price" of $84,090? The answer is that the turbocharged and supercharged hybrid Recharge stands atop the XC90 family tree, and as such carries a base price of $72,100. Duplicating the sensational interior of our test Volvo requires these options: Lounge Package ($1,700), Climate Package ($750), Advanced Package ($1,650), and Bowers & Wilkins sound system ($3,200). In all, this top drawer Volvo tallied $10,895 in options, including $1,800 for air suspension and $800 to upgrade 20-inch alloy rims to 21 x 9J wheels with Pirelli Scorpion Verde all-season radials (275/40R21). And no, the Lounge Package doesn't come with a resident lizard. It does, however, contribute full massage front seats and a Nubuck headliner.
Driving this fully equipped XC90 was a rewarding experience. Once you acclimate yourself to its notable size and girth, you will be amazed at its agility. Despite its elevated 70-inch height, the XC90 never feels top-heavy, because the air suspension system does such a good job of maintaining platform equilibrium over even the most challenging road imperfections. The giant Pirelli rollers offer up excellent lateral adhesion on twisting roads, and the abundance of horsepower makes the most of short passing lanes on two-way roads. The hybrid drivetrain consists of two electric motors in addition to the 2 liter inline 4. Electric-only propulsion is limited to a range of 36 miles. Gasoline-only range is 424 miles, while combining the two will let you travel 530 miles before a recharge/refill. Volvo provides a charger cord and an external plug port for a Level 2 recharge. You will also discover a Charge Point card in the glove box which requires you to supply the financial backing to activate. Charge Point suggests you purchase their $699 Home Flex Nema 6-50 Plug -In home 240V unit and "schedule an appointment with an electrician to install it." Unless your daily drive is under 30 miles, the whole home charger installation process seems rather far-fetched and overpriced.
Although the third row seats will offer comfort for children only, the first and second row chairs are models of good seating design. The front row pair are notable for their 3-way Lounge Lizard massage capability, as well as a multiplicity of adjustments including slide-out support for your thighs. Volvo has utilized top drawer equipment throughout the interior. The shift knob is formulated from a clear block of Orrefors crystal, and the door panels are finished in a fetching light grey birch that soothes your eyes like a trip to the woods. Resizing the interior is a simple as popping a trio of latches on the second row to lay the cushions flat, then doing the same for the third row via a pair of tabs located in the trunk area. In just a matter of seconds, you've reconfigured the interior to accommodate 34 cubic feet of cargo with a flat floor to boot. Remarkably, we were able to carry two full size mountain bikes inside the XC90 with room to spare. While it's a two-person loading job, the safety of having your bikes locked away is a valuable benefit.
The XC90 we tested is expensive, and you can buy lesser variants of this model for substantially less money. But if you want the very best Volvo has to offer the SUV buyer, their fully loaded XC90 Recharge T8 Inscription is the way to go. Look at it as a Bentley Bentayga for half price money.
2022 VOLVO XC90 RECHARGE T8 INSCRIPTION
• ENGINE: 2.0 liter inline 4, turbocharged, supercharged and intercooled, DOHC, 16-valve plus 2 permanent magnet synchronous AC motors
• HORSEPOWER: 400hp (Combined)
• TORQUE: 472lb.-ft.
• FUEL CONSUMPTION: 66MPGe/26MPG Gasoline Only
• PRICE AS TESTED: $84,090
HYPES: Beauteous Interior, Space Galore
GRIPES: Short e-Range
STAR RATING: 9.5 Stars out of 10