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2023 Volvo XC90 Recharge Chicago Car Guy Review - by Larry Nutson

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2023 Volvo XC90 Recharge - Swedish style

By Larry Nutson
Senior Editor and Bureau Chief
Chicago Bureau

The entire 2023 lineup of Volvo cars in the U.S. consists of mild hybrid, hybrid or electric vehicles. Period! Volvo is no longer offering a pure-ICE (internal combustion engine) powered model.

With the popular XC90 and XC40 utility vehicles, as well as the V60 Cross Country, now receiving mild hybrid engines as standard, the Swedish luxury car brand is making good on its sustainability commitment to electrify its full range of vehicles. The effort reflects another step toward offering only pure electric vehicles by 2030 and being carbon neutral by 2040.

Mild hybrids offer increased efficiency over pure-ICE vehicles, yet never need to be plugged in. For those without easy access to charging, such as someone living in an urban multi-unit dwelling, mild hybrids provide a good present-day solution. The new extended range plug-in hybrids offer all-electric driving in Pure mode while still providing a traditional gasoline-powered engine.

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For 2023, the mid-size three-row seven-passenger XC90 is offered in Core, Plus and Ultimate trims. There are three engine choices and all XC90s are all-wheel drive. In addition to the trim level, there are three exterior themes: Base, Dark featuring blacked-out trim elements and Bright with chrome trim.

The XC90 B5 is a mild hybrid with a 247-horsepower 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine that develops 258 lb-ft of torque. The XC90 B6 uses the same 2.0-liter turbocharged engine with power output increased to 295-hp and developing 310 lb-ft of torque. Both use an eight-speed automatic transmission to power all four wheels.

The XC90 Recharge T8 is a plug-in hybrid with a 312-hp turbo four up front and a 143-hp electric motor powering the rear wheels. The combined output is 455-hp with 523 lb-ft of torque. With a total range of 530 miles, it can travel up to 33 miles on a single charge in Pure electric mode.

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EPA ratings for combined fuel economy are 25 mpg for the B5, 22 mpg for the B6 and 27 mpg for the T8 (on gasoline only). The T8 is rated at 58 MPGe.  

The XC90 is equipped with a complete contingent of collision warning, collision intervention, and driving control assistance features.

Google built-in is standard on the entire Volvo Cars range for model year 2023. Google Assistant voice control, Google Maps native navigation system, and Google Play store for additional apps, makes the XC90 equipped with a best-in-class digital experience.

Pricing for the 2023 XC90 starts at $57,095 for the mild hybrid and $72,995 for the plug-in hybrid plus a $1,095 destination charge.

My recent drive experience was with the XC90 Recharge AWD Ultimate finished in Denim Blue Metallic and the Bright Theme. Also equipped on my “driver” was the optional Bowers and Wilkins Premium Sound system ($3,200) and 4-corner Air Suspension ($1,800). The bottom line MSRP totaled $85,495.

The Volvo XC90 has an overall premium look and feel with nicely elegant interior and exterior styling. With 455-horsepower at my disposal, it’s needless to say that the car can move quickly…very quickly. Driving dynamics have the typical European preciseness and refinement.

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The cockpit front seating area is plenty roomy with good outward sight lines and ergonomically well-placed switchgear. I drove a seven-seat XC90 with a center three-person bench which features an integrated center booster cushion. Seating is for two in the third row. A six-seat option is also offered with two individual center seats.

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I was happy to not be sitting on leather seats just for the sake of something different. The wool blend seating surfaces proved warm and comfortable.

In Pure electric mode the XC90 can travel up to 33 miles on a single charge. This may not seem like much. In actuality, 33 miles is plenty for getting around a large densely populated city with shops and services in close proximity. Or, for your suburban commute to the train station.

The typical time to charge from 0-100% on 240V 16A charger is five hours. This is easily accomplished in your parking garage overnight, or perhaps while at work during the day. It’s important with a PHEV to indeed recharge the battery to take advantage of not using any gasoline. Charging times will vary and are dependent on factors such as outdoor temperature, current battery temperature, charging equipment, battery condition and car condition.

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More details and information on the Volvo XC90 can be found

Following Volvo’s present model lineup of electric vehicles, by 2030 Volvo aims to sell only fully electric cars. The first of these is the 2024 EX90, Volvo's first purpose-built all-electric vehicle. The three-row EX90 is its flagship SUV. It will be introduced with up to 496 horsepower and a predicted 300 miles of range. The EX90 will arrive in U.S. showrooms in early 2024.


The 2024 Volvo EX90 is now available for pre-order in the United States at The 7-seater Volvo EX90 will be available well-equipped at under $80,000. Customers placing pre-orders will be asked to configure their cars in Fall 2023 and will receive prioritization when deliveries begin in early 2024. All Americas-bound Volvo EX90 models are expected to be built at the Volvo plant in Charleston (Ridgeville), South Carolina.

Happy Motoring!

© 2022 Larry Nutson, the Chicago Car Guy