- Superb, quietly luxurious interior
- Restrained, elegant design
- Intuitive pad-like Sensus interface
- Safety features second to none
- Efficient plug-in hybrid option
- Design downplays prestige
- Advanced safety systems optional
- Seven seats, one USB port
- Plug-in hybrid efficiency unclear
- Volvo lacks German cachet
The 2016 Volvo XC90 is a capable and comfortable luxury utility vehicle that whispers its virtues rather than shouting them—and reinvents Volvo as a purveyor of quietly sophisticated design, comfort, and efficiency.
The 2016 Volvo XC90 is a quietly elegant, supremely ergonomic, and easy-to-use large luxury SUV with an understated and modest in its exterior design that belies its many virtues. The luxury is found in the interior, with high-quality materials and a thoughtfully designed infotainment system that's one of the more intuitive and easy to use among many complex systems offered in high-end vehicles. The thoroughly modern XC90 has the very latest in new and updates safety features, of course, both active and passive, and gets unsurpassed safety ratings.
The XC90 got its first comprehensive redesign in 2016 since the launch of its predecessor way back in 2002. It's a strong statement of how Volvo will position its future vehicles in the growing global luxury market—and the result offers a refreshing contrast to the typically functional, severe Teutonic interpretation of luxury offered by Audi, BMW, and Mercedes.
While the exterior lines of the new 2016 XC90 are instantly recognizable as a Volvo, crisper and more fluid than its predecessor, they also effectively disguise the seven-seat vehicle’s size. It simply doesn’t look as large as it is, nor does it telegraph its prestige. It is, as one Volvo executive said at the launch, a car for people who “do not look for a brand that defines them.”
Open the doors, however, and the widely-lauded interior design shows what distinguishes the XC90 from a host of German competitors. The scent of leather is more obvious, the seats are superbly comfortable, and the interior shapes in stitched leather, textured metal, and matte wood are layered to suggest Scandinavian furniture. The 9.0-inch touchscreen in the center of the dash responds quickly to tablet-style commands—not only tap but also swipe, pinch, and stretch—and it’s relatively intuitive compared to competing systems based on knobs and cursors.
It all comes together in a quietly competent and surprisingly comfortable SUV with room for up to seven people and their goods, and safe, understandable functionality for driver and also the front-seat passenger. If this is Volvo's new take on its traditional values of conscientious design and solid durability, we expect it will win over not only existing Volvo buyers but those growing tired of proliferating German luxury utility vehicles in every size, shape, and segment.
Two powertrains are offered. The bulk of XC90s will be the T6 model, with a 316-horsepower turbocharged and supercharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine mated to an 8-speed automatic transmission. All-wheel drive is standard, and fuel-economy ratings of 22 mpg for the turbo four put it among the more economical large luxury SUVs. On the road, the XC90 handles like a car, with good steering feedback, predictable roadholding, and sprightly performance despite its small engine.
Volvo will also offer a T8 “Twin Engine” plug-in hybrid model, which replaces the mechanical all-wheel drive with a 60-kilowatt (82-hp) electric motor on the rear axle. This lets the car run on its gasoline engine, on the electric motor alone, or on both when needed. The company quotes a European range rating of 25 miles on electricity alone, but the U.S. rating is likely to be closer to 18 or 20 miles. This will be the most expensive XC90, but also the quickest, with about 400 hp and a remarkable 472 lb-ft of torque on tap. Volvo notes that it will be the sole seven-seat plug-in hybrid on the market.
With virtually no carryover parts, the 2016 XC90 is one of the few cars that can accurately be called all-new. Among the items that required the most design effort are the new front seats. They’re adjustable in multiple axes, and we found them supremely comfortable. The second-row seats slide forward and backward, and even the third row will accommodate two adults if they’re willing to bargain for legroom with second-row riders. Theater-style seating means each row is slightly higher than the one in front, ensuring good outward vision for all—aided by large windows and the huge panoramic sunroof that’s a standard feature.
Volvo is known for safety, and the original XC90 was the first SUV to prove that crossover utility vehicles could offer all the safety features of passenger cars, plus new ones like rollover prevention. The IIHS has designated the new 2016 XC90 a Top Safety Pick+, with its highest score of "Good" on every test it performed.
