In the April 2022 edition of CAR Magazine, we looked at the long-running Swedish seven-seater after its overhaul with a range of mild-hybrid powertrains, three trim levels, and the same gently refreshed exterior introduced in 2020. Volvo XC90, the company’s top-of-the-line flagship model offers a newly-developed fuel-saving engine option that marks the next step in the company’s ambitious electrification strategy.
The introduction of the new XC90 ‘B’-badged cars represents a major step for Volvo cars towards its electrification era. The new ‘B’-badged cars complement Volvo’s existing T8 Twin Engine plug-in hybrid, an electrified option on the new Volvo XC90. We had the opportunity to test out Volvo’s halo SUV, and it has improved refinements and gains at the petrol pump are marginal. Thankfully the things we love about the XC90 remain strong, from the beautifully crafted cabin, upmarket styling, and good standard specification to the relaxed driving manners. Volvo SA quietly introduced the updated XC90 range to the local market, while the aesthetic is very subtle the biggest change took place under the bonnet.
Power in the XC90 B5 comes from a 2,0-litre four-cylinder turbocharged petrol engine with 48V mild-hybrid assistance. It produces 183 kW of power and 350 N.m of torque paired to an eight-speed automatic transmission. The new powertrain doesn’t present much in the way of improved performance as the transition from T5 and B5 has seen a power drop marginally from 187 to 183 kW, while torque remains the same at 350 N.m.
The Volvo XC90 possesses contemporary Scandinavian design and craftsmanship both inside and out, the Inscription model offers subtle upgrades to the original award-winning design, such as Nappa Soft Leather Perforated and ventilated upholstery, multi-directional lumbar support, driver and passenger seat power cushion extensions, 20-inch 10 spoke alloy wheels with a diamond cut light grey design, matte Silver front grille with chrome surround, multicolour theatre lighting and a hands-free power tailgate.
Inside the Volvo XC90 you will find a laminated panoramic moonroof with a power sunshade, heated front seats, automatically dimmed rearview mirrors and door mirrors. The unique intuitive Volvo technology and safety features on the XC90 include Sensus navigation, road sign information, lane keeping aid, oncoming lane mitigation, brakes with hill start assist and automatic hold, adaptive cruise control, blind spot information with steer assist and cross-traffic alert with auto-brake and 12-inch infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and AndriodAuto.
We can’t say we have had any qualms regarding the mechanical refinement of any of the XC90s that have passed through our test fleet but the B5’s mild-hybrid setup has upped the game, proving impressively smooth and quiet even under hard acceleration. The Volvo XC90 is more for luxury-derived family use but is still sporty as well, its top class rivals are the Land Rover Discovery sport P300e R-Dynamic SE and the Lexus RX350L EX.
Volvo XC90 B5 AWD Inscription Match up:
Model: Volvo XC90 B5 AWD Inscription
Price: R1 283 500
Power: 183 kW
Torque: 350 N.m
0-100 km/h: 8,44 seconds
Top Speed: 180 km/h
Fuel Consumption: 8,76 L/100 km
Model: Land Rover Discovery sport P300e R-Dynamic SE
Genuine off-road capability and brand cachet make the Discovery sport an appealing choice, as do the performance and fuel economy of its innovative hybrid powertrain. Doesn’t conduct itself quite well as the XC on the road.
Price: R1 411 600
Power: 277 kW
Torque: 540 N.m
0-100 km/h: 6,6 seconds
Top Speed: 209 km/h
Fuel Consumption: 2,50 L/100 km
Model: Lexus RX350L EX
The naturally aspirated V6 means it falls short of the others in terms of fuel economy but the RX’s spacious cabin, generous specifications and sophisticated road manners, allied with a comparatively competitive asking price make it a worthy rival.
Price: R1 233 500
Power: 216 kW
Torque: 358 N.m
0-100 km/h: 8,33 seconds
Top Speed: 200 km/h
Fuel Consumption: 12,20 L/100 km
Find the full story in the April 2022 issue of CAR Magazine.