Tuesday, 23 July 2024

2024 Volvo XC90 Recharge offers style, power, plug-in fuel efficiency Featured

Posted On Thursday, 08 February 2024 21:33 Written by
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The XC90 Recharge is the plug-in hybrid offering of Volvo's largest SUV. The XC90 Recharge is the plug-in hybrid offering of Volvo's largest SUV. Photo courtesy of Volvo

The debate over whether fully electric vehicles are the best answer for most car buyers, or if hybrids and plug-in hybrids better fit our lifestyles, rages on.

Volvo has covered all angles with its largest SUV offerings. For those ready to make the leap, they have just unveiled the brand new EX90, a cutting-edge, fully electric, three-row SUV that is starting to make waves.

But they also recognize that not everyone is ready for that big of a leap, and still offer their XC90 three-row offering in a plug-in hybrid option, called the XC90 Recharge.

I recently tested a 2024 XC90 Recharge, which fills an important role in the Volvo lineup and is a great middle ground for buyers who aren’t on board the full-EV train yet.

Read on for full details on how the XC90 Recharge measures up to rival luxury SUVs from Genesis, Audi, BMW, Mercedes and others.


LOOKS

It's been a few years since the last major redesign of the XC90, but it still offers a sharp look.

Highlights include slick wheel designs, a bold but smallish front grille with chrome bars, chrome window surround, swooping headlights and roof rails.

There’s also a panoramic sunroof with power sunshade, wheels ranging from 19 to 22 inches depending on trim level, plus adaptive LED headlights that swivel as you make turns to boost lighting quality in the curves.

Moving inside, you’ll find an understated but beautiful interior design on the XC90. In typical Swedish style, it’s not gaudy — but still classy and full of high-end materials.

Highlights include eye-catching wood trim, premium leather seats, massaging seats in the front row, 4-zone automatic climate controls, heated steering wheel, plus heated front and rear seats, ventilated front seats, rear window shades, and an attractive and unique crystal shifter knob.

The XC90 will seat seven with its standard setup, and will seat six if you opt for the excellent captain’s chairs in the middle row. The front two rows are quite roomy, but the third row is a bit tight and best left for smaller children.

Adjusting seats to allow access for passengers and/or cargo is easily accomplished, making the XC90 Recharge quite versatile as a family vehicle.

Cargo space is strong for the segment, offering 11.2 cubic feet with all seats up, 34.1 cubic feet with the third row folded, and 85.7 cubic feet with both middle and back rows down.

If the XC90’s height is posing issues for cargo, the optional air suspension can lower the ride height for loading and unloading purposes.

HOW’S THE RIDE?

The 2024 Volvo XC90 Recharge is a plug-in hybrid featuring a 2.0-liter turbocharged engine, plus an electric motor, and an 18.8 kWh lithium-ion battery. The Recharge can claim a powerful 455 horsepower and 523 pound-feet of torque.

Other power options on lower (non plug-in) trims of the XC90 include the base 2.0-liter turbo four-cylinder engine with 247 horsepower and 258 pound-feet; and another option with 295 horsepower and 310 pound-feet.

The XC90 Recharge I tested featured an air suspension to improve overall ride comfort and smoothness and adapt better to difficult road conditions. All XC90 models are all-wheel drive and come with an eight-speed automatic transmission.

The 0-to-60 speed of the XC90 Recharge was exceptional, coming in under 5 seconds — a strong number for a vehicle this large.

It’s also somewhat nimble for its size and responds impressively to driver input. Plus it’s a quiet ride with little outside noise intrusion.

It’s no exaggeration to say that the XC90 offers one of the best driver experiences available from a luxury SUV, period.

If you need to pull anything behind your vehicle, towing on the XC90 is also strong with a 5,000-pound rating.

TECHNOLOGY, SAFETY

The 2024 Volvo XC90 Recharge features a Google-based tech setup with Google apps (Google Maps, Google Play Store, Google Assistant) built-in. The system is decent overall, but can be finicky in everyday use. Touch controls are mostly straightforward on the vertical touchscreen, but voice commands didn't function as well as I would have liked.

I did appreciate the large, 9-inch screen, and it was helpful that navigation maps show up directly in front of the driver on the 12.3-inch digital display. Overall the design of the tech controls takes a bit of getting used to, but you will get comfortable with it as a daily driver.

My Ultimate trim featured a standout sound system, a 19-speaker Bowers & Wilkins premium offering that will rival the quality and adjustability of any stereo offered in today’s vehicles. Lower trims get either a 10-speaker or 14-speaker system.