The "+" in the IIHS designation indicates that the big Volvo has all the latest electronic active-safety equipment the institute recommends, and we can confirm that they all function effortlessly. Those include all of Volvo’s traditional safety systems and two new world firsts: automatic braking in intersections if a car drives into the path of travel from another angle, and Run Off Road Design, which works to keep occupants safe if the car goes off the edge of the road. That feature includes safety-belt pre-tensioning and crushable supports in the front seats to absorb crash forces—a common source of spinal injuries—if the car lands heavily on its wheels after going airborne.
The 2016 Volvo XC90 starts at just a few dollars under $50,000; the base Momentum model includes all-wheel drive, the panoramic sunroof, leather upholstery, heated front seats, and third-row seating as standard features. The sportier R-Design version and the more luxurious Inscription model are $3,000 and $5,000 more, respectively, and a series of option packages can bring the total for a well-equipped T6 model to about $60,000. The high-end XC90 T8 "Twin Engine" plug-in hybrid model starts at $69,100, with its sportier T8 R-Design variant carrying a price of $71,000 and up.
In base, front-drive trim, the XC90 T5 manages 22 mpg city, 26 highway, 24 combined, according to the EPA. Those numbers remain relatively flat for the all-wheel drive (AWD) T5 version, at 22/25/23 mpg. The T8 plug-in hybrid model has been rated at 53 mpge (Miles Per Gallon Equivalent, or MPGe, is a measure of how far a car can drive electrically on the same amount of energy as contained in 1 gallon of gasoline.)
2016 Volvo XC90
The 2016 Volvo XC90 has a modern but low-key exterior; inside is where it really shines, with elegant materials and simple Scandinavian design.
The all-new 2016 Volvo XC90 offers a fresh interpretation of Swedish auto design. While its exterior is both modern and timeless, Volvo has achieved the trick of making a large utility vehicle appear much smaller than it is—meaning it’s the least obvious luxury SUV in the segment. The luxury is all on the inside, making the new XC90 the antithesis of well-known and prestigious German brands, not to mention U.S. luxury trucks. Think of it, if you like, as the anti-Escalade.
Volvo has wrapped seven seats into a vehicle that’s longer, wider, and taller than its predecessor, while appearing visually smaller. The design language clearly signals that the 2016 model follows in the Volvo tradition, but the lines are crisper and more streamlined, while remaining true to the classic SUV form. The windshield isn’t aggressively raked, and while the tailgate is slightly more slanted, it’s visually camouflaged by a long roof spoiler.
Unlike many competitors, the window area is generous, offsetting the tall sides endemic to seven-seat SUVs. Volvo is proud that its new XC90 has the proportions of a rear-wheel-drive vehicle, rather than the long front overhang of vehicles built on front-drive platforms. In fact, its executives noted quietly that their new SUV has less front overhang than even a rear-wheel-drive BMW X5.
The XC90’s headlights include optional daytime running lights in a shape its designers call “Thor’s hammer,” a slash of bright white light resembling a T turned on its side. It defines an otherwise rather blank oblong clear-glass cover that wraps around the front corner of the car and includes running lights, high and low beams, and the turn indicators as well.
But it’s the interior where the XC90 stands out from all other competitors. Volvo’s designers put a great deal of thought into the nature of Swedish modern design—its quiet authority, adaptability to active uses, and creativity—and came up with materials and shapes that convey luxury through touch, smell, and texture without ever going over the top into the garish, chrome-laden territory of some competitors.
The Sensus 9.0-inch touchscreen is the central focus of the dashboard. Its operation is intuitively obvious to anyone who’s ever touched, stretched, or swipe on a pad tablet, and it can be operated with gloves on—a nod to the frequently frigid weather of its homeland. But Volvo also added a rotary volume knob below the screen, so that while most ancillary functions are done by touch, you can adjust your audio and other functions from either the steering wheel or that conventional knob. That one knob contrasts well with Tesla, whose 17-inch screen has larger lettering and graphics but requires multiple touches for most functions.
The new XC90 comes with either all-black or two-tone interior, and the combination of a standard panoramic sunroof and generous windows makes the interior light and airy. Along with supremely comfortable seats and carefully layered leather, metal, and optional wood surfaces that evoke modern Scandinavian furniture design, those qualities all add up to a car that’s far more soothing and premium-feeling than you’d expect from the outside—as long as your definition of luxury isn’t the amount of chrome on the dashboard.
