Fun to drive performer from Volvo
Roseville, Calif.- Volvo has definitely entered the electric age, offering a number of vehicles that don’t operate with a traditional combustion engine.
The Swedish automotive company uses the Recharge label as the designated name for all its cars with any type of electric charging system, including fully electric and plug in hybrid powertrains.
One of those vehicles is the 2023 Volvo XC90 Recharge, a midsize luxury crossover SUV that’s a plug-in hybrid. It has three rows, seats seven passengers, and is far from the lumbering-type of SUV that often characterizes many family-friendly SUVs.
The XC90 Recharge has lots of in-house company. Volvo also uses the Recharge name for plug-in hybrid versions of the XC60, S90, S60, and V60. In all these offerings, an electric motor and a standard engine combine for a choice of pure electric mode, power mode and hybrid mode.
Eventually, the XC90 Recharge might face another Volvo as its biggest rival. The company says it will introduce the EX90, another seven-passenger SUV, early in 2024. The EX90 is all-electric and will have an estimated range of 300 miles. Speculation is the new electric SUV may one day push the XC90 Recharge to extinction. Currently there is no all-electric XC90.
For now, the XC90 Recharge is doing just fine. The gas-powered XC90 has a reputation for being a classy, luxurious SUV and the same can be said for the Recharge version. The XC90 Recharge has lots of upside, including the wow factor it can deliver from a performance standpoint.
We were a bit astounded during our first drive. The XC90 Recharge can get you there in a hurry, thanks to its 0-60 mph speed of 4.5 seconds. Using an electric motor and a turbocharged, 2.0-liter, four-cylinder, it generates 455 horsepower (143 hp from the electric motor) and 523 pound-feet of torque. It gets 58 mpge in electric mode and a combined 25-27 mpg
Offered in three trim models (Core, Plus, Ultimate), all XC90 powertrains have an eight-speed automatic and standard all-wheel drive. It has a 14.9 kWh battery pack and can travel in electric mode for roughly 35 miles before switching over to gas power. The maximum towing capacity is 5,000 pounds.
Most drivers will easily adapt to driving the XC90 Recharge. It’s easy to get acquainted with its luxury feel for the road and its smooth ride. It has a slight lean around curves, but overall the steering response gives the driver a good deal of confidence when facing anything challenging.
Being a Volvo, one knows the XC90 Recharge will deliver a protected ride. The driver assistance safety features include forward-collision warning, automated emergency braking, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, and lane-departure warning.
AT A GLANCE – 2023 VOLVO XC90 RECHARGE
- Performance: turbocharged 2.0-liter, four-cylinder, 455 horsepower
- Mileage estimate: 58 mpge, combined 25-27 mpg
- Price estimate: $75,400
- Warranty: 4 years/50,000 miles; drivetrain: 4 years/50,000 miles; roadside assistance: 4 years/unlimited; corrosion: 12 years/unlimited; electric system: 8 years, 100,000 miles
While the XC90 is spacious for family usage, note that it’s not conducive to having adults in the third row. But adults will love any spot in the spacious first two rows, including the second row where heated seats are standard.
The cargo area is suitable at 15.8 cubic feet behind the third row. That expands to 41.8 cubes with the third row folded down and the capacity expands to 85.7 cubic feet with both rear rows folded to the floor. We did find it a bit unusual that third row seats are not power operated when folding to the floor.
The XC90 Recharge has a standard 9.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system and every model has Apple CarPlay and Android Auto capability. The light-gray leather upholstery is appealing and there’s lots of soft-touch areas throughout the SUV. A cool feature is the crystal gear shifter lights up the center console at night.
The 2023 Volvo XC90 Recharge exceeds many of the needs folks look for in a family hauler. It’s super quick, fun to drive, has a good interior makeup, and being a plug-in hybrid, delivers above average fuel economy.