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New seven-seat 4x4 promises very low-tax bills

  • New Volvo XC90 T8 Twin hybrid version emits just 49g/km of C02
  • Attracts a Benefit-in-Kind of just five percent in 2015/16 tax year
  • With a P11d value of £59,900 Momentum a 40% tax payer will pay £100 a month

Volvo has unveiled a very attractive company car in the shape of its new XC90 4x4.

The Twin T8 version uses petrol and electric engines which reduces emissions to just 49g/km of CO2.

This means the large, seven-seat 4x4 attracts a benefit-in-kind of just five percent in the tax year 2015/16. For a 40 percent tax payer that’s an annual bill of £1,198 and a monthly cost of nearly £100 for the entry-level Momentum trim.

Volvo XC90 T8 Twin

Different driving modes

The XC90’s hybrid system offers several power modes to the driver. There is pure electric where the fully charged batteries will power the Volvo for up to 26 miles. Regenerative braking helps re-charge the batteries and if the batteries run down then the petrol engine will start up to help power the car and re-charge the batteries.

This Hybrid mode (where the petrol and electric motors work together) is the default driving mode. The car works out the best combination of petrol/electric power to deliver the most efficient fuel use.

For those looking for maximum go, the power mode utilises both the electric and petrol engines to deliver the most rapid acceleration. Downside is that fuel consumption will take a dive.

There is also a ‘Save’ mode that enables the driver to ring fence the batteries power for when they want to use electric power only (for example in a city). The XC90 only uses the petrol engine for power until the driver selects electric mode.

Volvo XC90 T8 Twin version

Manual selection for all wheel drive

Another manual selection is the all-wheel drive mode (AWD) enabling the driver to save battery power or reduce emissions and petrol consumption when power is not required to go to all four wheels.

As with the Volvo V60 Hybrid model, the XC90 can be plugged in to be re-charged so a shortish commute could be completed on electric power alone.

Volvo XC90 T8 Twin version

Best version and availability for company car drivers

The new Volvo XC90 is open for orders but the T8 Twin won’t go on sale until after the standard petrol and diesel versions. Given the amount of car you get plus the success of the Mitsubishi PHEV Outlander (also uses petrol and electric motors in a similar set-up) company car drivers are likely to be happy waiting for it.

While the entry-level Momentum does mean a 40 percent tax payer will pay nearly £100 a month, Volvo is expecting the majority of those purchasing an XC90 on a company car scheme to aim for the next trim up, the Inscription.

The P11d for an Inscription is £63,650 so the monthly tax bill climbs to just over £106. Given the extra level of kit the Inscription trim confers and the minimal extra cost it’s a no-brainer.

The T8 Twin already secures a higher level of kit compared to its conventional powered siblings so the hybrid Momentum version gains the larger 12.3 inch touch screen, crystal gear knob, panoramic sun roof, pre-conditioning heater (can warm and defrost the car remotely), four-zone air con, and different drive modes settings such as performance, eco, etc.

Changing the driver mode alters the steering response, timing of the gear changes, brake and throttle response times, plus depending on the mode selected can enhance the sound of the engine.

To read Parkers full Volvo XC90 review click here.