Wheel choices run from the standard 18-inch base version all the way up to 22 inches for optional wheels, which can also be offered on the R-Design model. And Volvo has followed the trend of adding “Easter egg” features to underscore its brand values—in this case, a small Swedish flag tab sticking out from a stitched seam in the front passenger seat, the words “Since 1959” on the seat-belt tang to underscore Volvo’s role as the creator of the three-point safety harness, and even a frameless glass rear-view mirror that’s reminiscent of high-style spectacles.
2016 Volvo XC90
The 2016 Volvo XC90 gets good performance out of a small engine with two forms of boost; it handles more like a car than a seven-seat SUV.
The 2016 Volvo XC90 comes with only two powertrains in the North American market. By far the most common version will be the one dubbed T6, a conventional gasoline version that pairs the company’s Drive-E 316-horsepower 2.0-liter turbocharged and supercharged four-cylinder engine with an 8-speed automatic transmission and standard all-wheel drive (AWD). Producing 295 pound-feet of torque, this will be the volume model, although it’s worth noting that Volvo recommends that premium gasoline be used.
The T6 includes a start-stop function to switch off the engine when the vehicle is at rest; like the same system in the S60 sedan, V60 wagon, and XC60 utility vehicle, it’s unobtrusive and fast to with the engine back on smoothly when the driver starts to lift a foot off the brake.
Volvo has elected not to offer the D5 turbodiesel to U.S. buyers, so its only other powertrain is the T8 “Twin Engine” plug-in hybrid. This model replaces the mechanically driven all-wheel-drive system with a 60-kilowatt (82-horsepower) electric motor on the rear axle and a lithium-ion battery pack in the tunnel between the two front seats. Pack capacity is 9.2 kilowatt-hours, of which 6.5 kwh is usable.
There’s also a 34-kw (46-hp) starter-generator motor between the engine and transmission, which recharges the battery during regenerative braking or engine overrun, and can also provide additional torque to the transmission when maximum power is required. The battery and both electric motors are liquid-cooled, and the battery coolant can also be refrigerated if additional heat must be shed.
The overall system produces a combined total of roughly 400 hp, and torque of 472 lb-ft. This model is notably faster under full-throttle acceleration than the T6. It’s rated at 5.8 seconds from 0 to 60 mph, slightly faster than the 6.1 seconds quoted for the standard T6 version. Volvo expects 7 to 10 percent of its new XC90 sales will be the plug-in hybrid T8 model.
Unlike the fully mechanical all-wheel drive of the T6, the T8 provides AWD via the engine powering the front wheels and the electric motor driving the rears. The XC90 T8’s vehicle control software can run the car on one or the other, or both, depending on circumstances. We found our T8 test car to be mostly well integrated, but with some irregularity in the regeneration and brake blending. Volvo engineers noted that the version we drove was still developmental, so we’ll suspend judgment until we can test a production model.
Both XC90 versions are pleasant and engaging to drive, and the combination of car-like handling and roadholding with a very responsive small engine makes the T6 almost nimble for its size. The feedback simulated by the electric rack-and-pinion steering is lifelike, and it feels as though it’s coming directly from the front wheels. Only in the tightest corners does the big SUV produce enough body roll and tire noise to indicate how hard the wheels are working to keep its 4600 pounds on line. Otherwise, the handling is distinctly car-like—although experienced from a higher seating position than any Volvo sedan, given its 9.3 inches of ground clearance.
Both versions have several drive modes from which the driver can select. The T6 offers Comfort, Eco, Dynamic, Individual, and Off Road settings. The standard Comfort mode is fully adequate for most uses, while the Dynamic mode keeps the transmission in a lower gear for better response and adds more aggressive throttle mapping. We didn’t find it to add all that much, however, and it’s definitely noisier. The Eco mode predictably reduces throttle response and lowers the shift points; the big SUV feels sluggish but should return better fuel efficiency if driven consistently in this mode. The Off Road setting engages all-wheel drive under all circumstances and monitors wheel slip, while the Individual mode will let a handful of drivers specify their own mix of settings.
The T8 offers no fewer than seven modes, including Individual and Off Road. The plug-in hybrid model defaults to the Hybrid mode, meaning it will run on battery energy at lower speeds until that is depleted, and then behave like a conventional hybrid, using the electric motor alone when possible and otherwise supplementing the engine output with electric torque. The Power mode uses both the engine and the motor for maximum torque at the wheels, and it’s quick—the big SUV pretty much sprang away from stoplights and delivered fast acceleration at any road speed.
