Subscribe

Search articles

STELLENBOSCH, Western Cape – Considering it’s 2019 and alternative propulsion tech is all the rage, it’s surprising how few rivals the Volvo XC90 T8 has at its price point. In fact, there’s only one: Lexus’ RX450h. Range Rover’s Sport P400e is nearly R400 000 more expensive and the Porsche Cayenne E-Hybrid another couple of grand on top. BMW and Mercedes-Benz will add their X5 and GLE equivalents in the coming months but, judging by pricing for their conventionally driven models, they’ll struggle to match the Swede’s competitiveness.

But what of the conventional diesels and petrols, you may ask. Certainly, scratch a supplementary electric motor from your list of requirements and the field of contenders widens significantly, with Volvo itself offering a D5, T5 and T6 at quite a bit less than it charges (hey!) for the T8 plug-in hybrid.

I had a chance to drive three derivatives on the local launch of the facelifted range (missing was the T5) and, as always, consider the D5 Inscription the XC90 of choice (there’s a cheaper Momentum option, too, but it’s stripped of some desirable spec items). At R1 122 669, it undercuts the T8 by a substantial R150k-plus and will barely use more fuel in day-to-day running should your commute include highway driving.

The T8 in its element

Of course, it’s in urban environments where the T8 makes most sense and, leaving the launch venue of Hazendal Wine Estate heading in the direction of Stellenbosch, my co-driver and I marvelled at the drivetrain’s ability to continue in electric mode for a range of up to 43 km, the silence adding to the XC90’s stellar overall refinement.

Overtaking punch is considerable, too (we tested a T8 in 2016 and recorded a 80-120 km/h sprint time of just 3,83 seconds, plus a 0-100 km/h figure of 5,66 seconds), but accompanied by a subdued yet notable racket from the turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine under the bonnet. If, ironically, you want the punchiest XC90 there is, the eco-conscious T8 is the one to go for, but don’t be surprised if your fuel consumption rockets to above 10,0 L/100 km when the 9,2 kWh battery is depleted (it takes about three hours to recharge via a conventional domestic wall socket).

So, what’s new on the XC90? Not much, really. There’s a new grille design; a range of fresh alloy wheels up to 22 inches in size; the option of six seats instead of seven; and additional paint colours. Arguably, Volvo hasn’t needed to update the exterior design – the XC90 remains one of the market’s most stylish large SUVs – but a new R-Design package does augment those understated lines, adding 20-inch diamond-cut alloys, black mirror housings to complement the darkened grille, sports seats and a perforated-leather steering wheel with gearshift paddles.

Seven into six

The cockpit is as exquisitely trimmed as always, and as spacious, which is why I’m not convinced the six-seater option is worthwhile. By keeping the outer two second-row seats in their original place, access through the central tunnel to the third row is easy, certainly, but why take a large, family SUV and make it less practical? Then again, why do people buy BMW X4s over X3s?

The T8 variant we drove featured Bowers & Wilkins’ 1 476 W, 19-speaker audio system and it’s an option box I’d tick without hesitation. Considering the incredible clarity and punch it offers, at R42 750 it’s great value against rival brands’ top-end systems. 

Volvo says it hasn’t fiddled with the suspension tuning but I suspect that, through continued development since the XC90’s launch in 2015, the ride has improved. Slightly fidgety before, the facelifted XC90 now handles broken surfaces with impressive composure. Coupled with a consistency in response from the steering system and pedals, the large SUV is surprisingly easy to thread through traffic.

While I’d pick the D5 over the T8, as supplemented drivetrains go, the latter’s petrol engine/electric motor pairing is one of the market’s best. Offering a compelling combination of hot-hatch performance and frugal running in ideal conditions, the T8 complements the revised XC90’s myriad fine attributes.
STELLENBOSCH, Western Cape – Considering it’s 2019 and alternative propulsion tech is all the rage, it’s surprising how few rivals the Volvo XC90 T8 has at its price point. In fact, there’s only one: Lexus’ RX450h. Range Rover’s Sport P400e is nearly R400 000 more expensive and the Porsche Cayenne E-Hybrid another couple of grand on top. BMW and Mercedes-Benz will add their X5 and GLE equivalents in the coming months but, judging by pricing for their conventionally driven models, they’ll struggle to match the Swede’s competitiveness.

But what of the conventional diesels and petrols, you may ask. Certainly, scratch a supplementary electric motor from your list of requirements and the field of contenders widens significantly, with Volvo itself offering a D5, T5 and T6 at quite a bit less than it charges (hey!) for the T8 plug-in hybrid.

I had a chance to drive three derivatives on the local launch of the facelifted range (missing was the T5) and, as always, consider the D5 Inscription the XC90 of choice (there’s a cheaper Momentum option, too, but it’s stripped of some desirable spec items). At R1 122 669, it undercuts the T8 by a substantial R150k-plus and will barely use more fuel in day-to-day running should your commute include highway driving.

