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First Drive

First Drive: VOLVO V90

The story:
Volvo’s refreshed V90 brings a new lower-powered PHEV model as well as mild hybrid powertrains and visual tweaks and tech upgrades
Category:Executive
Key rival:Audi A6 Avant
VOLVO V90 RECHARGE T6 PHEV AWD R-DESIGN
Price:£55,250
MPG:134.5mpg
Emissions:47g/km
On sale:Now

 

Volvo has used mid-life facelift time on the V90 to introduce a lower-powered and therefore less expensive T6 plug-in hybrid model. Interestingly, the previous T8 PHEV powertrain is still offered in the S90 saloon sibling, and Volvo has pitched the two at the same price so customers can choose a 340hp estate or 390hp saloon for the same cost. Both cars get under 50g/km so will sit in the same BiK band.

Mild-hybrid powertrains are now also present across the V90’s non-PHEV engine line up, with Volvo claiming efficiency improvements of up to 15%.

The facelift is incredibly mild, consisting of new foglights, and new spoiler and lower front bumper designs, along with a new LED rear light design that features a sequential turn indicator.First Drive- December 2020- Volvo V90- Image 2

On the inside, the V90 gets an upgraded Bowers & Wilkins audio set-up and an Advanced Air Cleaner system, which allows the driver to monitor air quality via the touchscreen and clean the cabin of particles in minutes.

To drive, the T6 powertrain offers a level of performance that means you really don’t miss the extra 40hp of the T8. The additional practicality of the estate over the S90’s additional 40hp is a no-brainer.

The V90 PHEV is also cheaper on whole-life costs than either the S90 or the 190hp diesel V90, which cost over £10,000 less, but the PHEV makes that back on running costs, even before the £359-per-month difference in a 40% tax band driver’s BiK is factored in.

paul barker

The verdict

T6 powertrain brings down the cost of a V90 PHEV by almost £5000, putting it in line with rival PHEV estates and making the car a better package for executive-level company car drivers.