The Pure mode uses electric power alone, delivering slightly slower acceleration but keeping the car in zero-emission mode more of the time until its battery energy is depleted—while still offering engine power for emergencies if the accelerator is floored. The Save mode conserves battery energy for later use. Not only does it run the car as a hybrid from the start, it will also recharge the battery up to 42 percent of capacity for later use. Finally, the AWD mode uses both powertrains for better traction in bad weather or slippery road conditions.
We found both versions of the XC90 entirely suitable for any road conditions we encountered on our launch drive in the hills outside Barcelona. Like any car with an automatic transmission that has that many gears, the SUV cruises at low engine speeds—1400 to 2,000 rpm—and hence may require multiple downshifts to provide maximum power. But the supercharger boosts engine response even at low revs, until the turbo spools up, and the T6 clearly offers its rated 316 hp, even if that comes from only a 2.0-liter four. The T8 is the performance version, however, albeit at a higher price and in a model that weighs a few hundred pounds more
Volvo hasn’t yet released final specs for the T8 plug-in hybrid, but towing capacity for the conventional T6 model is rated at 5,000 pounds.
2016 Volvo XC90
Comfort & Quality
The 2016 Volvo XC90 has superb seats, can hold seven adults, and is quiet and smooth on the road.
The 2016 Volvo XC90 offers an alternative to the plain, functional, slightly severe German approach to luxury interiors. As German prestige brands spread models into every segment of the auto market, the XC90’s quietly luxurious and stylish interior are a refreshing contrast to increasingly predictable German interiors. It cossets rather than impresses, imparting a sense of calm that drivers and passengers alike will likely value in their everyday travels.
The front seats are supremely comfortable—Volvo says it spent seven years developing them—and are electrically adjustable in multiple directions. The “Comfort seat” option includes electrically adjustable lower cushions, which lengthen the under-leg portion of the seat from short to obviously longer than the legs of a conventionally shaped 6-foot adult. Volvo has some tall Swedes among its engineers, and we suspect the seats were made to be as comfortable for them as we found them during our test drives.
The second row of seats is almost as comfortable, and it slides back and forth as well as offering a 40/20/40-split seat back that can fold down in multiple combinations. The rear-seat headrests flip down as it folds forward, removing them from a driver’s rearward vision if the second seat is empty. And the center seating position includes Volvo’s renowned optional child booster cushion, which raises a child to the correct height for the seat belt to be most effective (as well as improving the child’s view forward and to the sides).
The third row seat will accommodate two adults, although they’ll have to get the second-row occupants to move forward in order to prevent their knees being wedged against the seat backs. But third-row seats in certain competing large luxury SUVs are far less accommodating, and the ability to hold seven adults at all demonstrates once again that the new XC90 has far more space inside than is apparent from the outside. The three rows of seats are progressively higher—known as “theater seating”—which gives each set of occupants a view over and past the ones ahead.
With all three rows of seats upright, cargo volume is 15.8 cubic feet. With the third row folded flat, that rises to 41.8 cubic feet—and folding the second row provides a cavernous 85.7 cubic feet.
Getting into the XC90, the scent of the leather upholstery is immediate and soothing. Despite the lack of secondary knobs, dials, and levers on the dashboard, the intuitive pad-like operation and speedy response of the Sensus in-dash touchscreen gives the big SUV a very modern feel despite its traditional stitched leather, metal, and wood trim. Volvo has put a lot of thought into what constitutes Swedish design, and the feel of each knurled metal control, the calm but legible onscreen graphics, and the crisp feel of controls like the turn signal all add up to a kind of warm luxury that sets this car apart from the Audis, BMWs, and Mercedes-Benzes against which it will compete.
Both the production T6 model and the pre-production T8 plug-in hybrid version we drove were solidly assembled and lacking any extraneous squeaks, rattles, or buzzes. The doors took a little extra push to seal tightly, signaling traditional Volvo solidity.
Road and wind noise is well suppressed at speeds up to 70 mph, especially since all our test cars were fitted with optional larger 19-, 20-, 21-, and 22-inch wheels with low-profile tires. Larger optional wheels always tend to be harsher and noisier than the XC90’s standard 18-inch wheel with taller tire sidewalls would likely have been. We had no chance to drive an XC90 with the standard suspension, however—the test cars were all equipped with the optional air suspension, which functioned imperceptibly and gave no hint that its springing and damping included air bladders.