The T8 in its element

Of course, it’s in urban environments where the T8 makes most sense and, leaving the launch venue of Hazendal Wine Estate heading in the direction of Stellenbosch, my co-driver and I sat in marvelled at the drivetrain’s ability to continue in electric mode for a range of up to 43 km, the silence adding to the XC90’s stellar overall refinement.

Overtaking punch is considerable, too (we tested a T8 in 2016 and recorded a 80-120 km/h sprint time of just 3,83 seconds, plus a 0-100 km/h figure of 5,66 seconds), but accompanied by a subdued yet notable racket from the turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine under the bonnet. If, ironically, you want the punchiest XC90 there is, the eco-conscious T8 is the one to go for, but don’t be surprised if your fuel consumption rockets to above 10,0 L/100 km when the 9,2 kWh battery is depleted (it takes about three hours to recharge via a conventional domestic wall socket).

So, what’s new on the XC90? Not much, really. There’s a new grille design; a range of fresh alloy wheels up to 22 inches in size; the option of six seats instead of seven; and additional paint colours. Arguably, Volvo hasn’t needed to update the exterior design – the XC90 remains one of the market’s most stylish large SUVs – but a new R-Design package does augment those understated lines, adding 20-inch diamond-cut alloys, black mirror housings to complement the darkened grille, sports seats and a perforated-leather steering wheel with gearshift paddles.

Seven into six

The cockpit is as exquisitely trimmed as always, and as spacious, which is why I’m not convinced the six-seater option is worthwhile. By keeping the outer two second-row seats in their original place, access through the central tunnel to the third row is easy, certainly, but why take a large, family SUV and make it less practical? Then again, why do people buy BMW X4s over X3s?

The T8 variant we drove featured Bowers & Wilkins’ 1 476 W, 19-speaker audio system and it’s an option box I’d tick without hesitation. Considering the incredible clarity and punch it offers, at R42 750 it’s great value against rival brands’ top-end systems. 

Volvo says it hasn’t fiddled with the suspension tuning but I suspect that, through continued development since the XC90’s launch in 2015, the ride has improved. Slightly fidgety before, the facelifted XC90 now handles broken surfaces with impressive composure. Coupled with a consistency in response from the steering system and pedals, the large SUV is surprisingly easy to thread through traffic.

While I’d pick the D5 over the T8, as supplemented drivetrains go, the latter’s petrol engine/electric motor pairing is one of the market’s best. Offering a compelling combination of hot-hatch performance and frugal running in ideal conditions, the T8 complements the revised XC90’s myriad fine attributes.