In other tech news, all XC90 Recharge models feature Apple CarPlay and Android Auto phone mirroring capability, and you can opt for a Wi-Fi hotspot in the vehicle. A total of four USB-C ports are included, along with Bluetooth for streaming audio and phone calls to the vehicle. Satellite radio is offered, including a trial subscription.

Volvo offers Remote App Services on the XC90, including Remote Start and Remote Lock/Unlock.

Oddly, I found the XC90’s climate control features to be somewhat slow to get moving; though they work great once they get going … It’s just a delayed arrival.

Moving on to safety, an area where Volvo has traditionally been a leader in the auto industry, a strong set of safety systems are in place on the XC90 that will make families feel protected.

In terms of government ratings, the XC90 gets nearly perfect five-star safety ratings across the board. No surprise there.

All systems worked effectively without being overly intrusive. And there’s also a basic self-driving system that adapts well to different road conditions and road types. 

Among the key safety features on the XC90 are:

— Standard forward-collision warning and automated emergency braking
— Standard blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert
— Standard lane-departure warning
— Anti-lock braking system
— Head-up display (displays important information in the driver’s sight line on the windshield)
— Surround-view camera system (which shows a top-down view of the vehicle and its surroundings for tight parking situations)
— Blind Spot Information System with Steer Assist and Cross Traffic Alert
— Collision Avoidance featuring Low and High Speed Collision Mitigation; detects vehicles/pedestrians/cyclists/large animals
— Oncoming Mitigation by Braking
— Front, side and curtain airbags with driver side knee airbag
— Forward Collision Warning, Post Impact Braking

FUEL ECONOMY, CHARGING

With a plug-in hybrid, it’s all about getting that extra bit of electric juice on a regular basis to keep you away from the gas station.

In terms of numbers, the 2024 Volvo XC90 Recharge offers a competitive rating of 58 MPGe (combined gas / electric). On gas only, once the EV charge has been depleted, it comes listed at 27 miles per gallon. In my experience, that number was closer to 22 mpg.

The electric-only range in the XC90 Recharge lags behind most rivals, coming in at 32 miles of EV-only distance. Rival luxury PHEV models can boast as much as 50 miles or more.

Charging the XC90 Recharge at home each night should take you about four to five hours with a Level 2 charger, something you’ll want to have if you’re getting either a full-on EV or plug-in hybrid, so you don’t have to rely on more expensive public chargers. 

If you drive short distances daily, and charge at home regularly, you will rarely need to use gas in the XC90 Recharge. But those who drive longer distances will run through the EV miles quickly and need to fill up more often at the gas station.

PRICE

The 2024 Volvo XC90 Recharge Ultimate I tested was priced just over $87,000; Pricing starts around $73K for the Recharge Core, $75K for the Recharge Plus and $81K for the Recharge Ultimate.

If you want to skip the plug-in hybrid option and go for an ICE option, a Core trim XC90 will start around $57K, Plus trim at $61K, and Ultimate at just over $70K.

These are luxury-level prices for sure, but the XC90 is a genuinely luxurious vehicle so that’s understandable.

There are a handful of competitors in the luxury realm that offer a plug-in hybrid, and compared to those rivals the XC90 falls in the middle of the pack in terms of price range.

With a premium of at least $10K extra to pay for the Recharge versions of each trim level, it will be up to each buyer to determine if they want to leap up to the plug-in hybrid pricing.

In terms of warranties, the XC90 Recharge is respectable, featuring a 48-month/50,000 mile limited warranty on the overall vehicle and powertrain, as well as complimentary factory scheduled maintenance for the first 3 years/36K months. The electrical components are covered for eight years/100,000 miles.

BOTTOM LINE 

The 2024 Volvo XC90 Recharge delivers strong fuel economy with the plug-in hybrid, and offers a high-class interior, powerful drive and strong safety features.

Put that all together,  and it has the goods to compete with the best three-row luxury SUVs on the market. 

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AutoTechReviews.com can be found on Twitter @AutoTechReview, or stay updated at the AutoTechReviews Facebook page. Follow AutoTechReviews on Instagram at @Autotechreviews. Matt Myftiu can be found on Twitter @MattMyftiu


Additional Info

  • Vehicle: 2024 Volvo XC90 Recharge
  • Price as tested: $87,495 (starts around $73K)
  • Best feature: Stylish design, roomy and versatile interior, safety features   
  • Rating: 4.5 out of five stars   
  • Who will want this vehicle?: Families seeking a fuel-efficient, classy, roomy, and safe luxury SUV
Matt M. Myftiu

Matt Myftiu has been a journalist for two decades with a focus on technology, NASCAR and autos.

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