Since the car was revealed in fall 2014, the interior has received largely rave reviews. We found only three criticisms, all relatively minor. First, the XC90 provides only a single USB port—whereas a competitor like the new Land Rover Discovery provides seven, or one per seat. We’d settle for at least two, so each front-seat passenger can recharge a device on a long road trip.
Secondly, the steering column tilts and telescopes, but the adjustment is manual, not powered—meaning its position isn’t recorded in the memory settings for the seats and mirrors. Volvo engineers say their data indicates drivers don’t change the wheel position when they adjust seats, but the feature is all but standard for the large luxury category Volvo now competes in.
Finally, the sun visors were surprisingly basic for an interior that is otherwise so nice. Annoyingly, they had no built-in extender panel to block the outboard upper corner of the windshield—a feature that’s now standard even on some $15,000 economy cars from Asian makers.
2016 Volvo XC90
The 2016 Volvo XC90 has some of the best safety ratings on the planet, and safety features that propel it way ahead of the class.
The 2016 Volvo XC90 is a new generation of the first utility vehicle to demonstrate that an SUV could be just as safe as a car, with groundbreaking safety systems that included rollover detection and prevention. It’s notable that this car’s predecessor aced the tough IIHS small-overlap frontal crash test when it was added fully a decade after the XC90 launched, proving that Volvo’s relentless focus on engineering cars to protect occupants not just in crash tests but in all types of accidents that occur in actual use.
The IIHS has designated the new 2016 XC90 a Top Safety Pick+, with its highest score of "Good" on every test it performed. The "+" indicates that the big Volvo has all the latest electronic active-safety equipment the institute recommends, and we can confirm that they all function effortlessly. The NHTSA has given the XC90 five stars overall, with only a four-star rating in the calculated rollover test.
The new 2016 XC90 has a passenger-protection structure made up of several different types of high-strength steel, with a few frontal members made of aluminum for better weight balance. It comes standard with seven airbags, and the usual suite of traction and stability control systems, anti-lock brakes, and so forth. It also sites the T8 plug-in hybrid model’s battery within the tunnel between the front seats, keeping it low and in the center of the car to protect it from collisions.
Still, the 2016 version of the XC90 also introduces or expands upon a variety of new safety features, some standard and some optional. They include two world firsts: One is what Volvo calls Run Off Road Design, both structure and seats designed to protect against the forces experienced when a car leaves the surface of the road, whether it goes into soft ground or down into a roadside ditch, which may include flipping over or landing hard on its belly. The front passenger seats, which Volvo says took seven years to engineer, include a crushable member that absorbs some of the force of such hard landings, reducing spinal injuries to the occupants after their seatbelts have tightened to hold them firmly in the correct posture in their seats.
Another world first is auto braking at intersections, which slows or stops the car if a car emerges into its path from oncoming or side traffic. It’s been added to the standard City Safety package. Also standard are lane departure warning and the very useful Road Sign Information system, which displays the prevailing speed limit and flashes the sign if the driver exceeds it by a significant amount.
Other safety systems include expanded Pedestrian and Cyclist Detection, first introduced in 2008 and now fully functional in daylight or at night; Pilot Assist, which is what Volvo calls its adaptive cruise control; and Park Assist Pilot, which will now let the car park itself not only in spaces parallel to its direction of travel, but also those perpendicular—as in stall parking. Then there’s Rear Collision Warning, which flashes the taillights if it senses a car behind approaching too fast, as well as pre-tensioning the seat belts and pre-charging the brakes to keep the car from being accelerated forward if hit.
Visibility from inside the new XC90 is good, considering its size and height. Unlike most competitors, its rear three-quarter windows actually provide a view to the rear sides. The rear-seat headrests can be flipped down when occupants aren’t in the seats—we did it by moving the seat forward and back, but we were told it could also be done from the driver’s seat—and a rear-view camera is standard.
Volvo also offers its trademark optional child booster cushion in the rear center position, which can pivot the seat cushion up and rearward to raise a child higher in the seat so the seat belt is optimally positioned on a smaller body.
2016 Volvo XC90
The 2016 Volvo XC90 is well-equipped even in its $50,000 base model, with luxury and sporty variants, plus a plug-in hybrid.
The new 2016 Volvo XC90 comes with a number of notable standard features for the U.S. market, including leather upholstery, heated front seats, third-row seating, all-wheel drive, and a panoramic two-panel sunroof that lets a huge amount of light into the cabin.