Manufacturer Specifications

Standard - standard Optional - optional
  • Alcantara upholstery: partial suede-cloth + leather
  • Leather bolster spartial leather: Standard
  • Leather upholstery: partial suede-cloth + leather
  • Seats quantity: 7
  • Split rear seat: Standard
  • Folding rear seat: std (opt electric 3rd row)
  • Air conditioning: Standard
  • Climate control automatic air conditioning: Standard
  • Cup bottle holders: front + rear
  • Lumbar support adjustment: front electric
  • Front armrests: Standard
  • Heated ventilated seats: opt front heated / opt rear heated (opt front ventilated)
  • Antilock braking system (ABS): Standard
  • Electronic brake distribution (EBD): Standard
  • Brake assist (BAS/EBA): Standard
  • Traction control: Standard
  • Stability control: Standard
  • Hill descent control downhill brake control: Standard
  • Tyre pressure sensor monitor deflation detection system: Standard
  • Driver airbag: Standard
  • Front passenger airbag: Standard
  • Front side airbags: Standard
  • Curtain airbags: Standard
  • Airbag quantity: 6
  • Lane departure warning: lane keeping aid
  • Lane change blindspot warning assist monitor: Optional
  • Attention assist rest assist break alert: Standard
  • Automatic drive away locking: Standard
  • Electric child proof safety lock switch: Standard
  • ISOFIX child seat mountings: outer rear
  • Approach home safe lighting time delay park headlights: Standard
  • Directional turning headlights: Standard
  • Emergency brake hazardlights: emergency flashing brake lights + hazard lights
  • Start stop button: Standard
  • Engine auto Stop Start idle stop ecostop: Standard
  • Hillstart assist hillholder: Standard
  • Alloy wheelsrims: Standard
  • Electronically adjustable suspension: opt adaptive
  • Driving mode switch eg sport comfort: Standard
  • Power steering: Standard
  • Multifunction steering wheel controls: Standard
  • Head up display: Optional
  • On board computer multi information display: Standard
  • Navigation: Standard
  • Cruise control: adaptive
  • Active adaptive cruise control: Standard
  • Bluetooth connectivity: Standard
  • Voice control: Standard
  • Aux in auxiliary input: Standard
  • USB port: Standard
  • Powersocket 12V: front + rear + boot
  • Central locking: remote (opt keyless)
  • Remote central locking: Standard
  • Key less access start hands free key: Optional
  • Electric windows: front + rear
  • Rain sensor auto wipers: Standard
  • Auto dim interior mirror: Standard
  • Electric adjust mirrors: Standard
  • Auto dimexterior mirrors: Standard
  • Sun roof: panoramic
  • Panoramic roof: Standard
  • Electric seat adjustment: front
  • Memory for electric seat adjustment: front
  • Daytime driving running lights: LED
  • Light sensor auto on off lights: Standard
  • Xenon headlights: LED
  • Highbeam assist: Standard
  • Highlevel 3rd brakelight: Standard
  • Park distance control PDC: front + rear + park assist (opt rear camera / opt surround view)
  • Camera for park distance control: opt rear
  • Metallic pearl escent paint: Optional
  • Fuel Type: petrol-electric hybrid
  • Fuel range average: 2381 km
  • Driven wheels: all
  • Driven wheels quantity: 4
  • Gearratios quantity: 8
  • Gearshift: automatic
  • Transmission type: automatic
  • Transmission name: Geartronic
  • Gear shift paddles: Standard
  • Front tyres: 275/45 R20 (opt 275/35 R22)
  • Reartyres: 275/45 R20 (opt 275/35 R22)
  • Air suspension: Optional
  • Length: 4950 mm
  • Width excl mirrors incl mirrors: 1931-2140 mm
  • Height: 1775 mm
  • Wheel base: 2984 mm
  • Ground clearance minimum maximum: 238 mm
  • Turning circle wheels body: 12.2 m
  • Approach angle: 23.8
  • Break over ramp angle: 21.3
  • Departure angle: 23.3
  • Wading/fording (water crossing) depth: 450
  • Load volume / capacity: 314-692-1947 L
  • Load volume / capacity: 1947 L
  • Unladen/tare/kerb weight: 2268 kg
  • Load carrying capacity / payload: 689
  • Gross weight (GVM): 3010 kg
  • Towing capacity - unbraked: 750
  • Towing capacity - braked: 2400
  • Fuel tank capacity (incl reserve): 50l
  • Fuel consumption average: 2.1 l/100km
  • CO2 emissions average: 49g/km
  • Power maximum: 300 kW
  • Power maximum total: 300e kW
  • Torque maximum: 640 Nm
  • Torque maximum total: 640e Nm
  • Acceleration 0-100 kmh: 5.6s
  • Maximum top speed: 230 km/h
  • Engine position/ location: front
  • Engine capacity: 1969 cc
  • Engine size: 2.0l
  • enginedetailshort: 2.0STe
  • Engine + detail: 2.0 supercharged turbo hybrid
  • Cylinder layout: inline
  • Cylinders: 4
  • Cylinder layout + quantity: i4
  • Cam: dohc
  • Valves per cylinder: 4
  • Valves quantity: 16
  • Supercharger: Standard
  • Turbocharger: Standard
  • Hybrid: electric
  • Warranty time (years): 5
  • Warranty distance (km): 100000 km
  • Maintenance plan: Standard
  • Maintenance plan time (years): 5
  • Maintenance plan distance (km): 100000 km
  • Service interval indicator: Standard
  • Service interval (distance): 20000 km
  • Service interval (time): 1
  • Brand: Volvo
  • Status: c
  • Segment: passenger car
  • MMcode: 65072770
  • MMVariant: XC90 T8 TWIN ENGINE R-DESIGN AWD (HYBRID)
  • MMintrodat: 2015-05-01
  • Introdate: 2019-07-01
  • DuoportarecordID: VolvXC90_2Fe41

All information, pictures, colours, specifications or any other data contained within the www.carmag.co.za website are presented only as a general guide to products and accessories offered by motor manufactures. Although every effort has been made to ensure that all such information is correct and up to date, no guarantee is provided that all such information is reliable, complete, accurate or without error. In some cases pictures of various foreign models may be shown as a guide. All information should be verified by an official dealership.

www.carmag.co.za does not accept any liability for damages of any kind resulting from the access or use of this site and its contents.

If you do not wish to be bound by these Terms you may not access, copy or download any content on this Website as per the CAR Terms of Use available at carmag.co.za/terms_of_use.html

Volvo XC90 T8 Twin Engine R-Design AWD (Hybrid) for sale in Gauteng from one of Carmag.co.za's apporoved car dealerships
Used XC90 T8 Twin Engine R-Design AWD (Hybrid) availbale from the following auto dealer:
CMH Volvo Cars Bryanston used car dealership located in: Gauteng, Gauteng, South Africa

0 vehicles to be emailed:

To !
From !
To !