1. All-new T8 hybrid engine
Until batteries are good enough for us to go all-electric, hybrid cars are currently the perfect balance between planet-friendly and practical. We've driven the XC90 with the brand new 2016 T8 engine, which uses a 320bhp 2.0-litre turbocharge petrol engine and an 87bhp electric motor. Combined, you get a total of 395bhp with the ability to reach 62mph in 5.3 seconds. And it only produces 49g/km! If you've got the money, the T8 would definitely be our choice of the range.
Of course, we've also tested out the less techy motors:
As part of their cost-crunching future, Volvo have gone from cherry picking from an option list of eight different engines to manufacturing just one – a two-litre, four cylinder block. There will be “versions”, obviously: a twin-turbo charged diesel, a super- and turbocharged petrol and a hybrid will all be options.Andto be honest, although plucky and capable, it isn't an engine to love.
This being an SUV, engine tone is further down the pecking order than shopping bag holders (leverspop out of the rear wheel arches to hang your plastic bags on, it's both ingenious and enormously handy) and when you plant your right foot you get the sweet noise of, well, an engine doing something. To the best of its ability.
We drove both the petrol and diesel version, and although the 320hp petrol definitely packs more poke, the diesel does a fine job. Just as well, as the twin-turbocharged, 225hp diesel unit will be by far themost-boughtoption.
You can overtake with ease. You can cruise motorways with aplomb. You can get your kids to school. These are SUV things. And these are fine.
Volvo claims the diesel will deliver 48mpg, we found it to be just over 28mpg. But this is a car with all the aerodynamics of a block of cheddar and we were spending diesel like it's never going to run out. So those figures are to be expected.