The base T6 Momentum model is priced at $49,895 (including a mandatory $995 delivery fee). Above that vehicle—which Volvo expects to represent fully 70 percent of all XC90 T6 models delivered—buyers can choose either a sportier look with the R-Design trim level, starting at $53,895, or more luxury in the Inscription package, starting at $55,495.
Volvo expects a majority of its Momentum models to include the Momentum Plus package, at an additional cost of $1,900, which wraps together LED headlights, high-pressure headlight washers, the “Thor’s Hammer” daytime running lights, wood inlays for the interior trim, illuminated sill plates, and interior lighting enhancements. Those features are also included in the R-Design and Inscription models.
The XC90 R-Design is purely a trim package, with no modifications to the powertrain or suspension. It consists of special sport seats with contrasting inserts, a choice of 20- or 22-inch alloy wheel designs, and various interior and exterior trim enhancements. Those include brightwork on the exterior, a unique grille and front fascia, twin tailpipes, and embellishments like a unique gear knob, pedals, and floor mats.
Volvo has tried to simply its options list, both in packages and individual items, and no package costs more than $2,000. The $1,600 Vision package bundles those electronic systems that give the XC90 “situational awareness,” including blind spot monitors, cross traffic braking, rear collision warning, and an upgraded surround-view camera.
The $1,800 Convenience package adds features that give the car some semi-autonomous driving capacities, including adaptive cruise control and the self-parking system that now handles both parallel spots and perpendicular stall parking. And the Climate package, at $1,050, expands on the standard heated front seats by adding a heated steering sheel, heated rear seats, and a heated windshield.
A Bowers & Wilkins premium audio system is the most expensive option, at $2,650. It incorporates eleven speakers, including one in a small round pod on top of the dashboard, and a CD player—which is otherwise unavailable on the XC90, a notably progressive stance for Volvo. Air suspension is $1,800, and a very good head-up display for the driver is $900.
At the top end of the model range is the XC90 T8 "Twin Engine" plug-in hybrid mode. It carries a base price of $69,100, with a sportier T8 R-Design offered starting at $71,000. These models compete against plug-in hybrid versions of the BMW X5 and the Mercedes-Benz GLE (nee ML).
Volvo will have 2016 XC90 display cars in dealers starting in May 2015, and deliveries of the “First Edition” limited-production model will take place in June. Conventional T6 models will started in July, with the R-Design package available in October, and the T8 plug-in hybrid version went on sale late last year.
Finally, two U.S. accessory packages are available, installed either at the port or by the dealer: The Rugged Luxury package adds skid plates, running boards, contrasting rubber fender flares, and 22-inch all-season tires, while the Urban Luxury package includes color-coordinated fender flares and 21-inch polished alloy wheels.
2016 Volvo XC90
The 2016 Volvo XC90 should get good fuel-economy ratings, and its plug-in hybrid version is the sole such seven-seater.
The 2016 Volvo XC90 earns respectable ratings for a seven-seater SUV, especially considering it offers a plug-in hybrid version.
In base, front-drive trim, the XC90 T5 manages 22 mpg city, 26 highway, 24 combined, according to the EPA. Those numbers remain relatively flat for the all-wheel drive (AWD) T5 version, at 22/25/23 mpg.
Step up to the supercharged, turbocharged T6, which is AWD only and can seat up to seven, those numbers drop to 20/25/22 mpg. The T6 model also comes standard with Volvo’s start-stop function, which is unobtrusive in operation and both smooth and quick to restart the engine when a driver’s foot starts to lift off the brake.
It’s worth noting that Volvo recommends the use of premium gasoline for both models of the XC90.
The T8 plug-in hybrid model has been rated at 53 mpge (Miles Per Gallon Equivalent, or MPGe, is a measure of how far a car can drive electrically on the same amount of energy as contained in 1 gallon of gasoline.) Pure electric cars now frequently exceed 100 MPGe, but plug-in hybrids are often lower—although 539 MPGe is not a particularly stellar rating across the full spectrum of plug-in hybrid models.
The EPA quotes a range of 14 miles on electric power alone for the T8.
The T8’s onboard charger is rated at 3.5 kilowatts, though Volvo’s European engineers suggested that it was limited to 16 amps—far below the delivery rate of some 240-Volt Level 2 charging stations used in the U.S. That specification remains to be confirmed.